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Orpington egg layers Chicken size matter?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by CountryGal7557, Sep 27, 2011.

  1. CountryGal7557

    CountryGal7557 New Egg

    Aug 16, 2011
    Does anyone know if the size of a Buff Orpington chicken matters if they will be good egg layers?
    we have 25 Buff Orpingtons and there is a considerable size difference. some are fairly large and a few appear to be runts?

    we have too many for the size of our coop and before the snow flys we will have to selectively pick 10 that will become fryers.
    sadly to say.

    should we just pick them at random? or pick the larger birds to eat, if size doesn't matter in determining which chickens will become the egg layers.
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member


    Considerable size difference? If they are all the same age, other than obvious runts.. are you sure the fairly large ones are not roosters?

    Usually, from my birds at least, the ones that are significantly larger than others are usually boys. Pics perhaps? You can put them on "your page" as you won't be able to post pics straight from your uploads yet.
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    You have some time, I assume. It is only late September. You've another 70 days, give or take, before winter sets in with any harshness. How old are they? Did you get them all from the same breeder or hatchery source? You're sure they were all sold to you as being the same age? You sure wouldn't want to butcher the hens in error, I assume. If you are 100% sure all the chickens are females, which is somewhat difficult to do before maturity, can you wait another month, just to be sure?
    Sorry about all the questions, but that's the way my mind works.[​IMG]
  4. CountryGal7557

    CountryGal7557 New Egg

    Aug 16, 2011
    thank you both for replying already.

    they are not a considerable size difference and we're pretty sure they are all hens. we had hoped we would luck out and get at least one rooster, but it appears they are all hens.
    we got them June 7th from a mailer-order company that was only a couple hours away. We'll wait for another month or 6 more weeks at least. when is maturity? and when would they begin laying eggs? we've been told 6 months old, so that could be end of Nov, but it's going to be tough to catch them at the act of laying the egg! [​IMG]

    thanks again
  5. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    OK, thanks for the added info.

    Within a month, you ought to be able spot any roosters that may have been posing. They will have combs and wattles earlier than the pullets. They will have thicker, longer legs and strut and have a different walk than the females. Once you are sure they are all females, then you can choose to cull whichever hens you wish. You'll likely have to cull before knowing their laying habits well.

    Soooooooo...... here goes. If I were in your shoes, I'd choose the hens with the widest rear ends. Sounds funny, but I just don't like narrow, pinched off rears. I find those are not the greatest layers and if they do lay regularly, oft times lay a less rotund egg. How much of this is just 50+ years of observation and how much is backed by solid poultry science? I dunno. But give me a hen with a nice, wide rear any day. [​IMG]
  6. CountryGal7557

    CountryGal7557 New Egg

    Aug 16, 2011
    LOL [​IMG] I'll take a closer look at their rear ends before we select the ten. Thanks again!
  7. they'reHISchickens

    they'reHISchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 31, 2008
    LOL, I just had to laugh at this! My DH has only had chickens a few years and he LOVES what he calls his " Big Butt Girls".
    There is some credence to the theory tho. A laying hen needs at least 2 fingers' width between the pelvic bones. Logically, the wider the pelvis, the larger the egg! Check your girls while making your selections-- just in case!
  8. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    Aug 20, 2010
    Haha yes, there is something to that. I have three the same age but one was stunted a bit because of a bad injury when it was only a couple weeks old. She has a narrower butt, is smaller, and lays a smaller egg. But more often than the others. My biggest hen, well, I wouldn't be surprised if I could get my whole hand between those bones!
  9. CountryGal7557

    CountryGal7557 New Egg

    Aug 16, 2011
    OMG that is so hillarious! thanks for sharing! I will definitely be checking this out before making the selection. too funny!!! [​IMG]
  10. nanawendy

    nanawendy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2009
    Bellingham Wa
    sorry for the hick-up
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2011

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