Real color?


In the Brooder
9 Years
Oct 2, 2010
Silly question, but are lavender orpingtons actually purple? I've been looking at pictures online, and they look like a light grey. Never seen them in person.

Is there much difference between colors in a breed? Like between Buff Orpingtons, Black Orpingtons...etc? Or are they interchangable as far as production, qualities, personality?

I know nothing about chickens, thanks for putting up with my newbie questions.
Good question - lavender birds are actually a light gray, not purple.

As far as there being differences between the colors in a specific breed, there shouldn't be. That said, certain colors/breeds like the lavender orpingtons are still "project" birds, meaning that they haven't fully met the breed standards yet. Although I think that Hinkjc's birds are a lot closer to standard than anything you get at a hatchery!

Good luck and keep asking questions!!
Honestly if you get really good lavender stock (say, from Europe) they do in my opinion have a very faint lavender hue to them - Same with "blue" birds - They're quite different from the "gray" that a Silkie or a Silver Duckwing carries.

Now for colors, they're all supposed to be the same, following the Standard of Perfection for the breed - But of course anything deriving from a hatchery, in other words - Most buffs, are quite different. They're VERY poor quality and you could put them next to any other average hatchery bred chicken and their body type looks just about the same.

But a well breed, good quality Orpington will still look the same, no matter what color.
They are a light gray, but they do have a kind of purplish cast to them. None of the pictures I've seen online quite do them justice. I used to think they weren't that great until I saw some (not orpingtons, OEG I think) in person at a show. Then I thought, "wow! that's a really pretty color!"

As for differences between colors, ideally there is none other than color. But in reality, it depends on where you get your birds from. If you buy from someone who is breeding for a large number of chicks to meet demand (hatchery) or someone who is focusing only on color (or egg production, or any other single trait) and paying no attention to anything else (hatcheries, and some breeders) then you're going to see a difference between the colors in type, laying ability, temperament, etc. If you buy from a good breeder who is breeding to the standard (and focusing on the whole bird rather than one or two individual traits) then there shouldn't be a noticeable difference between colors. That said, colors that are not yet accepted to the standard and are still a work in progress (or a project just getting off the ground) are going to vary considerably simply because new colors are typically introduced by crossing another breed into the gene pool and it takes several generations to weed out all of the non-standard/"undesirable" traits that enter the gene pool along with the new color.

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