The IMPORTED ENGLISH Orpington Thread

Faraday40

Free Ranging
6 Years
Aug 1, 2013
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Illinois
Here are 2 orps from May 1st hatch. (3 weeks. I accidentally added a week in my last post above.) BTW- That tiny serama is still alive.

Let me know if you agree with my gender predictions. Not sure if I'm keeping either one. I'll probably just grow them out for a while & decide later.

Here's the Blue SLO
At the moment, I'm leaning toward female for this one, but things could change.



The other Orp is a lavender. The comb says female but the start of wattles look reddish like a male. Because I had a few past pullets with red wattles just like this, I'm guessing female for now, but I'm not very confident about it.







From my April 15th, I kept this ONE chick. (5 weeks) I still think female GLO .......but will it ever grow into those thick legs??

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ColtHandorf

Crowing
Feb 19, 2019
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Commerce, Texas
The Golden-laced Orpington is a pullet. As is mine. :) My pair can only produce female GL apparently.

The Silver-laced Blue Orpington looks like a pullet to me also. The Lavender I'm on the fence about. I'm leaning towards male but I could be wrong.
 

Honora

Songster
5 Years
Mar 30, 2014
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Cavan, Ireland
@Faraday40
I vote pullet on the lavender.

Got some black Orpington hatching eggs yesterday so going to fire up the new incubator and see if I can hatch anything! They are from some beautiful stock so I hope I get some babies.
 

ColtHandorf

Crowing
Feb 19, 2019
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Commerce, Texas
Well I got four new Silver-laced Orpingtons from three different bloodlines. I've been following a breeder in Diana, TX that was selling two year-old trios several months back for $90. I missed out on the trios, so I was on a waiting list for chicks. They had a couple of freak accidents, (best hen choking on a mouse she caught, etc.) and decided to sell their four remaining birds, two roosters and two hens. They have good lacing and are a great size, plus the correct skin/leg/beak color. It was nearly a four hour drive altogether to go get them, but I'm already loving them. Well I love them when the roosters aren't making me crazy.

When we got home with them it was super late, so I just tucked all of them up onto the roost. So Sterling, my original rooster, the two new roosters, one five month old pullet (the only surviving bird from the trip to Burleson) and the two new hens. Duchess is currently back in the bird room in a kennel as Sterling managed to slice her open three different times because he gets his feet under the saddle when he breeds her. *deep sigh* I woke up to the roommate who's bedroom is closer to the chicken pen saying there was a lot of commotion. I'd literally dreamed about them killing each other all night so I jumped up and ran out there. Sterling was in one corner pouting with a little blood on his face and the other two who were previously housed together were going at it. I separated everyone and through down some hen scratch. That distracted them for about ten minutes and then they went at it again, while in the background Sterling kept making this horrible dying dinosaur noise. I'd had enough and used some scrap fencing to pen the two new boys beside each other in the main pen but apart from one another with food and water and left Sterling to mingle with the girls. I decided while everything was chaos to bring out the five largest chicks and put them out with the big birds. I got two more chicks (two and three weeks old) with the four breeders and they were much too small to be housed with chicks as old as my first set.

Everything was great all day, the two new boys hackled through the fence a bit but that was all. Fast forward to bedtime when I went out to check on everyone and not one, but both of the new roosters had managed to jail break and were rolling around in a very half-hearted tussle in the doorway to the chicken house while all the girls and Sterling looked on. I just scooped them up and put them on the roost. The chicks of course decided sleeping in the tall grass was what all the cool kids do, so I set them up next to their dad on the roost where they stayed all night.

Next morning everyone is getting along, no rooster drama, the chicks are following Sterling and the pullet (who I may name Elizabeth after the Queen?) and the two new hens both laid. Forty-five minutes later there's a colossal thumping from the hen house and I go out there to find Sterling has made a bid for a reclaimed the throne in an unexpected turn of events. He'd thrashed the rooster yesterday that was the problem child and was proceeding to flog the other new one who was trying to hide behind the feeder. I snatched Sterling and tossed him out of the house and gave his butt a soft boot for good measure. I scooped up the very offended new rooster and set him up on the roost. I hadn't let the geese out for the day and decided I'd let the Orpingtons have the yard to free-range so I opened them up onto the yard and shooed Sterling and the ladies out. They all spread out and left each other alone. The hens take turns with the different roosters, but seem to prefer Sterling. The chicks never leave their father's side.

Bedtime was interesting. Sterling and the pullet slept at the foot of the ladder, the chicks piled against the fence, and all the new birds were on the roost. I smooshed feathery butts around to make room for everyone and got them all locked up for the night.

This morning everyone seems to be the best of friends. The two new roosters hang out but avoid Sterling. However there's no hackling or silly rooster taunting to get a rise out of each other. I have no intention of keeping all of them, but both the new boys are molting and not in the best feather. One has a fantastic comb and is ideally the rooster I'd like on the flock most of the time. The other one was supposed to go to a friend and her unrelated pullet, but the pullet has gone missing and I don't much feel like resigning him to death at the hands of a raccoon or whatever it is that keeps killing her birds. Sterling I'd like to retire to a nice "kitchen flock" of hens that lay pretty eggs but that involves another pen and more chickens. lol

In the meantime I'm glad that I got them. I wish Duchess was whole so I could put her back out there. I don't imagine three roosters on two (almost three) hens is going to be very pretty. But I haven't noticed any breeding yet either. The hens I think are too stressed from the move. They aren't squatting when the roosters grab, they yell and run. Duchess would just lay there like a throw pillow.

Interestingly the breeder said they get silver and white chicks from one of the hens, and rusty-gold and white chicks from the other. They said their babies always feather in Silver-laced though. Both the chicks I brought home were the rust color. I'll have to get pictures of them. And it looks like my Gold-laced might be feathering in Silver as well? She was very distinctly gold, but her new feathers are much lighter. So I'm not sure what happening. She's certainly darker than the two from the new breeder though.
 

Faraday40

Free Ranging
6 Years
Aug 1, 2013
8,565
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Illinois
@Faraday40
I vote pullet on the lavender.

Got some black Orpington hatching eggs yesterday so going to fire up the new incubator and see if I can hatch anything! They are from some beautiful stock so I hope I get some babies.
Good luck on your hatch!

Both the lav & blue silver laced from May 1st hatch look like pullets. I sold someone 4 orps from the same hatch. (She only wants 2 females & will give back 2.) Her lav may be a male. Of course it's her fav color, so I'll likely just do an exchange. Maybe I'll get lucky & he'll be a nice future breeder. I feel this year's lav rooster is not as impressive. He's almost a year, has a decent comb & great height, but just looks "thin." I was hoping he'd fill out more by now. I may go visit @homeschoolin momma and bring home one of her boys.

Well I got four new Silver-laced Orpingtons from three different bloodlines.
Congrats on the new birds. So much drama! My 2 boys sleep together in the garage, but they're separated during the day in their breeding groups. (Sometimes minor squabbles at night, but no blood & no hens around to impress.)

I'll hopefully have some orps hatching later this week. Lavs still remain the best selling chicks. Honestly, if people saw how amazing the black orps look in the sunlight, they may understand why they're still my fav..... but everyone wants the lavs. The laced are gorgeous as adults, but so awkward-looking as chicks. I have a harder time selling the laced.
 

Faraday40

Free Ranging
6 Years
Aug 1, 2013
8,565
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Illinois
More than welcome to come get a guy. But we do have those nice orps hatching this week. Im hoping they grow out real nice. It would be great if it was 2 boys and 5 girls, that way we would each have a new lav guy.
Definitely would be nice! Two have very loose air cells and the others have those strange saddle shaped air cells. Hoping they're all tough, hard-working orps that can hatch out on their own. They're in lockdown now.

I may end up getting some of the bantams as early as Wed and hope the orps will start around Thurs afternoon.
 

ColtHandorf

Crowing
Feb 19, 2019
1,862
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Commerce, Texas
I am going to have to live vicariously through you on the bantams. My roommate is set on Gold-laced Polish (they remind her of David Bowie) and she saw her first Seramas when we picked the Orpingtons up last week and she's been enamored with them.

Speaking of roommates she took Duchess's saddle and enlarged it. I'd ripped the knee out of a pair of pants and cut them off to make shorts and kept the two legs in case I needed them. lol I thought they would work great as extensions underneath the canvas saddle to keep him from constantly tearing her open. I outfitted her this morning before work and popped her in the pen. I'd wanted her on the roost last night but I was so tired I fell asleep before she was done. I turned everyone out of the hen house and put her down. Sterling of course took her for a ride. I'm happy to report the saddle worked although he can't keep his balance with it on and he kept slipping off. Plus the other two roosters were busy running interference on the process. I really need to find someone who needs a nice looking male. I don't need all three.

I've discovered that white skin is dominant over yellow skin, so this first crossing should produce all white-skinned offspring that are split yellow. If I cross them back to their parents I should weed out that yellow but maintain that awesome lacing I hope.

I'm already dying to incubate some more eggs from these new girls that are laying. I've already gotten four or five eggs since they've come home. Plus I've got two of Duchess's held back... I just hate to waste them in the Little Giant Incubator.
 

Faraday40

Free Ranging
6 Years
Aug 1, 2013
8,565
10,281
581
Illinois
I'm already dying to incubate some more eggs from these new girls that are laying. I've already gotten four or five eggs since they've come home. Plus I've got two of Duchess's held back... I just hate to waste them in the Little Giant Incubator.
I know exactly what you mean about collecting eggs & not wanting to waste them.
My hatch is due at the end of this week, but I've been stashing eggs since last Wed/Thurs. "Just in case" I want to incubate them. ;)

I've got it bad! My incubator already has just over 30 eggs (serama, silkiexserama mixes, and laced & lav orps) I have 2 silkie hens ready to adopt chicks but other than the lav orps, I have no plan for all these chicks. Why am I collecting more eggs!? Logic tells me not to, but....

The reasons are simple: curiosity & excitement. (Because I certainly don't need any more chickens.) My winter hatched Blue orp is being bred back to the father(my SLO) which should give me a second line of blue Silver laced orps. (Completely unrelated to Blizzard.) That winter pullet is laying up a storm now & so far all her eggs have the fertile bull's eye. The pullet was actually an accident, so I promised her to a friend. The pullet was supposed to be a blue but as she got older I realized that my laced orp had to be the father. She looks mostly like a blue orp, but her feet, beak, and comb are all reminiscent of my SLO and nothing at all like my lav roo.

Likewise, most of my bantams are in various stages of broody, so only my 2 seramas that carry the silkied gene are laying. Only 50% will express the silkied gene and I'd really like to keep one silkied female. Statistically, I'll have a 1:4 chance of getting my silkied female, so setting more eggs will give me a better selection.

So.... will I be pragmatic and logical? OR Will my curiosity & excitement win?
 

ColtHandorf

Crowing
Feb 19, 2019
1,862
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Commerce, Texas
Haha! I know exactly how you feel. I still haven't actually gotten the incubator I was using back to my friend and I'm seriously debating firing it back up in the next day or two to get off one good hatch from the new birds before it's 100 degrees here. It was 97 yesterday...
 

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