The IMPORTED ENGLISH Orpington Thread

ColtHandorf

Crowing
Feb 19, 2019
2,045
2,814
337
Commerce, Texas
Suede this morning. He definitely seems more alert. I just wish he'd be more active.

C3086023-9E1E-4AED-95A7-69BC59D81BD4.jpeg
82345152-EC59-47EE-9CD2-524EBE5AACEE.jpeg


Early morning, drizzly photos of the barn. Obviously I still need to cover the additional open areas on the front of the barn with wire, and I'm going to spray some sealant in the back corner seams to keep out unwanted friends (snakes). At the end of the month I'll extend the runs off the front of the barn an additional 20 feet, so the pens will be just over 10 feet wide and 50 feet long. I don't think that's too terrible. I also need to install some netting from the back pole to the center pole and to the lowest support (rafter) in order to keep pen hoppers on the right side. The roosts are just high enough that the smaller hens could visit old boyfriends. Doing the front will have to wait for the ground to dry out some more. I don't feel like dying on a ladder trying to mount a strip of the plastic I used as visual barriers on the roost ends of the dividing walls and then staple wire across there. Obviously the gates need a little bit of work, but after hammering, nailing, screwing, sawing, wiring, cutting, and all the other things I've done over the last two days, my hands are just done.

The Silver-laced Orpington Breeding pen:

Hollywood, Sterling II, Mel, Sue, Victoria, and Duchess (pacing the wire because Anne is two pens over and she can hear Caspian crowing)

2C4AD4B2-B388-463E-87BD-7AB1D52848CC.jpeg
F8052094-512D-4E4B-8E04-450C8E2CE00D.jpeg
DA1648DA-3A8D-466F-B74F-AB8E9C7029AC.jpeg


The Blue, Black, and Splash Orpington Breeding pen with Chocolate and Lavender pullets for the time being until a Black cockerel is produced to cover them. Suede will reign supreme here when he's feeling better. @Faraday40 How long did it take your boy to start being himself again?

Dahlia - Black hen
Agatha - Blue pullet
Prudence - Chocolate pullet
Dorcas - Lavender pullet

B60FD8F6-CF94-4982-8FB7-6AE5934DF972.jpeg
70AF662E-0B20-4D1A-9486-7FEF188FB613.jpeg


White Orpington pen:

Derek, Odette, and the new Anne are living here with the turkey who is not mean to them, but absolutely has decided after a week of the geese being locked up that he should absolutely start fights where there are no clear winners as I have to break the two of them up.

E0E37BFF-E6BC-4F20-A890-3D3BC131BC58.jpeg
24AEE8D3-FA26-4A98-AFB0-8E4DE010C361.jpeg



What do you all think? @homeschoolin momma, @PlainOrpingtons2018, @flgardengirl

Obviously it is a work in progress. I'd like to have matching feeders and 5 gallon waterers for them eventually. I'm trying dropping boards under the BBS and Whites to see how I like that. I need about two more loads of wood chips but it's too wet for them to dump by the barn right now. :/ Any suggestions or glaring mistakes I've made? Everything looks good by the light a flashlight when you desperately want to be done. lol

Edited to add: I don't love the roosts or the nest boxes. But it works for right now and at least they are away from the geese.
 
Last edited:

ColtHandorf

Crowing
Feb 19, 2019
2,045
2,814
337
Commerce, Texas
Included this again to show where the new pens are versus their old ones. Blue lines are where their outdoor runs will be, pink lines are the old pen where the geese are now, and Caspian in a tractor, and the black lines are the yard fence that the geese will be able to graze in during the day while I'm at work.

map.png
 

Faraday40

Free Ranging
6 Years
Aug 1, 2013
8,832
11,012
581
Illinois
What do you all think?

Can I move in?????

Looks like a nice roomy place for all. How do you move between areas? (pull the wire back in spots or future gates?)

Does the front (where you took pics) close up at night for predator protection? Or Is there fencing all the way to the roof?

Looks like you're setting up for a productive hatching season. My orps tend to temporarily drop a little in egg production whenever I make changes. It can be so frustrating - especially when I provide them with better conditions and they give me less eggs for my efforts!
I'd get rid of a bully hen or rapist rooster = less eggs. Move a breeding group out to the tractor so everyone has more space = less eggs. I can understand taking a few days after a predator loss, but my orps are very temperamental and sensitive. I'm interested to find out if your birds do the same thing. If they do, it is always just a temporary thing and they'll get used to it. OR It could just be that mine are too sensitive to change and set in their ways. LOL



Injuries: Mr Dummy spent 5-7 days inside. I applied Veterycin spray a lot in the beginning. Most of the injuries were too his face but he was weak for the 1st few days. He was very lonely inside, so after that 1st week I had him in a tractor away from the bully. That really perked him up to be back outside. I'd even put a hen or two with him. Sometimes I'd alternate & put the bully in the tractor and let Mr Dummy free range.

I had to separate the roosters and that was the biggest difference. Mr Dummy took a while to build up his confidence again. He would sit in the middle of the yard looking out for hawks (instead of stand or strut) but he still had good instincts.
 

ColtHandorf

Crowing
Feb 19, 2019
2,045
2,814
337
Commerce, Texas
Can I move in?????
If you bring all those Orpingtons with you! ;) And the Seramas too. :)
How do you move between areas? (pull the wire back in spots or future gates?)
Well...lol Ideally I should have put gates between the pens on the interior of the barn, but I was pretty much muttering to myself "just keep going" at that point rolling that stupid wire out and getting it attached to fence posts and barn poles. So the fence that exists now across the front has a gate into each section. When the runs are built they too will have a gate at the end of each one, but I'll also put in a gate at both of the poles on the front between the three pens so I can cut between them.

Does the front (where you took pics) close up at night for predator protection? Or Is there fencing all the way to the roof?
It does not lock up at this time because I can't get a ladder in the mud that is in front of the pens. If you can make out the clear, plastic material in the back portions of the pens I used as visual barriers, I am going to cut some additional pieces to mount at the top 2-2.5 feet of the front, on top of wire that will be pulled across the front and stapled/screwed like I did the welded wire. I'm not handy enough myself but if I can get my step dad out I'm hoping to actually frame out the fronts with a "real" door. But the end goal is to have the barn be entirely secure when they are locked inside. But the short term goal was to get them away from the geese.

Looks like you're setting up for a productive hatching season. My orps tend to temporarily drop a little in egg production whenever I make changes.
You know I really hope so. I candled all those eggs I set about a week ago and I don't see any development, including the four or five of mine that I set. Of course the stupid LG incubator has been all over the place because it keeps fluctuating between hot and cold outside. I'm going to give them a couple more days and candle again and then I'm going to set the newest eggs in the Brinsea and see how they do.

Interestingly one of the two new hens that came out Saturday laid yesterday. There was an egg in the nest box. I'm not sure if it was Anne or Duchess (II) but I'm planning on setting it. The father is either Caspian or the other male Silver-laced that she kept. They were her only two roosters.

I'll be interested to see how they lay with the new set ups. They may hate the nest boxes because they aren't as closed up and safe? So I may have to rethink how they are set up. But I'll like getting to know who is actually laying. I recognize Dahlia and Agatha's eggs because they are distinctive. But I can't tell you what SLO are laying. Or if Prudence is. Dorcas is still really dark in the face (despite being the oldest of the three and American-type) and isn't laying for sure. Although I did catch a hint of red to earlobe and wattles over the weekend.

He was very lonely inside, so after that 1st week I had him in a tractor away from the bully. That really perked him up to be back outside.
That's what I'm worrying about. I left the tv on for him today since he likes hearing me talk to him and music when I'm getting ready. The Sex in the City DVD will play again if it's on the menu screen for too long so hopefully he's enjoying that...lol

I'd love for him to go back outside, but I want him on firm ground, not up on wire and with Caspian in the tractor that's just not an option right now. And with the weather all over the place, I don't want him back out until he's more mobile. Sitting in the mud isn't going to do a thing for him. But I might take him out for short field trips with his girls since there's no rooster in that pen. Maybe that will perk him up a bit.

Mr Dummy took a while to build up his confidence again. He would sit in the middle of the yard looking out for hawks (instead of stand or strut) but he still had good instincts.
That is just the sweetest thing. He was your big Black male, right? The one in your daughter's lap? He sounds like an amazing rooster. But the confidence thing worries me too. I really wish I had like a two or three month old pullet (looking angrily in Anna's direction for assisting in the disappearance of the pullet) that wouldn't threaten him but might cheer him up.
 

ColtHandorf

Crowing
Feb 19, 2019
2,045
2,814
337
Commerce, Texas
Speaking of Caspian? Does anyone see any potential issues having him alone with no hens? That coop/tractor really isn't big enough for more than two hens, and I don't want him over breeding them. I've debated getting some inexpensive layers to go in there, but I'd need big girls, because he's a big boy. Probably Suede's healthy weight but not so fluffy/loose feathered. I just don't want him to get really aggressive or have mental/behavioral issues because he doesn't have any lady friends and is confined to a coop/tractor.
 

Faraday40

Free Ranging
6 Years
Aug 1, 2013
8,832
11,012
581
Illinois
:lau Just thinking of Suede watching Sex in The City all day! Are you trying to get him ready for his breeding group?

Are your laced boys hatch-mates/ best friends? They may not like only having 4 hens to share, but I've heard of rooster BFFs that don't mind. My Mr Dummy & Prince were like that. They went everywhere together and never once fought. I believe it was because they worked out the pecking order in the brooder and never challenged it. Since the two were genetically brothers, I gave Prince away at age 2 years. Mr Dummy tolerated the other roosters but never best friends like he was with Prince.

I would give Caspian a friend. Chickens don't like to be alone. (Except for Solo my storage tub chick) Is he in there for health reasons or just because he doesn't fit into a breeding group?

Does your lavender turkey beat up on the chickens or try to mate them?
 

ColtHandorf

Crowing
Feb 19, 2019
2,045
2,814
337
Commerce, Texas
:lau Just thinking of Suede watching Sex in The City all day! Are you trying to get him ready for his breeding group?
LOL It was the first DVD I could think of that would play on it's own, repeatedly, after hitting the menu for like two minutes.

Are your laced boys hatch-mates/ best friends?
No, Sterling II is Sterling's son, but he grew up with Hollywood as the flock rooster. He's just now starting to breed and Hollywood is being patient with him. I've not witnessed any fighting from the two of them. They both went after Caspian when he arrived though.

I would give Caspian a friend. Chickens don't like to be alone. (Except for Solo my storage tub chick) Is he in there for health reasons or just because he doesn't fit into a breeding group?
He's only in there because he, Hollywood, and Sterling II did not at all get a long. And I feel like three roosters on four hens is a bit much. I didn't really like him, Anne, and Duchess (II) in the tractor together, but he's very much a gentleman. His father wouldn't allow him to breed much so he's pretty gentle. So yeah, I just don't have any hens for him to be with at the moment. And I don't trust him with the geese either. Golly went up to check him out after I put them in the tractor the first day and he hackled and lunged a few times at the wire. That's all the permission Golly needs to go on another rampage.

Does your lavender turkey beat up on the chickens or try to mate them?
He gets along great with the chickens. He was raised with the Whites and looks after Odette. She'll hide under him to escape her brothers attentions. Derek likes to examine the start of his little beard. He positively smooshes them when they roost he gets so close. He's a bit of a jerk to Suede, but they've duked it out once or twice and that stopped. He did decide after he was the biggest bird in the pen while the geese were locked up that he was going to start crap with Golly when I turned them out Saturday. Golly was ignoring him, quite magnanimously I might add, until the little jake started physically hitting him. Then it was on. Golly latched onto his breast, holding on like a bull dog, while he wrapped his neck around the gander and fought like a turkey. It was a complete stalemate after the first round so I started intervening and breaking them up. I know he's feeling his hormones and I wish I could find him some hens, but I've literally had no luck at all.
 

ColtHandorf

Crowing
Feb 19, 2019
2,045
2,814
337
Commerce, Texas
Update from this morning:

He still has a persistent, soft cough/sneeze thing going on, but he's still eating, drinking, pooping, and napping. So that's good. After I got him all situated for the day I popped the TV on for him and as I was putting on my coat he started crowing! I whipped around and he was just standing there on both feet head up, crowing away. It wasn't pretty, but he was doing it. The crow was full-bodied and no raspy or phlegm-y noise to it. I think he crowed seven or eight times before he plopped back down looking rather pleased with himself. Then he crowed two more times while sitting for good measure. Crowing is good. :)

9A517369-881D-4300-AE5C-41FD771BFA91.jpeg
868C4E22-F1D5-444D-86F5-44C7705FD1F3.jpeg
DDDD662E-1E6C-486B-B738-8DF1799E7B64.jpeg
 

ColtHandorf

Crowing
Feb 19, 2019
2,045
2,814
337
Commerce, Texas
Looks like you're setting up for a productive hatching season. My orps tend to temporarily drop a little in egg production whenever I make changes. It can be so frustrating - especially when I provide them with better conditions and they give me less eggs for my efforts!
I technically got two eggs, which is about what I was getting before. Agatha the Blue Orpington definitely laid in the loose hay i threw down over the mud out in the bright, open. Weird bird. The egg was too pointed to belong to one of the other hens. Besides, Dahlia's eggs are big and round, Dorcas isn't laying, and I haven't caught Prudence laying yet. There was also an egg in the Silver-laced Orpington pen; however, someone laid it off the perch? Dummies. I saw it and then realized it looked wet. When I picked it up the egg was just the shell. So no eggs in any nest boxes. I'll toss the ceramic egg into the SLO nest box when I get home today and I left Agatha's in the nest box. I just saw a post on Facebook with someone selling the wall-mounted nest boxes at an amazing price and they are driving through a town about 20 minutes from the house on the 29th. I think I'll message them to get four two hole boxes with the perch. I don't think I'll need more than that.

Bedtime was interesting. The SLO are apparently very rough when they go to bed as their set up looked like this \-\ when I checked them out this morning. I screwed the perch onto the pallets, so I'm not sure how in the world they managed that. I think I'm going to take two pieces of corrugated aluminum and screw onto the top of it provided they have enough head room. I'm hoping with a big enough over hand they'll go up and "in" instead of on top. I know four of the seven were sleeping on the tops of the pallets. All of the girls in Suede's pen where on their pallet instead of the roost pole. The Whites and Turkey were the only good birds sleeping where they should. Provided their roost is taller. I will admit to laughing at those fat-bottomed girls for craning their heads around and looking towards the rafters like they thought they could fly up there for the night. lol
 

flgardengirl

Crowing
10 Years
Dec 2, 2009
4,627
541
352
Sunny side up :)
Do you think Suede could have cocci? Once we got flooded here and even a few older birds got it.
Did he get beat up? His comb looks bad or is it just purple from respiratory issues?
 
Top Bottom