Buff Orpington

The most common of the Orpington chicken breeds, the Buff version is a later-developed variety, developed by William Cook in Orpington, Kent, England. This chicken was revealed in 1894, and made its way to the USA soon afterward. They hit a decline, but are now recovering and becoming a popular choice for the backyard chicken owners like us. They lay a good number of eggs and are heavily and loosely feathered (lots of feathers that are fluffed outward).

  • Appearance: They should be a buff color, which would look like a rich amber or yellow-orange, there are many that look more dark, or light in color, but try to get as close between as you can. They have a red single comb, red earlobes, white skin, a light pink beak, and red-bay eyes.
  • Weight: Rooster-10 Hen-8 Cockerel-8.5 Pullet-7*
  • Purpose: They are dual purpose, especially with their heavy frame.*
  • Origin: Buff Orpingtons were bred in Orpington, Kent, England, like I said before.
  • Common: Yes, the Buff variety is the most common of the Orpington breed, but not as common as the White Leghorn or Rhode Island Red.
  • Egg color: Light brown
  • Egg size: Medium
  • Eggs a week/year: 3-4 eggs a week/175-200 a year
  • Broody: Yes, they prefer to have large batches of eggs and will be very maternal.
  • Confinement: They are very easy-going by nature, and it is not like them to try to escape.
  • Compatibility: As they are larger, and more laid-back, they are often low in the pecking order. As a result they along great with other Buff Orpingtons, but may be picked on by other chickens.
  • Hardy: They are very cold hardy from all of their feathers, but they may not do too well in the heat for the same reason.
  • Bantam: Yes*
  • Personality: As I said Buff Orpingtons are very laid back, and maternal. They are very loving to their owner, and are the kind of chicken that you could handle and pet a lot.
Buff Orpingtons are a very friendly, loving chicken. They produce a good number of eggs, and are very good for roasting. Definitely good if you would want to show your chicken to your friends, and family, while still being useful.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user: vylettefairwell
Information courtesy of: http://www.quakerfarm.com/quakerpoultry.html
http://www.unitedorpingtonclub.com/standard.htm
http://www.easternplains.com/orpington%20history.htm

*for more information on terms listed above, see Key to Chicken Entries

8 comments:

  1. I like the idea of having an "easy-going" chicken. Especially, if they're willing to be held. When you say that they are maternal, does that mean they'll peck when I take their eggs (to eat)? Sounds like a good consideration for Seattle-area weather too.

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  2. No, only when they go "broody" which typically happens when a number of eggs has been laid and the mother decides to raise them.

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  3. At what age should I expect eggs? I have only four chickens: Barred Rock, Buff Orpington, Rhode Island Red,Speckeled Sussex.

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  4. Anonymous 1: With those chickens you should be able to expect eggs at 5-6 months, give or take.
    Anonymous 2: Thanks so much! They are truly an amazing breed, and are capable of incredible amounts of emotion. We have some next door, and they are the most active of the bunch!

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  5. I bought 2 buffs this spring they are now about 3 1/2 months old but they still look mostly white to light cream when do they yellow up??

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  6. Our 11 year old son became the proud owner of four buff hens that we grew up from fluffy chicks. They are very sweet and don't mind being picked up and petted any time of day. I would have never guessed a little 'guy' would like hens so much and is genuinely endeared to them. We call them Ruthie, Victoria, Elizabeth and Patay. Next year we plan to add another six to 10 girls to our lovely group.

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  7. My Buffs just laid their first eggs at 21.5 weeks. They were eating from my hand when they were very young, and I agree they are pleasant pet chickens.

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  8. i really like chickens

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