Chicken Breeds: Buff Orpington
A Buff Orpington Chick
When I was deciding which chicken breeds to keep last spring, I decided to select two Buff Orpington chicks. The Buff Orpington has a long history as a breed, and is one of the most recognizable (and popular) chicken breeds today.
The Buff Orpington is a large chicken with gold feathers, and plenty of them! The overall appearance is very soft and fluffy. (Some Buff Orpingtons are so well feathered that they have difficulty breeding and laying eggs.) They have relatively compact combs and waddles, and cream-colored legs. Thanks to these robust physical characteristics, the Buff Orpington is ideal for cooler climates.
Buff Orpingtons lay a medium brown egg, and are known to be reliable layers. I have spoken to several flock owners who say that out of all their breeds, it’s their Buff Orpingtons which lay right through the winter, even when no supplemental light is used in the coop.
What really tipped the scales for me was when I noticed that Buff Orpingtons are always described as “the friendly chicken,” or some variation thereof. Of my four chickens, the two Buff Orpingtons are definitely the most calm and friendly. Buff Orpingtons are definitely suitable for families with small children (as long as the children are safe for the birds, of course!) and for the timid or new chicken owner.
Although Buff Orpingtons are one of the most common variety of chicks for sale at the feed store, the Orpington comes in several other colors as well. Specialist breeders may offer Black Orpingtons, Gray Orpingtons, and Jubilee Orpingtons (which are dark red speckled with white). The original Orpington was developed in England in the late 1800s and was black.
Other chicken breeds:
- Buff Orpington
- Old English Game Birds
- Ameraucana, Araucana, and Easter Egger
- Sex Link, Black Star, and Red Star
A Buff Orpington Rooster
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