Choosing the right hen for your flock can be nerve-wracking. But for you, it doesn’t have to be. Why? You may ask. Because you have found this website where we tell you everything you need to know about chickens. Today we are going to specifically talk about the Buff Orpington: what you need to know! After reading this, you will have a better idea if the Buff Orpington is a good fit for your flock.
The first thing you should consider with new breeds is their temperament. The Buff Orpington chicken is sweet-natured and calm. They don’t mind getting into your lap and love eating right out of your hands even more. These qualities make them great for docile flocks and children alike.
The Buff Orpington rooster, on the other hand, is known as a fierce protector. They watch over their hens dutifully, and they take that job seriously. Roosters will warn the flock of danger and corral them in at night. But we will talk more about roosters later.
Buff Orpingtons do the best in flocks that are just as mild-mannered as they are. If your existing flock is dominant or aggressive, the Buff Orpington chicken might not fair as well. Since they are so docile, they won’t hold up against another hen bullying them.
Buff Orpington Noise Level
For the urban flock owner, the Buff Orpington is perfect for you. These docile birds hardly ever fight and therefore keep the noise level down. Besides the everyday chatter, these hens don’t get loud and annoy the neighbors. And when you combine this with the fact that they aren’t great flyers, they are easily contained. So you can rest easy knowing that your hens won’t become a neighborhood disturbance.
You might be wondering if Buff Orpington chickens have any special needs. But these birds are perfect for any beginner or seasoned chicken keeper. They don’t need a special diet and love to forage for food. And since they don’t get sick often, you won’t have to worry about many vet bills.
The only special needs your Orpingtons will need are scheduled feedings and lower roosts. And both of these adjustments are due to their size. Buff Orpingtons are large birds by nature, but they gain too much if they are left to free feed. Keeping their feedings minimal and scheduled will force them to forage more. All of the foragings will keep their weight down.
Lower roosts are also crucial because their large size makes it hard for them to fly. They can’t get on the average perch, so they need a little help. A roost that is a foot off the ground is perfect for this. And since it is so low, you also want to make sure that they don’t sit under other hens. Since hens poop, as they sleep, it would not end well for low roosts otherwise.
Buff Orpington Chicken Eggs
The main reason you might keep chickens is for their eggs. So what is the Buff Orpington egg production like?
- Buff Orpington egg color is a lovely light brown.
- Buff Orpington egg size is large, weighing in at 2.4 ounces.
- And they lay about 3-5 eggs a week, or 280 a year.
So when do Buff Orpingtons start laying eggs? Most Buffs start laying at five months old, and they start pretty strong. The first couple of eggs might be small. But as long as they have plenty of calcium, those eggs will get large.
And they stay regular for several years. For 2-3 years, your Buff Orpington chicken will remain consistent with 3-5 eggs a week. After this, there will be a steady decline. But some owners claim that their hens keep laying eggs as long as seven years old.
Do Buff Orpington Chickens Go Broody?
Buff Orpington: what you need to know about broodiness is that it happens a lot. The Buff Orpington chicken is an excellent mother. They sit on not only their eggs but also those of other chickens. So if you have hens that you want to breed, but don’t go broody, the Orpington is here to the rescue.
But not only will hens raise the chicks, but Orpington roosters will as well. They will take over for the mother when she needs a break and be dutiful fathers. You don’t see that in many rooster breeds.
The downside to this is that if you don’t breed your hens, broodiness could be an issue. If you can’t break the broodiness, your hens could suffer. They often lose weight, weak, and malnourished. But there are a few tricks you can do to break them. The most tried and true method is to give them a cool bath for a few minutes.
Are Buff Orpingtons Dual Purpose?
While not many keepers choose to raise Buff Orpingtons as broilers, it is possible. The average Buff Orpington size is 7-8 pounds, which is perfect for meat. And the ideal time for butchering is at 22 weeks. But no chicken is ever too old to use for meat.
There are even Buff Orpington Bantams that only get 3-3.5 pounds. They don’t make the best meat chickens, but perfect for pets and eggs. So you have a few options depending on what you raise your flock for.
What Is The Best Climate For Buff Orpingtons?
The Buff Orpington chicken has a thick, dense plumage. This makes them perfect for winter and colder climates. Some Buff Orpingtons even continue to lay eggs throughout the winter. All you will need to do is keep an eye out for frostbite and proper ventilation in the coop. And your Buffs will be golden for even the worst winters.
Summer and warmer climates is another story altogether. Those same thick feathers make warmer weather almost insufferable. But it’s not impossible to keep them throughout the summer. You just need to take a few precautions like fresh cool water several times a day. They will also need lots of shade and a well-ventilated coop.
Are Buff Orpingtons Prone To Illness?
As far as Orpingtons go, they are relatively easy birds. They live a long time and don’t suffer from too many diseases. But that doesn’t mean that they don’t get sick. Buff Orpingtons are prone to:
- Mites and Lice from their dense feathers
- Obesity and overeating
- Bumblefoot and foot injuries from jumping off of roosts
- And internal parasites
With a few precautions, you can prevent most of these, though. You will want to do daily checks for mites and injuries. And you might want to invest in monthly mite and flea treatments along with parasite medications.
When you own Orpingtons, you will also want to monitor their food intake. Keeping their food in check will keep your hens from becoming overweight. And that will also prevent bumblefoot and injuries from high jumps. But just to be safe, you should keep the roost lower to the ground.
If you keep all of these in check, your Buff Orpington chicken will have a long and fruitful lifespan. And just how long is that? The average lifespan of a Buff is eight years, and sometimes even longer.
Buff Orpington Rooster vs Hen
You might be wondering if getting both a hen and a rooster is necessary. But you don’t necessarily need to have a rooster if you only want eggs. Your hens will get along just fine on their own. And as long as you keep them in a safe run, they won’t need much protection.
Roosters tend to behave a little differently than hens. Roosters have a job that they take seriously. They won’t like your attention, and some may even protect their flock from you. So that doesn’t make them the best birds to have around kids.
But that doesn’t mean that they don’t have benefits. For one, you could use the rooster for breeding more Buffs. You will have an endless supply of eggs for life if you keep your chickens breeding. It can also be a way for you to get into selling chicks for extra cash.
Where To Get Buff Orpington Chickens
Buff Orpington: what you need to know about breeders is next. Buff Orpington chicken is easy to find all over the USA. You can find Buff Orpington chickens for sale at any hatchery, local breeder, or feed store in the spring.
And the best part is that day-old chicks cost less than $5 a piece. Or you could jump straight into pullets for about $15 and be ready for eggs in a few short weeks. Or you can order eggs to hatch in an incubator to start. In any situation, these chickens are fantastic to own. You really can’t go wrong with the Orpington.
So Are You In Love With The Buff Orpington?
Buff Orpington: what you need to know is that they are the sweetest birds around. They make perfect pets that own their keep with lots of egg production. You wouldn’t regret having a few Orpingtons in your flock. Or even a whole flock of just Orpingtons!
Below is a Pinterest friendly photo…. so you can pin it to your Backyard Chicken Board!!