Explore the blog, Then Check out our website

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Chicken Scratch Poultry

Friday, February 7, 2014

Chicken Breed Information - What Breed Will Suit Your Needs - Part 2

Last week I decided to take a fews weeks and share some information on each breed of chicken that we offer here on the farm.  I think it's a good idea to know the temperament and what to expect from the bird you choose to live in your backyard or farm.
Today let's take a look at a couple of the Orpington breeds.  First lets talk about the Lavender Orpington.
The Lavender Orpington is a fascinating bird, if you enjoy poultry breeding and genetics.  I'm no expert when it comes to genetics but I'm slowly learning. When breeding a Lavender hen to a Lavender rooster the Lavender will breed true, which means you will always produce a Lavender colored chick. This is not so with other blue or gray colored birds. When breeding blue poultry the blue gene is not a dominate gene and will not always produce a blue chick.
It is also a good idea when breeding Lavender Orpingtons, to breed the Black Orpington back to the Lavender.  This helps when trying to improve on body type, feathering, and size of bird.
Orpingtons are a large heavy breed, very gentle and friendly.  The Lavender Orpingtons are good layers and our hens have produced eggs all winter even though we've had one of the coldest winters on record for our area.

The Lavender roosters are very gentle and non aggressive.   We are able to keep several together in our breeding pen and they all get along great with no fighting.  I highly recommend this breed for those with young children.  The hens are non broody, for you who are first time chicken folks, this means she will not want to hatch eggs. They lay a light peachy, cream colored egg.
One of the large hatcheries is now offering this beautiful bird and I really hate to see this happen for one simple reason.  Any time a large hatchery starts to offer a rare breed, that breed will never be the same again.  Large hatcheries go for mass production of birds and not breed quality.  Buyer beware!!

This is a young Lavender pullet, she's almost old enough to start laying.  Notice the blood red comb that announce eggs will soon be coming.
If your looking for a beautiful bird for your backyard look no farther than the Lavender Orpington.

Next let's talk about the Black Orpington.  They are also a large gentle bird, which that's just Orpingtons in general.  The Black Orpington is often over looked.  I specifically purchsed the Black Orpington to improve on my Lavender Orpingtons but very quickly fell in love with the Black.  The rooster pictured at the right was allowed to free range the farm for one whole summer while I decided how I wanted to use him.  Turns out he became the customer greeter when folks arrived to purchase birds.  This huge bird would come strutting up to greet people as they got out of their cars.  Some folks where a little intimidated, wondering why is he getting so close to them.  Very quickly he would make friends with the visitor and they would ask, how do I get a bird like this. We're still working with a very small flock of the Black Orpingtons and can only fill small orders now.

The Black Orpington is a difficult bird to find, there aren't many farms who offer this color. I can't stress enough what an impressive, beautiful bird they are. They're slick as a ribbon and have that green iridescent beetle bug shine.
The Black Orpington is a very friendly, non aggressive, docile bird.  The hens are also non broody and good layers of the peachy cream colored egg.  They are large, heavy with nice round rumps.  Have I mentioned that I like big butts on my hens.  They are quite and not to chatty if you need a hen that won't make a lot of noise.   I've found over the past couple of years that I really enjoy the Orpington breeds.
Have a Great Weekend!

1 comment:

  1. I purchased Lavender Orpington eggs from you early last year and must say that these birds so stunning! Every single egg hatched in spite of going through the postal service. I too hate to see the hatcheries sell these beautiful birds. I bought some chicks prior to my purchase of your eggs and I swear they were bantams!! Scrawny too. I highly suspect they were hatchery stock.

    I've placed another order (for my hen pen). I'm looking forward to another beautiful egg basket, like the one I had a couple of years ago. And hoping that a couple of the Coronation Sussex eggs turn into beautiful ladies!

    Cyndi Hannahs