5 Reasons To Love Buff Orpingtons.

Buff Orpingtons are a Heritage Breed kept by the generations of yesteryear. As a reslult, Buff Orpingtons are staple for homesteader and backyard chicken enthusiasts alike. There are many aspects about the Buff Orpington that make them an excellent barckyard companion, I will list my top 5.

1. Great Egg Layers:

Buff Orpingtons and all Orpingtons are prolific layers of large to X-large light brown eggs. A single hen can lay up to 3-5 eggs a week, making her yearly output 156-260 eggs a year. They are hearty and will often lay through the winter, only ceasing during molt. I have 3 of these lovely “golden girls” remaining of my original flock of 17. 10 years on they still lay eggs. Their rate has dropped as they have aged into their twilight years but amazingly, these lovely ladies still lay eggs.

2. Buff Orpingtons are great mothers:

When you think of a mother hen raising a clutch of baby chickens the thought will often conjure the image of a Buff Orpington. Buff Orpingtons are renowned for making great mothers. As a breed characteristic, hens are very broody, wanting nothing more than to raise chicks. I have one particular Buff Momma Hen, Miss Katie who has raised several clutches for me. She even adopted a little White Crested Polish chick that was failing to thrive. Raising her as her own, she did what I could not do. If you are one who likes to grow your flock from your parent stock, Buff Orpingtons are a great asset to have on your farm. They will encubate, hatch and raise the baby chicks for you. Teaching them all that there is to know about being a chicken. You as the keeper will witness the wonder of nature, as your Buff Orpington momma hen raised the young.

3. Friendly, calm and docile disposition:

When starting with backyard chickens, typically new keepers want a docile breed. This is one of the reasons that Buff Orpingtons are a great choice for beginners . They are hearty, resilant and very docile. Even the roosters are well behaved gents. Buff Orpingtons are known as “the golden retrevors” of the chicken world and for good reason. They are very calm and loyal.

When I first starting keeping chickens, Buff Orpingtons were the breed that I started with. 10 years on, I still have 3 of these lovely “golden girls”. Buff Orpingtons are a great breed for new backyard chicken enthuesists for several reasons. They are a very patient, calm and friendly breed. Orpingtons enjoy interacting with their keepers and are not flighty. They bare confinement well but are very resourceful when allowed to free range. Due to their large size, they are unable to fly making it very easy to keep them confined to a backyard or fenced in chicken run. They are hearty and do well in warm climates as well and cool climates. They have very few inherent illness or other breed specific issues that presuppose them to health issues. All in all, they make a great breed to begin your backyard chicken adventure. Since they are very popular, they are readily available at most farm and feed stores.

They often build strong bonds with their keepers, making them great backyard companions. Buff Orpingtons are very friendly, approachable and social. Often, they follow their keeper around the yard, clucking and squawking events of their day. Buff Orpingtons are known to be lap chickens due to their desire for attention from their keepers. If you want a pet that makes you breakfast, then Buff Orpingtons are the breed for you.

4. Great to have around children:

Due to their calm, docile and friendly temperament, Buff Orpingtons are a great breed to have around children. If kids are going to take apart in the chicken chores or upkeep of the flock, these golden girls make a great breed to have. Due to their large size, they are easy for kids to pick up and hold. Orpingtons are not flighty, making them the perfect pet chicken and easy to bond with. As layers of large to X-large eggs, they are easy for children to collect and hold. My boys will often pick up our Buff hens and place them on their laps for some bonding time. Buff Orpingtons love to be held, further making these big balls of fluff and feathers a great breed to have around kids.

5. Great garden helpers:

If you love to garden whether it be veggie or flower, a flock of Buff Orpingtons will be your best friends. With their innate ability to forage for worms, bugs, and other delectables, they rid your gardens of pests and other unwanted nuisances. As they till at the soil in search for worms, they aerate the soil, bringing many benefits to the plants.

As your garden matures, the flock will patrol the gardens, picking bugs off the plants to dine on. Basically, your backyard flock will be your own personal extermination crew. This allows you to grow organic produce, eliminating the need of chemicals. As a result, you will enjoy eating fresh organic produce grown in your garden.

In addition to tilling, aerating, and extermination, your backyard garden flock you provide the added benefit of compost. Due to the high concentration of nitrogen contained in chicken poo, your girls will provide you with excellent fertilizer.

Chicken manure is far superior to cow or horse manuer due to the gizzard. The gizzard grinds everything the chicken consumed down to a singularity, produceing a pure source of fuel for your garden. Cows and horses on the other hand do not process everthing they eat, passing weed seeds into their manuer. Many novice gardeners are often surprised at the abundance of weeds in their gardens after spreading cow or horse manuer. Due to the absence of a gizzard, these very fertile weed seeds are then introduced to your garden.

Additionally, most of the manure sold at garden stores are sourced from factory farms. The chemicals that are fed to the animals are passed into their manuer, which is then introduce to your garden. By using the compost provided by your own backyard flock, you can be assured that fertalizer spread on your garden is organic, benifical for both you and your plants.

Orpingtons is all all purpose breed that is great for many functions on the homestead or backyard farm. They are a great breed for beginners as well as seasoned keepers alike. Due to thier always enduring personalitties, I will always have a small flock of Buff Orpingtons on my farm. They lay well, are great with kids and make a great companion in gardening, providing compost for my plants. If well cared for, these golden girls can live to the age of 10 and beyond. Of the original 17 chicks that I started with, I still have 3 of these believed ladies. I don’t know how much time they have left, but I do know that they will spend their twilight years basking in the sun’s rays, chasing butterflies and digging for worms.

I hope that this post breed profile on Buff Orpingtons was helpful. In choosing your beginner flock, temperment is very important. If you want friendly, calm and loyal chickens, Buff Orpingtons are a breed to consider.

If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments. You can also drop me a line a kuntryklucker@gmail.com. I make it a point to respond within 24 hours. You can also visit us on facabook.

As always, thanks for reading! Till next time, keep on crowing.

~ The Kuntry Klucker Crew ~

A Boy and his Rooster.

Some kids have dogs, cats, goldfish or guinea pigs as pets. My son however has a pet rooster. It did not start out this way but it has ended up this way. This is the story of a boy and his rooster.

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You see Roy, our resident backyard rooster has had a few set backs with his health in the past few years. This often requires me to separate him from the girls in order to tend to his needs and treat him individually. He came to our farm the way the other girls did when I ordered our chicks and that arrived in the mail as a small peeping box.

He however was different, he has always been rather fearless and bull headed. He hates my husband due to the fact that it is often he who pushes the lawn mower, which he hates. For the longest time I was the only one who could go out the the backyard and pick him up with out being threatened with a confrontation. Now the roles have totally reversed.

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This all started a few summers ago when Roy was attacked by a hawk. I never saw the hawk or the confrontation, I only saw the after effects. Roy apparently won the fight because he was alive when I found him although injured. The hawk attacked his head causing some pretty nasty wounds which I treated. He made a full physical recovery but not a neurological one. You see when the hawk attacked him it went after his head, his skull was not broken but I wonder if Roy hit his head or twisted his neck when the Hawk tried to lift him than dropped him (judging by his injuries and the crime scene).

Later that summer I went out to the backyard to check on the girls and found him passed out on the ground. After later assessment it was determined that he possibly had a stroke or some other health malfunction which caused him collapse. Ever since these two events he has had health issues and often has episodes where he cannot walk well and needs some special care.

I separate him from the girls because chickens have natural cannibalism habits which from an evolutionary perspective is beneficial in flock survival. You see a weak member exposes the whole flock to predators, so to counter the effect of this issue the flock will literally kill and eat the sick or injured member. This is all well and good except for one problem, the girls are domesticated and protected from most predators and are pets not food. Our rooster is no different. He is a our pet and a member of our backyard family, we just don’t eat family members no matter how sick.

So his life as a bachelor began. After some time of him living in a large dog kennel I finally purchased a small chicken coop for him to live in. It has been affectionally named “Roy’s Roost”. He has taken very well to his new digs and has improved quite a bit with all the loving care he has been receiving.

Now enter my son. Upon ordering this coop I had no intentions of selling out chicken care to my kids. However, once we got this coop put together my son took to it like a fly to sugar. He loved it!! It is small, easy to clean and maintain, and just his size. The resident rooster needing a bit of loving care has accepting my son as his nurse nightingale. The two have bonded and formed a close relationship. I take care of the Kuntry Klucker girls while my son takes care of Roy’s Roost.

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Roy looks forward to his boy coming out and taking care of him every day. He is wide awake, looking out the coop windows eagerly waiting for him. He clucks and coos to him and my son lovingly talks back. I never thought that my son would form a strong bond with our flock rooster, but behold it has happened. It is the sweetest thing to see the two of them out in the yard together.

Roy is doing much better, he has his good days and his bad days. Some days his legs give him trouble and some days he is out in the backyard with my kids playing. I don’t know how much time he has left with us, but I do know that till the very end he will be loved, spoiled, and adored by the boy who Roy has adopted as his caretaker.

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Some kids have dogs, cats, or goldfish as pets. My son has a rooster. This was the story of a boy and his rooster.

Thanks for reading, the girls and I will be back with more adventures and stores soon.

~The Kuntry Klucker Crew~

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