Back in the 1880's, the typical chicken was a rather scrawny and unappetizing thing. But one man, William Cook, had a dream - to create a chicken that layer well and was also plump and delicious. He succeeded with his original Orpington, the Black Orpington, which brought him success both at home and abroad. He went on to create several other colors of the breed, including the most popular and best loved Orpington - the Buff. It can be said that Cook really created more of a "brand" than a breed initially since he created the Black and Buff Orpingtons from completely different breeds. For the Black, he used Langshans, Barred Rocks and Minorcas, but the Buff was made from Cochins, Dorkings and Spangled Harmburgs. At the time, the method was controversial, but today it is a widely accepted practice.
Orpingtons are big, fluffy, friendly birds. An abundance of feathers gives them the appearance of being much larger than they actually are. They are quite docile, curious, cuddly, smart, and - dare we say - adorable! They can forage well, but are perfectly satisfied to hang out around the feeder, too.
The Orpington should be well-feathered with broad, smooth feathers which are close but not tight. They appear heavy, broad-bodied, standing low to the ground with a short and curvy back, with a short tail. Mature roosters weight about 10 pounds, mature hens weight approximately 8 pounds. They have clean, slate/blue feet and shanks, dark/horn-colored beak, reddish bay eyes, and red comb, wattles and earlobes.
HOW DID THEY GET TO BE LAVENDER?
In the 1990's renowned and respected breeder Priscilla Middleton undertook the project of creating an Orpington that was Lavender in color. It took her many years of crossings to get the exact size and type she desired. It is now widely accepted and both the UK and the US. The Lavender Orpington is not an officially recognized color, it is quite rare and considered to be a "designer bird."
WHY WE LOVE THEM
Our Lavender Orpingtons are extremely friendly and love to spend time with you when you're out and about in the yard. Hens are steady layers of light brown eggs, roosters are dependable and calm. Pretty, pleasant and practical, these poofy-floofy lavender beauties will captivate with their cuteness while keeping you in eggs!
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