Buff Orpingtons

July 18, 2011
Oyster Cracker and Sunshine 3 days old

Buff Orpingtons are a hardy, cold tolerant breed of chicken that are docile and a delight to raise with children.  They are a beautiful golden color with tan legs and gorgeous red wattles, earlobes and combs.  Dating to the 1800’s and originating in Orpington, Kent, England, they have gained popularity for many of these traits.  They come in an array of other colors including black, white, splash and even rare blue.

These birds are known to be a heavy dual breed used for meat and eggs.  Some Buff Orpingtons can reach up to 10 pounds.  Due to their weight, many can not fly.  Other characteristics include soft feathers that cover up the majority of their legs, curvy figures and single combs.  They lay light brown eggs and will even continue to lay in wintry conditions.

These birds also make excellent mothers and will go broody at times.  They are also easy to tame and enjoy sitting in your lap and taking treats from your hands.  They are not skittish, in fact they are curious and a terrific addition to anyone’s flock.

Oyster Cracker and Sunshine, 1 year old

Oyster Cracker and Sunshine are our two Buff Orpingtons.  I get the most compliments on their beautiful feathers and their overall appearance.  They also are great friends and seem to get along with almost everyone in the flock.  I rarely see them have to assert themselves with the other chickens and most importantly, they are gentle with the children.  Based on my two girls, I can understand why some people choose to keep a flock entirely composed of Buff Orpingtons.

Photo Credit:  Tilly’s Nest


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13 thoughts on “Buff Orpingtons”

  1. I LOVE my Buffs… They're so similar to my dogs–they're at my side constantly, they love attention, and they come running when I call them! I wonder if I could teach them tricks?–(probably not!)

  2. Melissa, I just wanted to let you know that I used the above picture of Oyster Cracker, Sunshine, and Ms. Tilly in my blog as an example of beautiful Buff Orpington's. I gave you full photo credit and also complimented your blog after providing a link. I look forward to your posts every day! Thank you so much for your wonderful, charming blog!
    -Brie (www.welcometodingleberryfarm.bogspot.com)

  3. Our flock is comprised of Buff Orpingtons. I refer to them as the "Golden Retrievers" of the chicken world….same color, same temperament. We enjoy them so much. We let ours free range most days under the watchful eyeof our Rottweiler,Spirit, who loves the baby chicks. Currently we have 2 roosters, 20 adult hens, and 8 chicks that hatched tis summer. Looks like there are two little roosters in that group that will probbly go to the soup pot.

  4. We have 5 buff orpingtons. We got them in November so they are currently 13 weeks old. I have read over and over again about how docile and friendly they are which is one of the main reasons I chose this breed, but this has not been the case for us. We have handeled them since birth, but they still run every time we try to pick them up. Once we have them they seem to be very calm, but they will not just let us pet them or pick them up. We literally have to catch them. Does anyone have any tips on how to make them less skittish? We bring them treats every day and make it a point to handle them every day, but my 7 yr old wants to love on them so bad he can't stand it. He is not quick enough to catch them himself.

  5. Gently approaching them from the side with your hand, instead of from on top, seems to be working for me. I spend time just stroking their sides, and not trying to pick them up. I also will sometimes just sit with them on the grass and not trying to touch them. Eventually they will come up out of curiosity to peck at my feet and hands. Three of our four Buffs like to be picked up, but I make sure to go under their legs and spread out my hands so their feet can rest on them. I also pay attention to their body language. If I'm holding one and she is leaning back toward the roost or ground, then I place her down and wait until I see signs that she wants to interact again. Mine are 5 weeks old, and they seem very well-adjusted to people. My Rhode Island Reds are a bit more shy, but I'm working with them in the same way and I can see definite improvement.

    • they only respond to calm and gentle and maybe a little corn they all come to know we feed them a little sad maybe but they are are good friends and the eggs are a bonus . my birds are happy to turn my garden over fertalize it get all the debrie out give me eggs and be my friend perfeck


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Sharing an inspired life from the New England seaside. Chickens, Bees, Gardens, Art and Yummy Goodness.