Since time immemorial, chicken is known to be a common part of every homestead.There are different reasons as to why people rear them. Some do it for fun, and others do it for egg and meat production. Statics have shown that there has been an increase in the number of people interested in keeping chicken in the last twenty years. Some are doing it for fun, while others are doing it for business. There are many types of chicken reared globally, and they vary in various ways. In this article, we will look at one rare breed of chicken known as the Buff Orpington.
The History of the Buff Orpington
This breed’s historycan be diagrammed from England back in 1986 through a man called William Cook. This man developed a fascinating interest in coming up with a better breed of chicken to serve several purposes. He tried on several species, but he successfully discovered the Buff Orpington breed of chicken in the same year. The American government has since standardized the breed.
This achievement gained so much public appraisal in England with his first breed of the Orpington being black. The black color was favorable for the then dirty and sooty environment in England. The Buff color was the next for the breed, which has remained on-trend and most people’s favorite up to date. However, he later came up with the white and blue and splashed colors. This breed of chicken received many reviews, and since then, people have to export it to various parts of the globe.
The description of the Buff
The Orpington is golden colored and depicts the perfect example of the buff color.Its weight ranges between 7.5 and 10 pounds and possesses loose feathers, making them look to be bigger than their average size. It comes in two sizes, regular and bantarn.Its earlobes, eyes, wattles, and combs are red bay in color. The feathers come in handy during the cold seasons, but they cause discomfort when the temperatures rise. This breed serves dual- purpose meaning it can be used for meat or egg production. The buff breed has a curvy shape and a small head with a standard comb.
Additionally, it has a friendly character with a touch of calmness. The buff breed usually likes pampering, and its good at seeking for attention. Their nature makes them the most preferred breed for families because they don’t pose any danger to children.
The Orpington Eggs
The buffs are excellent layers and have high productivity levels. They are even layers with a yearly range of between 200-280, translating to 4-5 eggs per week. If placed on a good diet, the breed starts laying at the age of six months. The eggs are light brown with a medium size. Their broodiness is a plus for those people who want more chicks. Buff Orpington has a very motherly character and is good at hatching its eggs into chicks.
The Orpington meat
With its dual-purpose factor, the Buff adds up well for meat production. Their meat is delicious, meeting your dinner expectations. Unlike other birds,Orpington is usually ready to be butchered at the age of 22 months.Thechicken has plenty of meat due to its vast appetite that makes it fat.
Does Buff Orpington have any health challenges?
This is a common question that many chicken lovers and rearers ask.Yes, the Buff has a few health challenges, just like any other breed of chicken. Their thick and heavy feathers are one factor that exposes them to lice and mites, which are not suitable for their health. It is, therefore, wise to frequently dust treat them. The birds are also mostly at the risk of being obese due to their heavy feeding habit. However, this can be averted by minimizing their intake and ensuring they are active.
Why Raise Buff Orpington?
There are several reasons as to why you should rear this breed of birds. Below are the reasons:
- They are friendly and fit for families with kids.
- They have a distinctive impeccable appearance that makes them different from other birds.
- The buffs are not noisy.
- It is easy to confine the Buff Orpington. This also makes them suitable to be raised in the city
- They are very productive in meat and eggs.
- They have motherly character
- Can tolerate cold and areas
The life expectancy of the Buff Orpington
The buffs are known to live up to eight years. However, some factors determine their life expectancy.Here are some of them:
- Housing Condition-It should be ideal with the right temperatures for the current weather.Also, a good coop will ensure they are safe from predators.
- Proper diet and nutrition
The Cost and care of the Buff
The central and most crucial costs that you should budget for are the setup costs for the habitat and the cost of purchasing the chicks. Other additional prices include the cost of buying food, bedding, veterinary care for the bird, etc. The following is the outline of the charges;
- Initial Costs- These are the costs that must be met to get started. They include the purchase price of the Buff Orpington chicken. Although the breed is not rare, it is still pretty expensive. For this reason, it is wise to consider buying the chicks and raise them than purchasing a costly adult Orpington.
- The chicken housing price depends on the size and the material used. The house gives the chicken shelter during the night and in bad weather. Feeding and watering stations whose price varies just like that of the house should also be considered. One should purchase the feeding and watering station per the number of chicken reared. Besides, the amount of money in your pocket equally determines the quality of the feeding and watering stations you will buy.
- A brooder will be needed if the Orpington is purchased as a chick. The brooder can be self-made or purchased. The average costs incurred in the purchase of the brooder range between $60 and $100.
- Monthly costs- These costs are mandatory after taking care of the above mentioned. The chicken breed will incur the following charges monthly;
- Food- Being heavy feeders, the Buff will require plenty and consistent supply of food. The food for the Buff Orpington is relatively affordable; 20.5 kg could cost about $12.
- Bedding-though the bedding may not be so necessary, especially since the chicken is allowed to roam around. However, the bedding could make cleaning easier.
- Veterinary care-these types of birds do not need regular veterinary checkups like other domestic animals. If there is a need to take the chicken to the veterinary, it may take only a few dollars.
- Repairs and replacements-Most equipment wear out and depreciate after some time. In the same way, after some time, it will be necessary to repair the coop and replace some equipment like the feeders, waterers, brooding lamps, etc. However, thoughit may not be monthly, it is still advisable that you set aside a budget for the cost of repair, maintenance, and any other unplanned occurrence.
What are the challenges of keeping Buff Orpington?
It is natural that for anything that has advantages to have disadvantages too. Forbeginners, it is good to know that the breed is large. For this reason, they are naturally lazy, and therefore, you must come up with a strategy for their exercise. It is funny to say that this chicken can sit for a whole day eating without moving an inch. That’s why it is critical to have enough space in their coop, mainly if you have contained them.
Another challenge that comes with keeping these chickens comes from their feathers.Being heavy, they create a great inhabitant for lice and other parasites. This infestation can be so draining for them. To curb this problem, you will need to dust them frequently.
The feathers of the birds are not good at containing heat.This means that the birds will suffer in hot conditions. Therefore, it is wise to provide them with additional space and shades in times of adverse heat.
Their size also demands that you have a bigger space to keep a good number of them. This might not favor you if your coop is small.
Lastly, the calm nature of Buff Orpington might expose them to bullying by other breeds. For this reason, you must keep an eye on them so that they may not be pecked and hurt.
Factors to Consider before purchase
Climate: This is a critical factor to consider because the breed does not do well in all weather. If your local environment is cold, then you can go ahead and purchase the Buff Orpington.
Purpose: The reason you want to keep the breed will determine the approach you will take. This approach will be towards meeting your expectations in keeping the buffs.
Number: Being a giant-sized breed, you must know the number of chicken that you want to rear. A significant number will mean you construct a bigger coop to host the chicken comfortably.
Weigh the Pros and cons: Understanding both the positive and negative sides of something is essential. The same case applies to the keeping of the buffs. You will need to know the good and the wrong side of them. Fromthere, you will be in a better position to decide whether the Buff Orpingtonis the best breed for you.
Price of the Buff Orpington
The price of the breed is friendly, and its availability is also easy. However, the price is determined by factors like age and the amount you want to purchase. For example, if you are buying chicks, the price will be lower. Some people want to buy a fully grown buff, and that means extra coins on top. Also, locations may determine the cost of the chicken.
How to raise a Buff Orpington
Buff Orpingtons are raised just like any other chickenbreed. However, you need to make sure you give them enough shelter, especially when it’shot. If your Buff gets rained on, itwon’t dry very fast due to its dense feathers. That is why it is essential to make sure there is adequate shelter for all weather. Also, ensure the shelter is warm inside for their quick warming.
Additionally, for you to have healthy buffs, you must be keen to watch on their health and provide them with proper feeding to reduce their chances of illnesses.
As a beginner, should you raise the Buff Orpington?
There are many reasons as to why you should consider raisingbuffs. Their character is the best reason why you should give it a try. Their calmness will make your backyard less noisy. Anotherencouraging reason is that the breed can behave itself, whether in a confined area or free-range. Forstarters, buff Orpington could give you the most impressive and seductive experience in chicken keeping. If you are staying in town and would love to keep chicken, this would be the breed to choose from.
The Buff Orpington has, for a long time, continued to be the number one chicken breed. Boasting several qualities, the Buff has gained popularity and has become most people’s chicken preference. This England breed has high productivity levels for both meat and eggs. The breed does not require too many things to keep it, and therefore it is manageable even for low-income earners. Though it was reared in England for the first time, the Buff Orpington has significantly spread to various parts of the world, mainly America and South Africa. It has continued to hit the market, with many people picking the chicken’s keeping as an occupation.Reviews have shown the breed can be a good and reliable source of income by selling its eggs and meat. Buff Orpington is a gift given to the world by William Cook and will remain a treasure to those who understand it.