Buff Orpinton is one of the most popular chicken breeds. These beauties are part friend, part Fabio. If you are looking for a beautiful, kid-friendly bird that is easy to find and affordably priced, Buff Orpingtons are for you. They do well in captivity, and are perfect for a small backyard flock that stays in a confined area, but big enough to use as a meat bird. They do have a tendency to go broody, so be sure to nip any broodiness in the bud if egg production is an issue--or get her a rooster and she'll make an excellent mom.
If you want a chicken that is smart, a good forager, and has a hardy lineage, you may want to look for another breed. We play a little game here at the farm, if a customer has a chicken that suddenly dies from natural causes, we always ask, "Was it an Orpington?" and probably 80% of the time...it is. While this breed is unparalleled for its combination of beauty and laying ability, we find it to be somewhat prone to invisible genetic defects, at least from your run of the mill hatchery.
KIS Tip: There are no photos of these chickens which really do them justice. Those blonde feathers in the afternoon sun, are a gorgeous sight to behold! While not a favorite breed of KIS Staff, we all agree these are some of the best looking birds around.
Egg Color: Light Brown
Egg Laying: ****
Survival Instinct: **
Fun Fact: Orpingtons were developed in England, and were a multi-purpose bird (eggs, meat, show) from the start. Originally, Black Orpingtons were bred: birds that would show well despite the soot-filled air of 1886 London. As the air has cleared, fashions have changed, and Buffs are now the most popular variety.