The Buff Orpington is a chicken breed named after the town of Orington, Kent in south east England. This breed became recognized in America around the early 1900’s. They’re a dual purpose breed laying nice light brown colored eggs.
Raising chickens on our farm began with a mixed flock over a four year period. Through that experience I found mixed flocks to be frustrating. This is because the goal was to incubate naturally using broody free range hens; this can lead to hybrid off spring which wasn’t what I wanted.
The other factor of concern arose when there was a lot of bickering within the flock. Many breeds have different temperaments and sometimes they don’t always mix well with others.
I chose the Buff Orpingtons because it offered everything I was looking for in a chicken. They’re a dual purpose, which means you can hand raise for eggs and meat. We try to be self reliant where some of our animals are raised for meat.
I’m a believer knowing where you food comes from speaks volume, this has helped us improve our quality of life. We process roosters and our hens are sold off when they’re a year old. I like to keep a young growing flock. I currently have chickens at three different ages roaming the land.
In a few days I will be getting ready to find new homes for most of my year old hens.This process helps pay for feed and it’s also a great way to help others get started raising chickens.
Buffs tend to go broody and will naturally hatch chicks if you let them.
Being fantastic egg layers was another benefit, out of eight hens I normally gather 8 – 6 eggs a day. This is more than plenty in our home; thankfully the dogs enjoy egg treats.
One of the main goals with the chickens is to help deplete the bug population. For this reason I open free range. They’re fantastic rangers and I’ll share how this works later on. Do you free range?
These chickens are very social, sometimes it drives me a little crazy especially if I’m working on a building project. At times in my photos a chicken appears; sometimes it’s easier to just let them stay than try removing them from the scene.
They do enjoy the garden, sometimes too much. Over the last couple years I’ve learned what they like and dislike and this helps me know where to plant. Some flowers get planted in hanging baskets and others are fine close to the ground in containers or raised beds.
Beware they love broccoli and strawberries so these types of plants are safe in the covered raised bed.
Are They Noisy?
These hens are noisy and mostly after they lay an egg, it’s quite the production. I often chuckle when folks think hens are quieter than roosters.
I hope to get one of their squawking routines on video because nobody really believes me when I say the hens are just as loud as the rooster.
Little Free Rangers
This is my youngest group of Buff’s. They’re discovering life beyond the stationary coop and ready to go mobile. Unfortunately before I can introduce them to the mobile coop I have to move on some hens.
For the most part all my chickens do really well together at different age groups, but there is always one that doesn’t seem to like new comers. Funny I think this is true in the human world too.
I’ve heard many say chickens are the gateway to a homestead lifestyle. It’s what we started with on our farm because our daughter was interested. I’m not a huge fan of raising chickens but I do agree that finding the right breed can change ones outlook on their experience.
Where can you purchase these awesome birds? My favorite online hatchery is Mt. Healthy. They’re wonderful people and extremely helpful. I wish they also hatched quail that would be fantastic!