Buff Orpington is one of the most popular imported chicken breeds in the Philippines among free-range chicken growers and breeders and in this article, we are going to give you full details about this beautiful chicken.
Buff is just one of the original colors of Orpington. The others are black, white blue, and splash. Buff is the most popular not only in the Philippines but also in other countries particularly in the USA, UK, Australia, Canada, and the rest of Europe.
History and Origin
The Orpington is a British breed of chicken. It was bred in the late nineteenth century by William Cook of Orpington, Kent in south-east England. It was intended to be a dual-purpose breed, to be reared both for eggs and for meat, but soon became exclusively a show bird.
In 1886 Cook ‘unveiled’ the Black Orpington breed – which became an almost overnight success in England thanks to great publicity. It was bred to be black to hide the dirt and soot that was prevalent in cities at that time.
The next color to be revealed was the Buff which remains to date the most favorite color of Orpington chickens. Also following along there were the White and Blue and Splash colors of the bird.
When Mr. Cook revealed his birds to the general public he received rave reviews in the UK. It rapidly became the most popular breed in the land and within ten years was being exported to other countries, including the US. There was even an Orpington ranch in South Africa!
When Cook himself went to the US to sell his lines of birds he met great success. Apparently, he was a great salesman and very quickly got farmers and poultry folks interested in his dual-purpose breed.
There are two similar but different standards for Orpingtons. The first is published by the Poultry Club of Great Britain and asks for a weight from 3.60 to 4.55 kg for cocks and 2.70 to 3.60 kg for hens. They also ask for a heavy, broad body with a low stance, with fluffed-out feathers which make it look large; the down from the body covers most of the legs. Other characteristics of their Orpingtons are a curvy shape with a short back and U-shaped underline, and a small head with a medium single comb.
Orpingtons lay about 175 to 200 medium to large light-brown eggs a year and among the largest breeds of chicken.
It was said that at one time Orpingtons were capable of laying as many as 340 eggs per year. The decline in production was due to breeders selecting for looks over utility.
Male: 3.60 to 4.55 kg
Female: 2.70 to 3.60 kg
Skin color: white
Egg color: brown
Comb type: medium single
Buff Orpington in the Philippines
Although the Rhode Island Red, Barred Plymouth Rock, and Black Australorp are the most popular imported breeds for free-ranging, Buff Orpington is also in high demand. Looking to buy a Buff Orpington is more difficult than the three breeds mentioned and is more expensive. A fertile Buff Orpington egg can cost between P70 and P120 and a day old chick can cost from P180 to P300. See the complete price guide here.
Why Raise Buff Orpington
If you are looking for a big fluffy chicken that lays well, has a sweet disposition, and tolerates small children, this may be your choice!
Their calm, docile, and friendly nature leads them to a family-oriented flock. They interact well with people and I don’t believe they have a mean bone in their body.
Because of their non-aggressive nature, they should not be put with more aggressive breeds such as Rhode Island Reds or Welsummers – they are likely to get picked on and be at the bottom of the pecking order.
If you are a town/city dweller, the buff is a very quiet bird, ideally suited for confinement in a smallish yard. They are a great bird for beginners as they are so easy to handle and are fairly low maintenance.
The only downside to this beauty is their tendency towards broodiness. However, if you wish to raise your own chicks, then the buff is a perfect fit for you! They are good mothers and care very well for the chicks.
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