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Thread: Orpingtons as a good first bird with a young family?

  1. #1
    Stan79's Avatar
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    Default Orpingtons as a good first bird with a young family?

    Hi folks,

    I have been recommended (by my neighbour) that Buff Orpingtons would be good birds for us to have as a first foray into chickens.

    A few questions for you:

    Is he right? We want them for the eggs and as pets. Our daughter has just had her 1st birthday. Will they be safe (with supervision) with her.

    I see that there are different coloured Orpingtons and don't know why he recommended the Buff variety. Are all Orpingtons the same in terms of productivity and temperament?

    A website i've read lists Orpingtons as producing 170-200 eggs per year. Does that sound about right?

    We are thinking of getting 4 hens to start as i understand this is a sensible number.

    Our neighbour has recommended a supplier. Does anyone on here know of any other suppliers around Swindon / Oxford / Reading / M4 corridor areas?

    How much should we be paying for POL birds?

    The believe the coop we've been given is one of these: CC047, The Chicken House Company
    Are there any things to look out for when using one of these? Are there any improvements that can be made straight away (eg - sealing cracks, proofing it against mites, drafts, etc)?

    Any other advice gratefully received!

    Many thanks in advance,

    Stan

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    Orpingtons are gentle giants. Difficult to source and quality varies.A quality bird ought to cost 35 or it's suspect and possibly being recycled from an auction. They are slow to mature and not point of lay for some time! 30 weeks , certainly not the ridiculous 16 weeks some people quote. Expect 50 eggs or less as they are always going broody. Their egg laying abilities have been ruined at the expense of breeding for the show bench, a profusely feathered bird. I don't care about the eggs, I love the fluff!
    Personally, I always recommend getting 3 nice, sturdy hybrids as first time chickens. Lots of eggs, they come in nice colours too. They are smart and friendly and hardy. You could get a white leghorn type, white eggs, a blue egg laying hybrid and a Marans based type hybrid that lays brown eggs!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stan80 View Post
    The believe the coop we've been given is one of these: CC047, The Chicken House Company
    Are there any things to look out for when using one of these? Are there any improvements that can be made straight away (eg - sealing cracks, proofing it against mites, drafts, etc)?

    Firstly,if that IS the coop you have then it will be nowhere near big enough for four Orpingtons,would be more suitable for three mid-sized hybrids.Add metal angle brackets under the laying box,it WILL sag over time.
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    The coop you are looking at is only suitable for say a trio of tiny dutch bantams. Ignore what the retailers say at all times. For orpingtons you need a substantial, large house, with big doorways. I would suggested a converted b& q shed.
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    Forgot to say,as my POL hybrids grew it became obvious the layout was far from ideal,so I made a new perch,which is mounted at 90 degrees to the original,giving it enough length for the birds to all perch on it rather than two on the perch & one in the laying box.
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    Thank you both very much for your advice. Sounds like a change of plan is required then!

    Please can you recommend three or four friendly hybrids that in your opinion would be suitable? Petal makes some suggestions - thank you. Due to my limited knowledge I need specifics!

    Many thanks to you both!

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    Mine with the revised perch (will take a pic' or two tomorrow & post in here) sleeps 2 Warrens & a Bluebell,I say sleeps because during the day they have free access to the 3.5 metre x 5.5 metre run.

    A few hybrid types (not mine) ...
    Warren..



    Bluebell ...



    Light Sussex (I want one these) ..

    Last edited by bearded bloke; 20-05-2014 at 06:12 PM.
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    For young kids who'd want to handle them I'd say go for warrens.

    Classic battery hen, but they are very tame. Lovely natured. I've only ever has hybrids and my warren lets my kids prod and poke her as long as she knows some food is due afterwards


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