Because of how well-received our last post on the Buff Orpington was, people started asking about Lavender Orpingtons. It appears that lavender is currently the “in” hue!
Orpingtons are available in a wide range of hues and designs.
Lavender and Blues have experienced a steady increase in popularity over the last few years.
Lavender Orpington Quick Breakdown
Beautiful and amiable, the Lavender Orpington breed can produce up to 200 eggs annually.
This article will cover everything you need to know about Lavender Orpingtons, including their temperament, egg-laying prowess, broodiness, and, most importantly, whether it is appropriate for your flock.
William Cook, a resident of the village of Orpington in Kent, England, invented the first Orpington back in the 1880s. His goal was to produce a bird that would lay well and be good for the table. The typical English chicken was previously a quite thin and tasteless creature.
Beginning with the Black Orpington, he was successful in his quest, which gave him the assurance of the success he sought on both sides of the Atlantic.
He developed several different Orpington hues from the Black Orpington, with Buff being the most well-known and adored.
Instead of starting with a breed, Mr. Cook first built a “brand.”
He used many breeds of birds from the Black Orpington to produce the Buff Orpington. The Buff was made up of Cochin, Dorking, and spangled Hamburgs, while the black was made up of Langshan, Barred Rock, and Minorcas.
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The American Livestock Breed Conservancy had the Orpington on its endangered list until quite recently.
The number of people keeping chickens has substantially increased in recent years, and the Orpington has benefited greatly.
A relatively recent addition to the Orpington family is the Lavender Orpington. It is probably a “designer bird,” to use your phrase. In the middle of the 1990s in the UK, Priscilla Middleton, a well-known and respected breeder, was the catalyst.
She had to crossbreed for several years in order to acquire the exact size and type she desired, but now she has a commanding and prosperous line of Lavender Orpingtons.
With breed clubs in various European nations, the UK, and the USA, the bird is now widely bred throughout Europe and the UK.
The USA began using lavender Orpingtons developed a little later than the UK, and lavender is still difficult to come by in many places.
Despite being referred to as “rare,” I was shocked to discover how many people are raising and selling Lavender Orpingtons online!
Appearance and Temperament of Lavender Orpingtons
They are a big, fluffy, sociable hen, and their abundance of feathers give the impression that they are much bigger than they actually are.
They are adorable because they have a reputation for being inquisitive, docile, cuddly, and intelligent.
They frequently rank lower in the pecking order than the more adamant females of your flock because of how calm and quiet they are.
Be mindful that they are frequently picked on by other chickens and take appropriate action.
Although they tend to linger out close to the feeders since they are a little bit lethargic, they are reputed to be good foragers.
Currently, neither the US nor the UK have recognized the Lavender Orpington as a color variation.
Like with all Orpingtons, the lavender plant, should resemble a large, hefty bird that is standing close to the ground. Short and curved should describe the back.
The tail is a little bit too short. Despite being a huge bird, they have a somewhat compact build.
A mature hen will weigh about 8 pounds, and a mature rooster will weigh roughly 10 pounds.
Orpingtons should have thick, smooth feathers that are well-furred. It is ideal for the feathers to be “close,” but not “tight” or “fluffy.”
As seen in game birds, “tight” feathers follow the shape of the body, whereas “fluffy” feathers are loose, like those of a Cochin hen.
Clean, slate-blue shanks and feet are present.
In show circles, it is unacceptable for a bird to occasionally have a few feathers on its legs, although strict breeding can get rid of this.
The eyes are a reddish bay hue, while the beak is black or horn colored.
Earlobes, wattles, and the comb are all crimson.
They are a five-pointed single comb variation.
The lavender ranks in the middle of the pack in terms of savviness if you’re a fan of free-range and enjoy letting your birds fly around unrestrained. They enjoy foraging and won’t go hungry if there is an abundance of leaves, insects, and grubs to eat. But when it comes to spotting predators, they are a little naive.
In general, the Orpington breed has a tendency to become engrossed in whatever it is doing while roaming free and may fail to notice the warning signs of an approaching predator.
A few hawks have been driven away from my Lavender Orpingtons. This problem is frequently resolved by bringing a rooster into your group of free-range animals.
Most of the time, lavenders are really amiable and will opt to Whilst you are out doing the chores, spend time close to you.
The lavender is a fantastic option if you’re searching for a nice companion free-ranger (mostly because the roosters rarely become aggressive).
Lavender Orpington Egg Laying and Health Issues
These Orpingtons are a very continuous stratum, as are the most of them. Each year, they ought to lay between 170-200 medium-sized, light brown eggs.
You can anticipate Orpingtons to become broody approximately once a year because they are known to be broody. If you have any eggs that need to hatch, place them beneath your Orpington because they make fantastic mothers! Because Lavender Orpingtons weigh a lot, their perches should be lower to prevent leg injuries.
They are a “feather duster on legs,” and underneath all that fluff, they are susceptible to lice and mites.
They take pleasure in a nice dust bath, but they keep a keen eye out for any infestations, particularly in the vicinity of the vent and beneath the wings. The hardest time for them to stay is during the winter.
How to Breed the Lavender Color
In the post on Blue Laced Red Wyandottes, we briefly discussed the lavender gene.
A recessive, diluting gene causes lavender, often known as self-blue in the US and pearl grey in the UK.
Diluting entails changing the primary color. For instance, red is diluted to a straw tint and black is trimmed to lavender. Even though it’s quite straightforward, this illustrates what the lavender gene accomplishes.
Each parent stock must contain one copy of the gene for lavender in order to produce lavender offspring.
Although time-consuming, the process of establishing your own line of lavenders is rather simple.
In order to guarantee any kind of project success, you would need to purchase from at least two or three unrelated lineages.A word of caution: The lavender gene is closely related to the “tail shredder” gene, which occasionally emerges during breeding. This gene causes delayed feather growth.
Is The Lavender Orpington Right For Your Flock?
The Lavender Orpington might take some time to warm up to you because they are naturally reserved, but once they do, they will enjoy following you about for goodies or lap cuddles!
Even the roosters are peaceful and docile, making them the perfect animals for young children to be around, though I would never leave a young child alone with a rooster.
They have a high level of cold tolerance, but they do poorly if they become wet since they can quickly become chilled and perish. After a rubdown, the hens typically enjoy a blow-dry!
As a result of their extensive feathering, orpingtons might have issues with heat and high temperatures. They require readily accessible sites for taking a dust bath, cool water, and shade. help them become cooler. In older birds, too much sunshine will cause the lavender color to slightly fade and take on brown or yellow undertones.
Although the American Poultry Association has not officially approved the color lavender, you are still free to exhibit if you so choose.
Orpingtons make excellent display birds because they endure a lot of fussing and handling and have a cool, nearly bomb-proof disposition.
As a result, they make excellent project birds for the 4H club, which many teenagers and young adults enjoy.
FAQs on Lavender Orpingtons!
Are Lavender Orpington Chickens Rare?
Let me explain, please. A recessive gene causes the chicken’s lavender hue. This means that in order to have a lavender orpington, both parents must carry the lavender gene.
It’s not as simple as saying, “Oh, let me just go shopping really quickly for a lavender orpington.” Breeders are required to have a hen and a rooster with that particular gene! And it would take considerably longer if you wanted to breed one.
Lavender Orpington: Summary
Any color Orpington is a reliable, dependable hen. They are amiable, non-violent, and will provide you a respectable number of eggs.
Their gloominess is the sole drawback. The Orpington is not a good choice if you don’t want broody chickens.
The Orpington, on the other hand, might be the finest lady for you if you want a hen who will sit on nearly any eggs.
They are not cheap; here in the US, a chick typically costs about $21.00, or $45.00 for a dozen hatching eggs. Shop around as usual; you get what you pay for!