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Newbie with orpington question!

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Hi all.


I've finally done it! I've got an empty cube sat in the garden waiting for the WIR that is being delivered early next week. Now I need some help with filling it!


I've decided on a combination of hybrids and pure breeds and had my heart set on one of them being an orpington. I thought I had found supplier nearby but they no longer do them as they don't lay enough eggs. Do those of you who have them agree with this? Are they good for a first time chicken keeper?


Does anyone know of anyone who supplies them in Scotland, I'm just south of Glasgow.


Thank you!

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Welcome aboard :D


I've got a feeling it depends on the bird and the strain - our original flock had two orpingtons, a buff and a gold-laced (Matilda and Florence), and they were such lovely, friendly, cuddly birds, especially Matilda - I've said on here before she was the chicken version of Bagpuss.


Matilda (Buff) didn't start laying until quite late (well over 6 months old I think), but once she got going this spring, she was great; think we probably got an egg off her at least every other day, probably averaged at 4-5 per week. Florence (G-L) wasn't quite so prolific, but certainly almost every other day, 3-4/week normally. Unfortunately, they were the victims of a fox attack a few weeks ago, so I don't know what they're like over the winter, but I fully expected them to go off lay after they'd moulted, and then restart in the spring. We however also had a few hybrids in with our pure breeds (also had some silkies, pekins and a cream legbar), so expected to still have a few eggs over the winter, just not so many as we'd enjoyed in the summer.


Pic of Matilda (at the back) below for you:



In fact, I loved my original orps so much, when we started rebuilding the flock a couple of weeks ago, we've bought another gold-laced girl and two splashes, and fully intend to get another buff. They're still pretty young at the moment, so not sure if we'll get any eggs before the winter, but we live in hope :pray:


On the whole, I'd thoroughly recommend the breed - our girls have all been docile, especially once they started laying, friendly, and very tame (with the help of mealworms). We were complete chicken novices this time last year when our first girls arrived, and had bought the original orpington girls after some fairly careful research into their nature, but also after falling in love with their appearance, with their big fluffy knickers :lol:


Afraid I can't help with a supplier in your part of the country (we're in Kent, so probably just a wee bit too far away :lol: ), but I'd definitely say go for it if you can find a breeder. Have you tried looking on here and on the Poultry Pages site? also I think Practical Poultry has a breeder list in the back of the magazine.


Good luck - they really are wonderful birds GNR


Our new girls - Emily (white splash), Madeleine (dark splash) and Hope (gold-laced)




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yay - I'm sure you won't regret it :dance:


we went for the hybrids for real 'egg production' and then the fluffy girls because I loved them, although they did surprise us with how good they were. I think the key is to try to find someone who still breeds more for utility, rather than show birds (ours are all farm birds from a local chap, who mainly breeds orps because he likes them)


Wish I had a better photo of Matilda to upload, you could pick her up and cuddle her, she was like a giant ginger feather cushion :D


When you do track your birds down, make sure you let us see some pictures - fairly sure I'm not the only orp lover on here

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I would be tempted to say go for two orpies as they are, im my experience more docile than hybrids and they will likely pair off with each other. I have one left out of a pair now and she found it terribly hard without her sister as shes the quiet one of the bunch. They can go broody a lot too so be prepared for that. :D

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good point on the broodiness - it didn't happen with my girls, but again, wouldn't have been surprised if it had at some point, and the new girls will probably treat me all together next spring knowing my luck :lol:


Agree about two together - both our original girls, and the new ones, definitely stick together.

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Thanks for your welcome everyone.


I hadn't thought about getting two so thanks for that bit of advice CookieMonster and for chicken village Redwing.


That means I'll have to rethink my other choices now! I have been advised that 6 girls in my 12' x 6' run will be ok as they will be free ranging for some part of everyday, if I go for 2 orpingtons should I reduce the number as they are so big?

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I would have thought they'd be ok as they'll be out free-ranging - our new girls will be in a similar sized area once we've finished building it, and you'll only have two orps in with a mixture of smaller birds. I think the recommended minimum run space is 1 sq. metre per bird.


I'm no expert though, however, there are plenty on here, so hopefully someone can give you a more accurate answer.

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I have a 12 x 6 with the cube attached on the side rather than inside and I have 7 girls (I had 8 at one time), all of varying sizes, 1 of which is a bantam who all get along great, I have two mezzanine levels in there and two perches so there are different areas that they can choose to go whilst in there.


Like you mine freerange some of the day. I think the size of the run is about using your judgement, as orps are large so my theory was they took up a little bit more room, however my bantie takes up less, as do some of my smaller hybrids so really just use your judgement on what you pick, and most of all enjoy yourself, chicken selecting is one of my all time favourite things to do... :D


let us know how you get on.

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Thanks CookieMonster that's good to know. How have you done the mezzanine levels? It's something I'd like to do but am not sure how.


Fluffy Chick the cochins look lovely! Do their fluffy feet make them more difficult to look after?


Have just had it confirmed that my run's coming on Tuesday, can't wait! :dance:

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