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Lavender Araucana or Buff Orpington

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Good Morning fellow Chicken lovers,

After having mixed joy with hybrid hens after a number of years (main issues being bully hens) I've decided to get some pure breeds only and see if i have better luck with their behaviours. 

After reading in to different breeds I am between getting 5 Lavender Araucanas or 4 Buff Orpingtons. A good breeder has Orp POL's now and is getting Araucana POL's in a couple weeks.

What i really want is calm docile hens that are less likely to bully each other, lay good number of eggs and don't mind some confinement.

By confinement i mean a 4m x 3m full height covered walk in run that has a number of perches, a peck pan and caddi treat holders with pecker balls etc and large feed / drink stations. Also covered in a few inch deep layer of hard wood chip over bare earth. I also have a kMk2 Cube.

I will let them free range when I'm in the garden only due to foxes. But with the DEFRA restrictions becoming a yearly thing for a number of months, being confined to the walk in run is becoming a more permanent thing it seems.


Anyone with experiences with either of these breeds? Would 4 buff orpingtons fit okay in my Mk2 Cube? Based on my main needs what would you go for?

The Araucana's will give me more eggs, plus love the fact they are blue and could fit 5 in the coop. Supposedly docile and don't mind confinement. But Orps are apparently the most calm / friendly of all hens but would give me slightly less eggs and probably couldnt fit more than 4 in a mk2 Cube?

Thanks for your help everyone.

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I presume we are talking Large Fowl orps.  Having kept/bred them for many years, you can certainly fit 4 in a Cube (although I had the Mk 1), in fact I had 6 or 7 in mine, but they spent all day FR.  Your set is big enough for 4, inside and out, and yes, they do bear confinement well.  They are a docile breed, without much trouble between them, although they are not the most friendly with humans, and you are right, they are not the most prolific but you do get a steady supply.  Just bear in mind that orps are not POL at 16 weeks, its more like 20-24.  Having said that, I am a believer in buying orp hens a bit later in life (ie 6-12 months) as you can see what you are getting.

I would certainly recommend them for your set up (and their beauty!) 

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Hi Daphne,

Thank you for your reply. Yes apologies I’m talking about large fowl for both breeds.

I would be tempted for 5 Orps but not sure if I would be pushing the space limits a little, especially in the summer months?

As much as I love them for the personalities and garden mischievousness, a big part of me keeping hens is for the eggs. 

We get through 15 eggs a week as a minimum so would need 3 eggs a week at least from each if I had 5 birds and it is always nice to be able to give some away. This is really why I would only really go for large fowl.

So at the minute I’m really 50 / 50 with leaning towards lavender Araucana’s for the slightly better egg numbers and months of laying but then leaning towards the buff orps for their friendly / docile nature.

Who knew keeping chooks could be so mind boggling!





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Well, as eggs are important to you, maybe go with the araucana.  My girls would provide at least 3 eggs each a week, most of the time 4 and sometimes 5, but with 4 hens thats only 12 eggs, although I think you do have space for 5, but perhaps its not ideal, it really depends on how much ranging time they get.  Another thought is that some strains of orps can have a broody tendency, so that rules out quite a bit of time as well, but its certainly not a definite trait in all of them.  Have fun choosing whichever way you go!

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