I remember the first day Rosie came to our house. I had been doing some research on different breeds to figure out which ones I was going to add to our backyard flock. I was so excited to have a wider variety of colors wandering around the yard, but I wanted to ensure I was getting a breed that was a good egg layer yet docile and hearty. The Lavender Orpington was one of my top picks.
The Lavender Orpington is, in my opinion, one of the most gorgeous breeds of chickens. Their plumage is so light and fluffy and they’ve brought a really fun dynamic to our flock. I’ve since added two more to our coop and have enjoyed learning more about this incredible chicken.
I found this awesome chart over at the Happy Chicken Coop to give us a good overall snapshot of this breed.
Lavender Orpington Breakdown
Orpingtons are a standard breed although this color is not recognized
Calm and friendly bird
Need plenty of shade and water during the summer months
Space Per Bird
4-10 square feet per bird
Eggs Per Year
Male: 160 oz (10 lbs.)
Femail: 128 oz (8 lbs.)
Single, five point
Processing Age Ready
Between 16-20 weeks
Cost of Chicken
Between $4-$8 per chick depending on sex
My Experience With Orpingtons in My Flock
What I love about all three of my Lavender Orpingtons is their gentleness with their flock mates. They are not at the top of the pecking order, nor are they at the bottom. They like to stick together but will accept others into their little group within the flock.
They lay a nice medium, light brown egg and lay anywhere from 170-200 eggs/year.
Orpingtons, in general, are known to be broody, but I haven’t had a problem with mine yet. Time will tell as they grow, but so far, they’ve been fairly easy to break in the broodiness department!
Their feathers are so big and poofy, they look like they may be heavier than they actually are. They aren’t overly vocal or noisy which is nice. I know…they’re sounding pretty perfect, aren’t they?
Florence doing a little sunbathing as a chick.
Rosie is one of my only chickens that doesn’t mind the snow!
History of the Orpington
According to Home, Garden and Homestead, the first Orpington chickens were bred by William Cook in the 1800s, who named them after the small town of Orpington, England. Cook bred them to be the perfect dual-purpose bird, meaning great egg layers and great meat birds for the dinner table.
Cook took his prized Orpingtons to U.S. poultry shows, and the breed was an instant hit. Before long, the original black-colored Orpington was joined by several other colors, including white, red and the American favorite: buff.
During the mid-20th century, when small homesteads were replaced by large-scale poultry farms, the Orpington breed fell out of favor. Orpingtons were eventually placed on the “threatened” breed list. But during the past 30 years or so, the breed has seen a resurgence as a family and show breed.
Today, Orpington chickens are more popular than ever. Lavender Orpington chickens are a more recent addition to the Orpington family. The color, introduced in the late 1990s, is technically a very diluted black. It resulted after decades of breeding in the U.K. This color breeds “true,” so two Lavender Orpington chickens will produce all Lavender babies.
Where to Buy the Lavender Orpington
Honestly? If you’re looking for a great starter chicken, the Lavender Orpington (or any Orpington!) is a great bird. They are so sweet and friendly to both other chickens and people. They are hearty and handle extreme weather decently well. I highly recommend adding this all-around great breed to your flock!
If you’re looking to add this beautiful breed to your flock, check out Hoover’s Hatchery. I’ve had great success using Hoover’s and receiving my chicks via the mail. It might seem scary, but don’t be worried. It’s simple and the chicks arrive safe and sound. Don’t forget though, they’ll be a little dehydrated and fragile when they arrive. Make sure you have the Baby Chick Care Kit on hand to get them rehydrated and off to a strong start.
Happy chick season, friends!
Until next time,
-The Wing Lady