To some, Lavender Orpington Chickens might appear grey, but they are actually lavender. The Lavender Orpington Chicken breed belongs to the Orpington family. It is revered for its beauty, friendliness, and ease of rearing.
If you are just about to start a poultry farm in your backyard, you may have a hard time choosing a breed to raise. But, if you consider your options, the Lavender Orpington Chicken breed should be a strong contender.
Before you decide to start raising Lavender Orpingtons, it is only right that you learn more about them. Check out our profile of the Lavender Orpington Chicken breed below.
It all started with the Black Orpington created by William Cook in the 1800s.
In England, during the 19th century, people did not find chickens appealing. During that period, many chickens appeared scrawny.
For this reason, William Cook made attempts to create a healthy-looking, nourished, and improved breed. He was looking to make a good layer that could also be used for meat.
Cook’s efforts led to the creation of the Black Orpington, the first Orpington that was bred. He named the breed after Orpington, a village in Kent, England, in which he lived.
Cook created many other Orpingtons after the Black Orpingtons, with the Buff Orpingtons being one of the most popular ones.
Of the many Orpingtons that are currently in existence, the Lavender Orpingtons are one of the most recent ones.
About a century after the Black Orpingtons were created, the Lavenders were created.
Priscilla Middleton, a British poultry breeder, was credited with the creation of Lavender Orpingtons in the mid-1900s.
The creation of Lavender Orpingtons was achieved by Priscilla Middleton after several years of cross-breeding. In her quest for a certain type and size, she continued crossing the birds until she got what she wanted.
While the Lavender Orpingtons started out in the UK, they’ve become well-known across Europe and the USA. The breed is rare in the United States. So far, it has not been recognized by the American Poultry Association (APA).
Unsurprisingly, Lavender Orpingtons look a lot like Buff Orpingtons. They are fluffy, large, and well-feathered.
Lavender Orpington chickens have no muffs or beards. They have medium-sized red wattles, and their combs are single and red with 5 points.
Their beaks and legs are colored to match the color of their feathers, their backs are rounded, and their tails are short.
Size and Weight
Lavender Orpingtons are heavy and broad bodied. An average rooster should weigh about 10 lbs., while a hen will weigh around 8 lbs.
Lavender Orpingtons are docile, gentle, and very friendly. This makes them easy targets for bullies. So you should keep them away from aggressive birds.
Chickens of this breed are non-aggressive to humans. In fact, more times than not, they love sticking around their owners. They will jump in for treats and cuddles, and they generally make great pets.
Lavender Orpington Chickens love foraging. They go after greens, grubs, and bugs, and if there’s enough around, they won’t go hungry.
Although Lavender Orpingtons love foraging, they are not very watchful, and this leaves them prone to attacks by predators. Coupled with not being very alert, they are also not great at flying. So, you should ensure they stay in well-guarded spaces.
Alternatively, you may get more roosters in the pack. The roosters are decent protectors, even while being nonviolent to humans.
Lavender Orpingtons are one of the larger breeds of chickens, and their size leaves them prone to leg injuries. For this reason, they should perch lower.
Also, with all the fluffy feathers all over their bodies, Lavender Orpingtons are prone to carrying mites and lice around.
If they ever get infested, you’ll most likely find the parasites in regions around the chickens’ vent and beneath their wings. So, keep a keen eye on those areas.
While Lavender Orpingtons tend to be very cold hardy, you should keep them from getting wet.
Lavender Orpingtons breed true. In other words, if two chickens of this breed mate, they will produce Lavender offsprings.
However, if one chicken mates with a chicken from another breed, you won’t get a Lavender chick. The Lavender trait is a recessive trait resulting from years of breeding that diluted the black plumage of their predecessors.
As with their other Orpington counterparts, Lavender Orpington Chickens are moderate egg layers. They average 170-200 eggs per year.
At one point, Lavender Orpingtons were said to lay around 340 eggs per year. But this ability declined when breeders started favoring appearance over productivity.
Lavender Orpingtons are quite broody. Their broodiness sets in at least once a year, and they make great mothers to chicks.
Eggs from a Lavender Orpington are usually light brown. Sometimes, they appear to have a light pink tint.
Lavender Orpington Chickens lay medium-sized to large eggs.
Time to Lay
Lavender Orpingtons lay 3-4 eggs per week. Like other Orpingtons, the Lavenders tend to start laying eggs late.
While many breeds typically start around 18-20 weeks, Lavender Orpingtons may not start till they are 24-28 weeks old.
Where to Get Them
Lavender Orpingtons are rare, and this makes them relatively expensive. The cost of getting one of these birds ranges from $10-30.
The Lavender Orpington breed only comes in Lavender. However, the Orpington family has some other colors, including black, blue, buff, and white.
Lavender Orpington Chickens are very friendly birds that would do well in your backyard. You can keep them as pets, for meat, or for eggs.
They are decent layers, they are broody, and they breed true. But they are relatively expensive because of their rarity.