Buff Orpington chickens start laying eggs between 22-26 weeks of age (about 6 months). You should be able to tell if your Buff Orpingtons are point-of-lay and close to laying their first egg when their combs and wattles redden and they start to squat.
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How Many Eggs Do Buff Orpingtons Lay?
With any chicken breed, there are a lot of factors to take into account when determining how many eggs they will lay a week, month, year, and so on.
As a general rule of thumb, Buff Orpingtons lay in the range of 200-280 eggs per year.
This certainly puts them among the more prolific laying breeds. So, if you’re after a backyard breed of chicken that will provide a healthy supply of eggs, Buff Orpingtons are a great choice.
When you take into account that creating an egg takes around 24-26 hours from start to finish, producing around 5 eggs a week means they don’t take much of a break!
Keep in mind that they’ll lay fewer eggs over the winter months. Chickens rely on good sunlight to lay eggs at their best, around 15 hours a day is optimal.
When this is not possible in winter as the number of daylight hours reduces, their photoperiodic hormones will not trigger as often and they’ll produce fewer eggs.
What Color Eggs Do Buff Orpingtons Lay?
Buff Orpingtons lay light brown colored large eggs. Basically, the same brown color eggs you typically see sold in supermarkets.
It’s unlikely the eggs you’re buying have been laid by Buff Orpingtons though. The chicken breeds used on egg farms are usually ISA Browns, Leghorns, and some other prolific breeds.
How Long Do Buff Orpingtons Chickens Lay Eggs?
Buff Orpingtons have a life expectancy of around 8-9 years, which is fairly normal for chickens.
This doesn’t mean you’re going to get 8-9 years (once they start laying) of peak egg-laying performance though, far from it.
Once hens start laying, they hit their peak fairly quickly. After a brief period of ‘pullet eggs’, you can expect them to lay at their best for the first couple of years.
Numbers will then start to drop off each year. For example, a Buff Orpington will typically lay around 10-15% fewer eggs each year, and this increases further after 3-4 years.
This really does depend on a lot of factors though. Such as their living conditions, general health, nutrition, the climate, and so on, so do take this a (very) rough guide.
Some History and Facts About Buff Orpingtons Chickens
Buff Orpingtons are just Orpingtons, which is a breed of chicken. It’s just that Orpingtons - and this is true of most breeds - are further classified into color categories.
‘Buff’ refers to the color, which is a lovely golden-yellow color. It’s the most common or popular color of Orpington, so much so that most people think all Orpingtons are Buff-colored.
They get their name from the town of Orpington, located in southeast London, and was developed there by a chap called William Cook back in the late 1800s.
William crossed Black Plymouth Rock hens with Minorca roosters, then bred the offspring with Langshans. Sounds simple, doesn’t it?
He was after a cold-weather hardy chicken that had dual-purpose use as a meat bird, and was a prolific layer - and it’s fair to say he achieved that!
Some quick facts about Orpingtons:
- Male Orpingtons are large chickens weighing around 8-10 lbs
- Female Orpingtons weigh around 6-8 lbs
- They have a very docile temperament and are great with kids and pets
- Their nickname is “Golden Chicken Beauties” which I think is quite fitting
Where To Buy Buff Orpingtons Chickens, Chicks, and Hatching Eggs
The best place to buy any chickens, chicks, hatching eggs, and so on online is from Cackle Hatchery.
Cackle Hatchery is an NPIP registered hatchery, they hold a huge range of poultry, ship all over the country, and have been in business since 1936!
I took a look on their site, and at the time of writing this Cackle Hatchery was selling Buff Orpington baby chicks for as low as $1.95/ea if you bought a large enough number!
They also had pullets in stock, as well as some other varieties and colors of Orpingtons like Silver Laced, Jubilee, and Lavender - which I have to say look very cool!
Are Buff Orpingtons a Good Choice for a Backyard Breed?
Buff Orpingtons are an excellent choice for the backyard setting. In fact, they pretty much check all the boxes for what people typically look for in backyard breeds.
They lay a large number of eggs, are able to tolerate a wide range of weather conditions, have a docile and friendly personality, are hardy and easy to care for, and most importantly - they're a lot of fun to raise!
What Is the Difference Between a Buff Orpington and an Orpington?
The only difference between an Orpington chicken and a Buff Orpington is the color. ‘Buff’ is the color, which is a yellow-gold color.
There are various other colors of Orpingtons, such as Blue, Black, Red, White, Splash, and Buff Columbian to name a few.
Where Did Buff Orpingtons Originate?
Like a lot of chicken breeds over the years, Orpingtons are named after the location where they were first bred.
The Orpington chicken originates from the town of Orpington which is located in southeast London and was first bred in the 1800s.
Are Orpington Chickens Rare?
The Buff variety of Orpingtons are not rare, no. Most of the other color varieties are much rarer, with some colors only being found with specialist breeders.
I’m not sure why the Buff is the most popular color by far. I mean, it is obviously a striking yellow-gold color, but you hardly see or hear of any of the other color varieties.
Image credits - Photo by Andy Holmes on Unsplash