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My 2015 buff orpington breeding selection, more pics to be added

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CynthiaM

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Time to spice up our poor, dedragled, quiet forum, maybe with spring time coming, there will be more people putting some posts in here, it has been way too quiet, way too long. Get those posts happening, my friends, and well...good morning to you all

Time to do a little showing off of who is who in the zoo. This particular thread is about buff orpingtons. Been working on improving the breed for about 4 years now, still mountains to climb, but I see improvement every year. The original flock, which is the breeder flock (I had hatchery buffs before, loved them, hence my love of the variety in the breed discovered. the hatchery stock is no longer with us). I moved on to breeder quality, which came from Ontario hatching eggs. She sent eggs from her birds to me (a very expensive endeavour), which were from the Paul Homer line, and another breeder of high quality buff orpingtons. There is also one hen in my breeding group, who is three years old. She is of American origin, raised from imported hatching eggs, also from a well known breeder of exhibition buff orpingtons. I attritubte a whole lotta of nice hens in my breeders currently to her input, smiling that big smile. She is beautiful. I keep saying that my breeder gals are nice. I think they are. Others may think differently and see faults, but I am pleased with where I have been going so far. As I said, so much more work to do, but I am on that boat and willing to listen and learn, it’s all good, smiling again.

The year of 2013 brought me a bit of trouble with a handful of chicks that displayed yellow shanks. That became noticeable after about 3 weeks of age. Time told the tale and the issue was dealt with I hope. Two culprits were removed from the breeding group. Last year, 2014, I hatched out about 100 chicks I would venture to say, and I did not observe any shanks other than the required colour for the breed. I am pleased and think that this has been rectified. But still do not say that things may crop up again. Also, I can’t remember if it was last year or the year before, off the top of my head, there were 4 chicks over the season that had displayed a few feathers on their shanks. Those were not kept, a huge defect for the breed. Things to watch closely for.

So as we go into the season for 2015, I have high hopes for some lovely lovelies. The current rooster, who now has obtained the title of Rooster, as he is one year old, plus about 2 weeks is a lovely dude. Inside and out. He looks pretty nice (and this is where I would like criticism from some, whether it is good or bad, I love it all), of course improvement as always, but he is decent. His tailset may be a little high, not sure how to measure the degree with any apparatus or even what apparatus to use, smiling... (anyone got some tips on how to do this?). Orpington should have a 25% angle on the horizontal from the back to tail, his may be higher than that, just not sure though. Opinions please....when the pictures are in here. I feel very critical of my birds and so should be I do suppose. The hens could certainly have a more even buff colour throughout their feathers, but these things I am working on too. There was two gals from last years hatchings that I kept on. They display that even buff shading throughout the body. As I bring hens to visit Mr. Rooster, I will get pictures of them too and add them to this thread.

The rooster has not had good fertility this fall, with a couple of incubations I have performed. He does have sperm I know that, because there has been a few chicks hatched. But the numbers have been not good, only about 30%, not cutting it. So on to some measures to improve this have been underway. The male had been running with 10 buff Orpington hens, 3 barred rocks and four Cooper’s hybrid (from Coopslave). He has probably had more than enough to keep him busy. As this season progresses, I will be releasing the non-Oprington hens to friends, so less for him to keep his mind and body busy, smiling. He will only have his specific breed to be hangin’ out with. Yes, so Mr. Rooster has been removed from the flock and is living in the chick grow out pen with 4 buff chicks that are 9 weeks old and 7 buff chicks that are 4 weeks old. He was happy enough, he liked all the little dudes. I left him in there a couple of days, as I was going to introduce to him, the gals that clearly he did not enjoy to mate. I can tell who he is active with by the look of the feathers on the gals. Oops, bad boy, he should be a little more gentle. Anyways, yes, so there are 6 hens that he needs to pay specific attention to. So for two consecutive times now I have brought him a gal, a gal that he has not engaged with, that I can tell. He was pretty happy and performed many mating dances with each girl on the day that the girl came to visit. (after two days with Mr. Mr., the gal was removed and the next day a new one introduced, same happy dancing, smiling again). Oh right, forgot the best part....did ventral plucking on him before he went to new abode and on each girl before she was given to him. But in all honesty, I don’t think that the area looked that overly fluffy that cloaca kisses would have been impeded. But I plucked anyways, why not eh? Can’t hurt to cover each base. So about another week, the rest of the gals will be brought to him, one, by one, day by second day, and all the girls that I think he has not covered will be hopefully mated enough that they are full of the little swimmers. This might ensure a good hatching season. The gals that he has given attention to are covered with chicken saddles now, so they will be protected when he returns, maybe he won’t like them then...and we will have to start all over, laughing.

Thus is my little story about my little life with the chooks. Hope you enjoyed. Have a most wonderful day, CynthiaM.

This is the rooster dude, he is just one week over one year old. He is just into a bit of a molt, I noticed a couple of his wing feathers sticking sideways, which indicates a new feather is pushing out the old one I suppose, smiling that big smile. I would love to hear comments from other people, breeders, judges would be even better, smiling -- on that is the thought on type of the fellow. No picture of back width, but I believe to be decent. I will also get a picture of him from above, he is yet young, and will change much over the next six months and more...He needs improvement, which I cannot do, but certainly selection for future progeny breeders, here we come! Need input on what to work on please...



One cannot even tell that he has had ventral feathers plucked, smiling



Just another angle of the fellow



Mister had some frostbite on his comb, it can be seen here, the tips turned black and have mostly atrophied. Did not seem to affect him one little bit, darned single combs



This is one of the older gals, she was 2013 hatched. Nice healthy genes coming from her and any other gal that is living on our farm.



One of the original hens from the 2011 hatching. She is now 4 years old, long, happy life, she is one of my beauties, inside and out.

There will be more pictures, once I have taken each gal into a conjugal visit with mister mister



Another angle of same 2011 hen




mirycreek

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oh wow! nice to see pics of your birds...i know very little about orpingtons but i am always so amazed by their deep fluffy look. like ladies with layers and layers of petticoats.
so nice to see them...some very nice photos and best of luck with your hatching
i can see some snow piles outside your pen but you have it nice and clear inside
i remember those years in bc when i thought snow fell straight down

out here our snow falls sideways!! ha ha

http://www.feathers-farm.webs.com

Farmer Bob

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Great post! I'm always so envious of your hens Cynthia! My flock is still all derived from Hatchery stock, and there surely is a difference, especially in the hens! My largest hen is less than 7 lbs.

CynthiaM

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Thanks Miry and Farmer Bob. But Farmer Bob, I bet your hatchery buffs are awesome and still wonderful in their own light, and I bet my bottom dollar they are egg laying machines! Hatchery stock can be wonderful too, they all have their wonderful place in this world. When I had the hatchery stock, long ago, I loved them, they began my desire for the buff, such a clean and wonderful colour, they were awesome hens, so was the rooster, (well, one of the roosters, then a mean one came and he went to soupy heaven). Hatchery certainly have their place. I have raised a good few roosters and have not yet encountered one mean one in my flock. Contrary to what I have heard about how some can be so in that way. Beautiful tempered boys. Have a wonderful day, CynthiaM.

CynthiaM

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As I bring each hen in for her conjugal visit, I will take a picture of her in the coop, just to have a record of who has been brought in. There was something interesting going on, which I will require to get pictures of and bring here. During the breeding season of 2014 (last year) there were two pullets that were what I would consider outstanding with their even buff colouring that was visible. It looked to me what the standard requires, an even shade of buff. Yes. These two girls did have that. The only two that I had kept on for breeding this year. Well, yesterday I spent a whole lotta time sitting on the roost in the chickens’ house. The cochins are in the same building, adjacent to the buff orpingtons, separated of course by a dandy poultry wire high fence, nigh to about 8 feet tall. I was just watching and watching. I had taken my garden three prong fork with the long handle and mixed up the chickens’ floors, as I know there is nice stuff under the bedding that was somewhat compressed. The orpingtons, wow, now that was a honker of a job. I think because they get out more to free range that they make the bedding more wet, it was slightly more compressed and difficult than the cochins. Whose floor bedding was nothing to mix up and stir up. Both pens got a jim dandy whack of new shavings. Hens thought that they were surely in heaven. It was fun sitting there, spending that time in the coop. Lord thunderin’, if my family only knew the things I do, smiling that big smile. Anyways to get on to what I was going to speak to. Those two gals from the 2014 breeding I thought were also two of the ones that the male has not paid attention to because their back feathers were very intact and showed no wear. But what I saw, surely made me feel differently. There was three of the gals that displayed this. Lack of feathers raffled and muffled up. But, oh and today I certainly will get some good pictures, it clearly shows that he had been treading them...hold on...because....(oh those ellipses, smiling)....on each of the hens head there was a lack of feathers, behind the comb, where the feathers begin to go down the neck. Hmmmm.....clearly these hens have been mated, and probably a good many times. (regardless, they are going for conjugal visits). I know that the roosters grab onto the poor hen’s head when he does his thing, and many times the head is barren of feathers there, and sometimes a bit of comb damage. So yes, wondering about pondering about stuff now. I wonder and ponder if those females have a more tight feathering, which causes for lack of disturbance from the male. I do wonder. And now I wonder if this is good, or if this is bad. The breed is supposed to be fluffy. They are, but wonder about that feathered back thing. Or....is this good....a strong, happy feather, that can withstand the rooster treading. I don’t know. But something worthy of pondering and speaking about. Anyways, to keep this thread short (ya right eh?), I will just put on a few pictures. Have a wonderful day, CynthiaM.

So this is the gal that I brought in yesterday, two pictures of her. She does not have a leg band for year marking, she lost that in the fall. But I do know that she is the only one that does not sport a leg band to mark year, and I know it was red, which indicated the 2013 year offspring. So she is nigh to two years old now.

The gal in all her glory. I don’t use a flash when I am inside taking pictures. There is too much light I think which makes the pictures seem a little more bright than they are. She is actually a darker shade of buff than the picture shows. Which her feathers were more even buff though. That is something I am working on with my buff orpingtons though.

This is a 2013 breeding hen, she should have a red leg band to indicate that year, gotta get on that for surely



Same gal, different view



And just for fun, here is a 9 week old cockerel. He is displaying a very nice looking cushion already. Him and 9 other chicks are currently sharing the chick grow out pen with the conjugal visit critters, smiling. There is 4 of his age (2 males, 2 females) and 6 that are 5 weeks old (3 males, two females) (go figure that eh? Even numbers of gender ratio, strange as strange can be)



CynthiaM

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Unfortunately, I don't think that the hen from the states line will get in this photoshoot.  She looks (Heather, take note, smiling) like crap.  She is coming up two very shortly and is going through a very hideous molt, she looks like she has been defeathered.  But give her a month or so, and boy oh boy....she is outstanding in every way.  I think that I will get a photoshoot of her when she has her new clothes and add her to this thread.  She is marvelous and deserves that.  She is one of my gals that I think has brought such diversity in genetics to my breeder orps.  Have a wonderful day, CynthiaM.

As it turns out, this US hen was not the one molting, so she is having a little post here about her, with a picture of course



Last edited by CynthiaM on Thu Feb 05, 2015 6:58 am; edited 1 time in total

authenticfarm

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Lovely fluffy butts! I have learned a little about Orpingtons by osmosis, being friends with an Orp breeder, and yours look very nice indeed.

http://www.partridgechanteclers.com

CynthiaM

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This is a picture of probably one of the finest of my buff Orpington breeder flock, and in particular, for your interest Heather.  She is the gal that is of American lineage.  Imported from the US in 2013.  She has gone through a good molt and for sure these are her true colours.  I thought that she was the hen in a molt, but as it turns out, it was another hen.  I know who she is because she still wears one of the two bands that was placed on her leg when I got her.  She is now two years old and I am going to keep her in with the rooster for about a week, so I can gather her eggs, I have great interest in incubating her eggs this year.  And since I spend so much time in the chickens’ coops, I think I could probably watch her more closely and see when she is laying and gather those eggs too.  Will be interesting how the progeny of her with my male turn out.  I will be keeping all of her offspring for my own purposes.  The picture does not do her actual glory.  She is an even nice shade of buff all over, with that being no light feathers, the exposure on the picture is too light, to see in person is quite different.  Enjoy.  And have a wonderful day, CynthiaM.

Derbyshire

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CynthiaM they are all beautiful- they look so peaceful.

CynthiaM

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Yesterday the American hen laid an egg, it was carefully marked, so for sure she is in laying mode, good. As I said, she will remain with the male for a good week, so I can get at least a few eggs I positively know are hers. She lays quite a light coloured egg and I am going to look over the buff eggs that I have been gathering for the next incubation and see if there are any eggs that look similar to what she laid and put a question mark on those if similar. I find with the breed quite often hens lay a particular shade and I can be reasonably sure which one lays a particular egg, nothing positive, but high possibility. When she goes back into the main flock I will try to keep watch on her. Have a most awesome day . CynthiaM

viczoe

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Cindi she has matured into an ample woman and I am really glad to see you are working hard at single mating. Your efforts will pay off be assured. Try to get as many eggs as you can from miss Buffy as she is impressive. Remember when she went though that funny molt? She is a beautiful shade now isn't she.
So sorry about your finger heal quickly.

Heather

http://www.triple-h.ca

CynthiaM

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Thank you Heather for those encouraging words. I was waiting to see if you would reply, smiling that big smile...you did. Anyways, yes, she is ample, she is huge and weighs a ton, no fat, but just a heavy bird, shockingly so. Anyways, she has been in the pen 3 days asnd has laid two eggs, they are marked. I am going to watch her eggs and see if they look the same each day, I would say for about a week. I am setting an incubator full of cochin and buff eggs next Friday, and she will remain with mister for that period. I do need sall her eggs (my spelling please psrdon, I am not correcting, my finger is annoying me Shocked ) . I should have 7 or 8 of hers hopefully. I think she lays a particulsr shade and look, so might be able to ascertain which sre hers when she goes back in with the other hens. I have collected a good many buff eggs for about 10 days now and now that I know what her eggs look like, I will see if there sre any others similar in that gathering. That might corroborate which ones in future layings could be hers....or not....gonna get a picture of her eggs today, just for recordkeeping. That funny molt, yes, she did have some light feathers that chsanged as the season went on. She has been now through enough molting that these should be her true colours. I suspect as she ages, that she may become with more light feathers, who kows. I asm going to let her and mister out into the outside coop today and will get some shots which should show her true, even buff shade, inside pictures are just not right, need natural light, she is as beauty. Have sa wonderful day, CynthiaM.

Natasha-FCR

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Really nice birds. I always think of Buff Orps as such a quintessential breed. They symbolize sweetness in my mind. Very pretty Cynthia. Thanks for sharing.

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