Rose & Blanche (Buff Orpingtons)
If I had to choose a breed to suggest for first time flock owners, the Buff Orpington would be the one I would pick. Especially for families with children who are concerned about the temperament of their birds, the Buff Orpington never disappoints. At the same time, these docile darlings are excellent layers of light brown eggs as well as an excellent meat bird (not that I personally know this!). Within our own flock, our Buff Orpingtons, Rose and Blanche, are certainly the most social and even dangerously nosy at times. We’ve often been working in the run and Rose will be right around the head of the hoe or attempting to forage in between our feet. When gathering eggs, either Rose or Blanche are guaranteed to come into the coop to see what we’re doing and survey the collection process. According to Backyard Chickens, they tend to go broody quite often, but this hasn’t been our experience in the almost three and a half years we’ve had them.
Lulabelle (Light Brahma)
Brahmas are best known for being the gentle giants of the poultry world. Check out this video posted of a GIANT rooster and his hen! They’re reliable egg layers and tolerant of cold temperatures due to their extra feathering. Our Brahma, Lulabelle, is uncharacteristically small for the breed, unlike her late sister, Lucy Lou who was quite large. Lulabelle is also quite skittish compared to the rest and we’re not completely sure why. Our theory is that she was picked on quite a bit as a youngster and that’s translated into how she interacts with people.
Pepper, Piper & the Hoover hens (Black Australorps)
Australorps are another very common backyard breed for a combination of egg laying and meat production. They’re hardy, easy keepers, content with confinement or free ranging. Most reviewers on backyardchickens.com absolutely love them and call them out for being the sweetest, most friendly birds, but this hasn’t exactly been our personal experience with them. When integrating our newest chickens, they were the ones most likely to pick on them as well as being our most vocal, which isn’t super convenient for living in a subdivision.
The kids of the bunch: Belinda, Blondie & Biff (Blue Buff Colombian Orpingtons & Lavender Marans)
Belinda and Blondie are our two Blue Buff Colombian Orpingtons. Belinda is super sweet and will sit on my husband’s leg to be petted, while her brother, Blondie, is still a little wary of us. Our rooster, Biff, is a lavender Marans and is definitely very vocal, but also very sweet. He hasn’t shown any aggression toward us or any of his flockmates. Biff is the first rooster we’ve ever owned and we were certainly concerned about his demeanor from reading the horror stories of others, but have been pleasantly surprised by how docile and gentle he is. We got these three from Chicken Ridge Farm located in Alexandria, KY this past March.
So, there you are! You’ve met our feathered family. 🙂 Now, feel free to introduce us to yours!