Orpington Chickens

What's not to like about Orpingtons??  The Kings and Queens of large fowl feather.  Here's King Elwood...  

Orpington Chickens

Our first ever hens were two Speckled Sussex girls; we called them Sparkle and Glitter. Our pefect, poultry princesses.  They were truly stunning and we loved them dearly, but we found that without a cockerel they were unruly and roaming way too far. Plus, they seemed to be communicating to the poultry neighbourhood that we had an open door policy for the local young guns.  So we ventured into cockerely.  Keith, a Speckled Sussex dude kept the girls in order and all the local young guns out; but he was a feisty little chap and a bit troublesome! His gladiator spirit saved the day though when a loose dog got in with our little flock.  Keith valiantly (and incredibly) saw the dog off and saved the girls, but sadly succumbed to shock himself a few days later.  And so we returned to an unruly flock and the neighbourhood yobs.

I went back to the drawing board because we needed another gang leader pronto.  But children and feisty cock birds are not a winning combination so I hastily genned up on the temperament of all the rare breeds. I thought the Orpingtons would suit us perfectly so I went to meet an Orpington breeder.  Two hours later I left with Dexter and the Shimmer Sisters, three beautiful black Orpingtons with a beetle green sheen to their plumage.  We never looked back and I would not keep hens without a cockerel again.  There is a certain tranquil order and a sense of community amongst the birds; they are a proper crew!  Sparkle and Glitter lived out their lives and we carried on with our gentle giants. These birds are a joy to behold, gentleness personified and they are not bad layers either.  They make wonderful pets and because of their size are not great flyers or particularly agile, so they are very easy to contain and will grace any setting with the minimum of fuss.  Just gorgeous...

We now have blue, black, lavender and blue splash and our current resident cockerel is a blue.  He arrived with his blue brother (even though I had only asked for one!) so we called them Jake and Elwood.  Jake has now gone to that mighty hen house in the sky and Elwood reigns supreme, flying solo.  In 10 years of keeping Orpington cockerels I have not had one single incident of unpleasantness, and the only time we have had any fighting amongst the birds was when a bronze turkey stag arrived unannounced one day.  Jake was cool but Elwood took umbridge with that and blood was shed.  The turkey came off worst. The girls honour was successfully defended. Go Elwood!

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