Orpingtons – Blue, Black & Splash
There is a wide variety in the Blue and particularity the Splash Orpington. Pictured at the left is a Splash Orpington. She has very little coloring, just a scant bit on her hackles and an occasional black or gray dot. Some splashes are a diverse mixture of gray, blue, black and white. The Blacks are a deep ebony with varying amounts of green sheen throughout. The Blues have a lacing that develops as the chicken matures. There are different shades of the gray component ranging from dark to very light. Lacing is what we select for.
The English Orpington is a heavy soft feathered bird. It requires high levels of protein year round to keep it’s downy plumage in excellent condition. They posses an abundant soft undercarriage of feathers.
The black is the original Orpington. Developed in 1886 by William Cook, this bird was the result of crossing Black Minorcas and Black Plymoth Rocks. He then worked to develop its clean legged appearance and took it off to exhibition is London.
Chicken fanciers loved this new breed and then crossed in some Cochin to get superior plumage for exhibition purposes. While this bird was originally created as a dual purpose bird for eggs and meat, it is generally been bred since for its beautiful shape and large size — and LARGE they are! Cook then went on to develop the Blue Orpington.
Blue, Black and Splash Orpington Genetics
The chart below explains the basics of the crosses you can expect from your blues, blacks and splashes. It is important to note that while black orpingtons breed true, so many keep BBS together and therefore getting a pure Black Orpington these days is getting harder. You should not be surprised when breeding two blacks to find a variety of chicks. Through careful selection you can breed any recessive gene out over several generations.
We currently have a blue and a black rooster over 6 hens of various colors.
Blue (Bb) X Blue (Bb) = 50% Blue (Bb), 25% Black (BB),
25% Splash (bb)
Blue (Bb) X Splash (bb) = 50% Blue (Bb), 50% Splash (bb)
Blue (Bb) X Black (BB) = 50% Blue (Bb), 50% Black (BB)
Splash (bb) X Black (BB) = 100% Blue (Bb)
Black (BB) X Black (BB) = 100% Black (BB)
Splash (bb) X Splash (bb) = 100% Splash (bb)
I am currently breeding for the biggest birds that are truest to the English form. Tails should be at a 45 degree angle. Feet and legs are NEVER yellow. Birds posses a thick downy undercarriage.
Chicks are available Spring 2016.