The presses must be stopped immediately. Are we discussing Orpington ducks? Orpington chickens are well-known, but their web-footed equivalent is less well-known.
You’re in for a treat if you haven’t heard about Orpington ducks. These lovely birds are worth learning about. Any homesteader looking for meat, eggs, or a combination of the two should consider the Buff Orpingtons as their ideal dual-purpose duck breed.
About Buff Orpington Ducks
William Cook’s rigorous breeding efforts resulted in the birth of these stunning ducks in Orpington, Kent. Cook was also responsible for developing Orpington Chickens, one of the most popular chicken breeds today. You may not be surprised to learn that.
The Cayuga, Runner, Aylesbury, and Rouen ducks were combined and crossbred to produce the Buff Orpington. Buff Orpingtons were recognized by the American Poultry Association in 1914, after being introduced to the US in 1908.
Blue, Black, and White Orpingtons were developed in addition to the Buff color variety, which was initially accepted into the American Poultry Association’s Standard of Perfection.
Buff Orpington Duck Breed Characteristics
1. Size and Weight
At full grown weight, well-bred Orpington ducks are likely to weigh 7-8 pounds. To get a good idea of the size of your own ducks, be sure to ask your breeder what their parent stock typically weighs.
Littleer Orpingtons may be poorly bred if they are sold by many breeders or even well-known hatcheries.
Orpington ducks will have the same affectionate and docile demeanor as Orpington chickens. With a highly active, but less flighty temperament, this breed is great at foraging.
You can count on your Buff Orpington chickens to produce a lot of ducklings if they are given the chance, in addition to being good foragers. When it comes to hatching and raising ducklings, these ducks are committed moms, so you can rest easy.
3. Egg Production
Despite their lack of top egg producing capabilities, Buff Orpingtons are a respectable egg producer. As far as egg production goes, a single hen may lay 150-220 eggs every year, which is higher than many breeds.
4. Meat Production
Despite their size, this breed provides a lot of meat production value. Buff Orpingtons reach maturity in around 8-10 weeks and can weigh up to 2 pounds. Buff Orpingtons have light pinfeathers, which make the carcass more attractive, in addition to their reasonable grow out time.
When Pekins came out, Orpingtons’ popularity decreased since Pekin Ducks grew larger in less time. It is worth noting, however, that Orpingtons continue to be the preferred duck.
Buff Orpington Duck Care
1. Feeding and Nutrition
Depending on the intended use for your duck, you may feed it in a variety of ways. A typical laying diet will suit your Buff Orpingtons if you want to keep them as pets or eggs. A broiler diet may be used to encourage Orpingtons to grow as fattening as feasible when being raised for meat.
If you’re new to ducks or have questions about feeding, we recommend reading our complete duck feeding guide for all the information you’ll need for laying or broiler feeds, treats, and more.
2. Housing and Fencing
As far as house and fence construction requirements are concerned, Orpingtons have fairly typical dwellings. In a free-range setting, these ducks flourish; nonetheless, they may live in captivity. Make sure to provide a minimum of 4-6 square feet per duck in the coop, as well as the fact that ducks do not need elevated nesting boxes or roosts.
Make certain that the ducks have access to plenty of water throughout the run and provide them with 10+ square feet apiece.
3. Health Issues and Concerns
Apart from ordinary ailments that may arise in any flock, a well-housed and fed Buff Orpington should pose no health concerns. This is a tough breed that will thrive in appropriate living conditions and loving care.
This duck might benefit from dedicated breeders since the 2015 census only discovered 1,088 breeding Buff Orpingtons in North America. It may be difficult or costly to find suitable breeding stock due to endangerment, but it is definitely worth the effort.
Avoid underweight birds with a history of poor egg production when selecting your breeding stock. You’ll have to pick birds with the most buff plumage for your parent stock when breeding for show.
Pick ducks with light pin feathers for the best-dressed carcasses possible when producing birds. Ducks of all types are suitable options whether you’re raising ducks for a particular purpose.
Buff Orpington Breed Alternatives
1. Silver Appleyard
If you aren’t quite sure about Orpingtons, try the Silver Appleyard, another excellent dual-purpose duck breed. Silver Appleyards are a well-rounded duck with somewhat better production and somewhat bigger size.
Did You Know?
The Orpington duck was recognized as a Buff Orpington, which is rather uncommon, when it was included into the American Standard of Perfection. The American Poultry Association recognizes birds, and the Buff Orpingtons were recognized by both color and breed name. The breed is often identified by the breed alone when they are recognized.
The Buff Orpington is a great addition to any farm, whether you’re a novice duck keeper or a seasoned specialist. When you bring this dual-purpose breed home, don’t be disappointed.