For my final installment of meet the girls I’d like to introduce to you the Lavender Orpington. Like our Buff and Blue Orpington, Lavenders are large, dual purpose birds with a very “fluffy” appearance. The Lavender Orpington is not so much lavender as dove grey IMO. They have bright red combs and wattles and ours in particular have very curly feathers towards their rumps. Currently, Lavender Orpingtons are not an accepted standard – but I read that’s being worked on. Also, unlike Blue Orpingtons, Lavender Orpingtons breed “true”, meaning their offspring will have the same, distinct coloring as their parents. The color gene in Blue Orpingtons is not stable, and offspring can be splash, black or blue – depending on the allele lottery they pull. They are quite pretty birds, which is one reason I really wanted them.
Our Lavenders also demonstrate that sweet demeanor Orpingtons are known for. In fact, our Lavenders are really the most docile of the group. They would rather sunbath or take a nice dust bath rather than get into a tussle with one of the other girls over food. In fact, I have to be careful that Thistle and Clover get their fair share of treats like meal worms and apples.
Both girls produce about 5 eggs a week. Their eggs are much rounder in shape than the other gals. Think golf ball shaped. Thistle’s eggs are a rich, pink brown while Clover produces a tawnier, light beige-pink egg. They are generally smaller than Buttercups, our Buff Orpington and Blackberry and Sweet Pea, our two Barred Rocks. But they taste as good all the same.
Thistle is our more aloof gal. She doesn’t quite like pets as much as the others and prefers to be left alone in general. When we first unpacked our chicks, Thistle seemed to show the most promise, quickly picking up how to drink and eat and where the best seat in the brooder was (under the Brinsea warmer). She also seamed the most playful. As we’ve learned with our other girls, personalities change as they grow up. Overtime, Thistle has become more of a loner. Though she is not skiddish or anything and in general is very docile.
Clover is our prima donna. She is a very pretty bird and she knows it. Her tush is the fluffiest and curliest of them all! She has a very curvy, overall rounded shape and spends a great deal of time preening. Her bright, coral-red comb and wattles are larger and brighter than Thistles. Clover also will accept attention much more readily. Clover does, however, get pushy on occasion and will make a break from the run if given a chance. She also doesn’t listen worth a darn. If she’s out scratching in the yard, good luck getting her back in the run. I usually have to catch her and cart her pretty self back to the coop.
While our Lavender Oprtingtons are truly stunning additions to our small flock, I don’t think I would have got them if I planned on only using them for egg and meat production. They are more expensive than standard Buff Orpingtons and in my experience aren’t quite the egg laying powerhouse either. However, if you are looking for sweet, pretty birds that your neighbors and friends will admire these may be a good choice for you. They are really stunning birds and have great personalities for children.