- Large Fowl
- Other Orp Colours
The Orpington bantam is known for being a calm, non-aggressive bird and is ideal for those without the space to accommodate large fowl birds. Its friendly disposition makes it an ideal family pet or suitable for the first time poultry owner and its size makes it ideal for children.
For showing purposes it is standardised in four colours in the UK - Black, Blue, Buff and White and is categorised under the heavy breed section. When visitors see Orpington bantams for the first time one of the first things they say is that the birds are bigger than they thought. An approximate description of their size would be to say they are about two thirds the size of an ordinary garden hen.
They should however display all the qualities of the large fowl Orpingtons but in miniature. Orpington bantams first appeared in the early to middle 1900’s and this was followed by the formation of The Orpington Bantam Club in 1950. They have been bred and standardised all over the globe and many other colours being recognised and perfected outside of the UK.
When you try to create a new colour in an established breed such as Orpingtons this is known as a PROJECT COLOUR
The creation of new colours in bantams is one of my passions and Keithsorps holds one of the largest collections of rare Orpington bantams in the UK. When a new colour is created it can take many generations to reach the correct mix of genes and then once you have reached a satisfactory colour it can take many more generations to reach anything near the correct size and shape. Selection is the key throughout the process.
Breeding true is one of the biggest hurdles you have to face when breeding pure bred poultry and this is never more true than when you are creating something from scratch. With Orpingtons there is a definite mould of what the bird should look like in size , shape and characteristics. But creating a colour that reproduces identically to its parents every generation can only be achieved by careful selection, only breeding from those birds that show the best possible markings from the stock you have available.
Sourcing breeding stock is not an easy task with many of the rare colours only being available in Europe but the introduction of new unknown blood into any breeding project can be a lottery. Unless you know what colours went into creating the bird you have purchased many surprises can appear at hatching. Many poultry genes are recessive and only appear when two birds carrying the same genes are bought together, this is why random white birds are often produced when mixing different breeding birds that have been sourced from unknown parentage.
Listed below are the colours of Bantam Orpington's I currently keep.