- Large Fowl
- Other Orp Colours
LAST YEAR I HATCHED BY FAR MY BEST CROP SO FAR OF LAVENDER LARGE FOWL ORPINGTONS AND THIS YEAR I HAVE RETAINED EIGHT OF MY BEST PULLETS TO JOIN MY 2013 BREEDING GROUP.
NOW WITH A TOTAL OF TWELVE QUALITY BREEDING HENS I HOPE TO CREATE A HUGE GENE POOL OF LAVENDERS.
WITH ONE GROUP BREEDING PURE LAVENDERS THE REMAINING HENS WILL BE SPLIT TO CROSS OUT TO A BLACK COCKEREL AND A SPLASH COCKEREL TO CREATE SPLIT LAVENDERS.
BOTH THESE COCKERELS ARE FROM EXHIBIION SHOW LINES , THE SPLASH IS OUT OF LEON HAYCOCK'S NATIONAL WINNING BLUE HEN AND THE BLACK COCKEREL IS BY DAVID POWNELL'S FEDERATION WINNING BLACK COCKEREL THAT IS NOW OWNED BY MY GOOD FRIEND STEVE AT ESSEX ORPINGTONS.
THESE THREE BREEDING PENS WILL GIVE ME THREE EASY TO IDENTIFY SETS OF YOUNGSTERS TO SELECT FROM FOR MY FUTURE BREEDING PROJECTS.
Above are two pictures of Delaware cockerels. On the left is my original cockerel bred by Bob Follows and on the right is his grandson.
Through selection over three years this colour has improved alot.
One of the most exciting colours for the future as now the columbian markings have become established and the ground colour has cleared to a pure white this breeding group has the potential to create with the correct out crosses some beautiful variations. You could change the black markings to Lavender, Chocolate or Blue but actualy the options are endless.
PERFECT VIEW OF THE FIRST DAY OF SNOW
SOME OF MY LARGE FOWL POINT OF LAY PULLETS
BANTAM HENS WONDERING WHO SPRAYED THE GRASS WHITE
DECEMBER 2012 NEWS
One of my 2012 Buff pullets that is now coming up to point of lay.
Looking at this pullet i think that 2013 is going to be a great year for Keithsorps Buffs.
Keithsorps is proud to have been chosen to showcase these high grade poultry houses by The Gatemakers.
Further details will be posted shortly.
DOUBLE TROUBLE - Two young 2012 hatched cockerels
Don't worry boys - breeding season is coming soon !
Lavender and Silver Laced 2013 hatched cockerels
These ladies are a few of my early hatched 2012 pullets.
It seems a long time since the beginning of the January when I placed the hatching eggs that would be available for sale in 2012 on the web site and now the hatching season is coming to a close. The general feeling throughout the breeders I have spoken to is that is has been a particularly difficult year for breeding poultry. The inconsistent climate had caused havoc with trying to maintain both temperature and especially humidity in both the incubators and the hatchers. Creating the right environment for the breeding group to produce fertile eggs was the first obstacle to be overcome.
In a normal season the selected breeders would start to become sexually active as spring approaches with fertility increasing to an acceptable level as the warmer longer days arrive. So the year kicked off to a good start with an abnormally dry winter then an early spell of hot weather which boosted activity from the cockerels. Then the highest recorded summer rainfall on record descended on us and has continued over the whole of the season. The Orpington created by William Cook all those years ago was designed to cope with the British seasons but after years of being selected for show type the birds are now profusely feathered and a wet large soft feathered Orpington is an unhappy bird, so any unhappy bird will not be as active as you would normally hope for. However generally my flock performed well in both fertile eggs produced and number of strong healthy chicks hatched from these eggs. As I continually hatch throughout the season from all my breeding groups it is easy to compare results from any feedback about fertility and hatch rates that is received from customers that have purchased hatching eggs.
Keithsorps is now the largest supplier of Orpington hatching eggs in the UK with an average of 200 eggs being despatched weekly during the hatching season. Supplying batches as low as three to single orders of 300 eggs plus. Orpington’s hatched from my eggs are now spread over every county in Britain and demand from Europe has been very high with particular interest in the rare and newly created colours that should hit the 2013 European show circuit in greater numbers now.
European customers have had mixed results this year on hatch rates with some producing nothing and others having very successful hatches. The results have not followed a pattern with eggs from the same pens being despatched to two separate countries and the customers then obtaining completely different results. Several enthusiastic European breeders have ordered large repeat batches hoping to obtain breeding groups throughout the colours with France, Italy and Sweden holding good numbers of KeithsOrps.
The unusual weather has also caused problems with coccidiosis with the damp conditions and no long hot sunny spells to dry the ground out. Although some feeds contain an anti-coccident this has not seemed to be enough this year and I have received many calls from breeders saying it has a been a continual battle against this. As with any of these problems I feel the way forward must be to vaccinate. Which brings me on to the subject of Mereks Disease and whether to vaccinate or not.
Personally having suffered the devastating ravages of this disease several years ago I have since vaccinated against it. I have found it a cheap, easy and reliable way to halt the disease in my flock and since then have not had to wake up to my valuable growers dying in succession and the worry of receiving calls from customers wondering why their new birds are dropping like flies. Some breeders debate that you should breed for resistance but my view is that the Orpington has been bred now for well over 100 years and I have not heard of a Mereks resistant flock. Even the commercial poultry industry with billions of pounds at stake has decided that the resistance theory is unviable and vaccinate. I am not saying that resistance to this disease is not a reality in some birds and that this resistance will not be passed onto their progeny but as far as I know no rare breed flock or even any commercial flock in the UK has been proved to be so.
ORPINGTONS IN FRANCE
My very good friend Carol Nogues and her business partner Andre Landes have worked hard during 2012 and have now gathered together many of the top Orpington bloodlines throughout Europe.
I have been pleased to be involved in their project and their enthusiasm has paid great dividends and they now have many of the rare and unique Orpington colours.
Their website is now up and running and I wish them luck for the 2013 breeding season.
This stunning young Splash Salmon cockerel is an early 2012 hatch from the Blue Salmon breeding group.
The delicate pastel shades of this new and unique colour are already proving to be a popular colour with both breeders and clients looking for garden hens.
Some birds just seem to get better with age.
This Silver Birchen hen is now three years old and as you can see she is looking better than ever.
It has been a great start to the season with both the volume of chicks hatched and the interest that has been shown in both the established colours and the newly created project colours.
The unusal inconsistent climate has caused a delay in both production and fertility on some of the breeding pens but as usual the hens in there first year of laying are in high production and now the mature hens are starting to lay. It has been debated that you breed bigger better birds from older hens rather than 1st year pullets but having discussed this with many top show breeders many of them breed their future champions from their young birds.
YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR
It has facinated me how many people are not bothered how the birds are bred when they purchase eggs from ebay or other auction sites.
" I don't want to breed a show bird " seems a strange reason to buy eggs at a very cheap price from sellers that obviously have not bred the parent stock themselves from which they are selling the eggs.
Many of these sellers have either purchased eggs originaly without seeing the parent stock or randomly purchased birds and created a breeding group. With both of the routes they have no idea what will be created and often this is done with the sole intent of selling eggs.
But which birds go into the breeding group is a thoughtful process and selecting for type is just one part of this.
Disease resistance, fertility, egg production, temperament, life expectancy and many other vital traits are all inherited in poultry just as they are in any other species.
Why go through the process of purchasing eggs, running an incubator, brooding under expensive heat lamps, feeding the chicks through to adults to find that they are weak individuals that are prone to illness and lay poorly or worse die young due to an inherited trait.
" They were a bargain the eggs only cost me £1.99 for six, i can't go wrong for that price "
After several months hard work my new Cottage gardens have been finished.
We managed to complete all the planting late 2011 and now two of the bantam breeding groups are enjoying their new surroundings. The garden was designed by Jo Walker and I can't wait for spring to come now so that I can see the garden bloom and mature.
The two beautiful hen houses have been kindly provided by Darren and Sam from Sparrow and Finch.
For more details of both The Badlington and Priory hen houses please go to
sparrowandfinch.co.uk or if your in the area come and see them for yourself.
Above -Keithsorps Cottage garden with The Badlington and The Priory Hen Houses.
Above - The Birchen bantams and The Priory Hen House
Going mad with the video clips now i have worked out how to load them
Lemon Cuckoo Columbian 2012 breeding group.
Below are my beautiful Lavender Cuckoo large fowl.
Below are three of my bantam hens.
Below right is a Chocolate Silver Birchen and on her left is a mirror image, a Silver hen with Chocolate neck hackles.
Below are my stunning Blue Salmon bantam Orpington breeding groups for 2012.
Below is one of two Blue Jubilee POL pullets that I bred in 2011.
They are just about to join the main breeding pens for 2012.
To maintain type, shape and markings they will run with a standard Jubilee cockerel.
Both eggs and youngstock can be pre booked from this very rare and unique colour.
This stunning Red Mottled pullet created at Keithsorps is another first of its kind in Orpington bantams.
I hope to have eggs and breeding groups available from these ready for 2013.
Below left is one of my young pullets that has just come into lay.
She is a dark Chocolate and each feather is laced with White. This makes for a stunning colour combination.
I photographed her next to the Silver Laced hen so you could see the comparison although the Chocolate pullet is the opposite way round regarding lacing.
Breeding something new is so exciteing.
Below are two of my Chocolate Gold Laced large fowl pullets.
They are now about twenty two weeks and should come into lay early in the 2012 season.
I predict this colour will be very popular as the tones of both the Chocolate and Gold work well together and give the overall appearence of very blended plumage.
I have just hatched my first lot of Orpington Bantams for the 2012 season.
Click on the link below to see the new arrivals.
I thought I would share these two great sketches with you.
I purchased them at Reading Bantam Show last year but I have no idea who the artist is.
If anybody knows who sketched them please let me know.
After a visit to my good friend Steve Massenhove in Essex to look around his very fine collection of Orpington Large fowl it was definately a good idea not to leave empty handed.
Steve purchased a very large Lavender cockerel from Keithsorps early 2011 and the Lavender stock Steve has bred this year is of the highest quality. So three stunning pullets returned home with me to Bracknell. These continue my Dutch bloodline but now with a valuable out cross to fresh blood. I also added a Large fowl Chocolate cockerel of equal quality.
If your looking for large fowl Orps sourced from many of the top breeders in the country then a trip to Essex is well worth it.
Steve Massenhove : 07852262030
Below is my first Blue Jubilee Bantam pullet that I bred this year.
I think replaceing the Black with Blue on the mottles softens the whole look of the bird. Also introducing new blood into the Jubilee Bantams will provide valuable out-crosses to a very limited gene pool.
This young pullet is yet to fill out into her full glory but having been bred from some of the best blood lines available she should mature into a spectacular Orp.
I am very excited about my Mottled Bantam Orpington breeding pen I have for next season.
I have a mixed group of both Black and Blue in this group and their stunning colour combinations make an excellent contrast in any mixed flock of Bantams.
At last after many months of waiting I have now completed my new rearing pens. After trying rubber chips on my breeding pens I have decided to give pea shingle a go on these as although the rubber is great, the birds do tend to dig it about and move it around the pens.These new sheds are wired up for heat and light but give me the option of allowing the youngsters outside to harden up in the fresh air.
Congratulations to Gary Haslem and family that have acheived a huge success with their Buff Orpingtons at the 2011 Henley Show.
Gary purchased eggs from Keithsorps early this season to produce his own show birds. This strain of Buffs is of the highest quality available and with none of the other exhibition strains of Buff Orpingtons readily available to purchase as eggs buying from Keithsorps has given Gary the chance to hatch off birds that he can then select his show winners from.
The cockerel got a second in the male class and one of the hens got a second, but best of all the other hen got a first, all in the juvenile classes, she went on to win
Best Large Fowl, Best Opposite sex and Reserve Best In Show.
Not bad for 24 weeks old, we got lots of comments on their quality, we're hoping to have them entered into the south Of England Show in October, we're really pleased. could not beleive such a good result on their first outing, I've attatched some pictures.
Thanks for your help
This fine Red Cuckoo cockerel below is another great colour created by Bob Follows.
After bringing back the large Red Orpington to popularity over the last few years Bob has taken this stunning versatile colour further and produced the Red Cuckoo.
This colour has never been done before in large fowl Orpingtons so I was very pleased to have aquired a breeding trio to take the Red Cuckoo further for the 2012 breeding season.
It’s been a busy year so far at Keithsorps, the hens have now slowed production for the end of the breeding season and it’s time to reflect on the success’s and failures of 2011. My fascination with breeding new colours has given me great delight this year although progress can seem slow at times.
The Chocolate Silver Laced, Blue Silver Laced and both the Blue and Chocolate Silver Birchen projects have produced some beautiful bantams and creeps slowly with each generation closer to the finished project. The birds hatched early in the year are now reaching breeding age and I have put together a few breeding pens to hopefully get another generation hatched during 2011. There has been no information available to refer to on the definate results of mixing the chocolate and silver gene, let alone the introduction of the pattern gene into the mix so it has been a fun learning process so far.
I would say The Chocolate Cuckoo large fowl project has been one of my best results this year. I have hatched some truly stunning pullets that are of a reasonable size. Although it will take several generations and crosses to reach the desired type and stamp the birds produced are of a high quality. I have only released three breeding groups to other breeders and wish them luck with also taking this colour further for 2012.
I would like to thank my international visitors that have made the huge effort to visit Keithsorps during their time in the Uk and those that have travelled here just to visit Treetops. I hope you enjoyed looking around and wish you success with your Orpington breeding projects.
I also couldn't resist one last visit to Bob Follows this seaon and as usual after ordering two laced large fowl hens came away with many more great birds that will take my breeding projects in a whole new direction. I will add photos soon but now at Keithsorps I keep Blue and Black Mottled Bantams and in Large fowl - Partridge, Blue Partridge, Plye, Blue Gold Laced, White and Red Cuckoo.
Bob Follows and myself August 2011
Below are some of my Chocolate Silver Orpington Bantams that I have selected to continue my Chocolate Silver Laced breeding project. Using both the Chocolate gene and the Silver gene in combination has been great fun and the colour combinations produced have been some of the best looking birds I have bred.
I am running two seperate breeding groups going into the winter and hope that within two but hopefuly within one generation I will have produced a Chocolate Silver Laced Orpington Bantam that shows crystal clear lacing.
This lovely pullet is one of the Blue and Buff colour combinations I have been playing with this year.
She has a powder Blue base colour with a buff over plumage.The contrast of the Blue neck hackles, under fluff and Blue through the tail against the delicate Buff make this a truly beautiful Bantam.
The Chocolate pullets from the Ramsley split cockerel over Keithsorps large Black hens have far exceeded my expectations and the early hatched birds have already reached a huge size with tremendous depth and width.
The Chocolate Cuckoo large fowl hatched early on in the season are now 20 weeks old and have grown into stunning young ladies.
I could not be happier with the quality, size and colour from this first generation and look forward to taking this colour on further in 2012.
I am also pleased with the huge interest by both the public and other breeders in owning and breeding these beautiful birds and wish the buyers of the three breeding trios I have sold this year lots of luck in their future breeding programmes.
Its been the month for adding new blood and several new colours at keithsorps.
BLUE LARGE FOWL
This large Blue Orpington hen has been purchased from Teresa Habberfield.
She was shown at the 2010 Federation poultry Show and she was placed a very respectible third.
Teresa has also very kindly let me have a prototype Lemon Cuckoo bantam cockerel , this colour is very popular in large fowl and i'm sure it will be just as popular in bantam.
RED COLUMBIAN BANTAM
After many years of being a pioneer Orpington breeder the great Bob Follows has decided to retire. I'm sure this decision was not made lightly and I know his new imaginative colours will be sadly missed. His influence stretches world wide and his unlimited knowledge and desire for perfection is truly admirable. Although continuing to run a flock of Buffs and the odd unfinished project Bob has allowed a large number of very special and rare Orpingtons to go to other dedicated breeders.
Keithsorps has secured some never before seen colours in Orpingtons including the only breeding pairs of Columbian Lemon Cuckoo Orpingtons and Delaware Orpingtons ( Columbian Cuckoo )
LAVENDER LARGE FOWL
SILVER LACED ORPINGTON LARGE FOWL
BLUE PARTRIDGE BANTAM
LEMON PYLE BANTAM
LEMON CUCKOO LARGE FOWL
LEMON CUCKOO COLUMBIAN LARGE FOWL
DELAWARE LARGE FOWL
( CUCKOO COLUMBIAN )
These two stunning cockerels have come down from Paul and Tina Jones of Manor Poultry to join the my Buff large fowl breeding groups here at Keithsorps.
Both these boys have shown at the top level in the country and bring with them some of the top breeding and blood lines available in the UK.
Chocolate Silver Laced Orpington Bantam Breeding Project Update
I have been very pleased with my third generation hatch from my Chocolate Silver Laced breeding project.
The young cockerel below is now pure for both the silver and chocolate gene and as he was hatched in January should be ready to breed by the end of the summer. I now have young pullets also pure for both genes that are showing clear sharp lacing.
Many of the eggs from this project have gone all over the country and I would love to here from anybody that has hatched chicks from this group.
Creating something new is rewarding, although still a long way from the finish I am still very proud of this stunning colour.
NEW HATCHING SHED
At last after months of planning my new hatching and brooding shed is complete.
This now allows me to hatch and brood my youngsters in a clean and easy to manage way.