Lavender Orpington Chickens make wonderful pets – for adults and children alike! Here’s all you need to know about this fantastic breed!
Every minute I’ve spent with mine, I’ve fallen more and more in love – and I’m sure you will, too!
5 Amazing Lavender Orpington Chicken Facts
Here is where we’ll reveal some very interesting facts about the beautiful breed that is the Lavender Orpington:
- Although the Lavender Orpington is a relatively new variety, they have acquired the title of a “designer bird.”
- The Lavender Orpington is described as a rare bird, however, you’d be surprised at how many breeders across the US sell this beautiful breed.
- Their feather color is a dilution of the black gene.
- They have a profusion of feathers that make them seem much larger than they actually are, just give them a bath and you’ll see (don’t actually give them a bath). They are incredibly fluffy and cute!
- Lavender Orpingtons breed true! This means if you breed two Lavender Orpingtons, you will get more Lavender Orpingtons.
What are Lavender Orpington Chickens?
The Orpington is a chicken breed that was created in the 1880’s in Kent, England by William Cook. The goal of this breed was to create a chicken that could provide both major poultry food sources: meat and eggs.
The resultant Orpington was a breed that was both large enough for the table and that provided a large quantity of eggs. Orpingtons are famous for averaging about 200 lovely brown eggs per year!
The first Orpingtons were Black Orpingtons, and this breed was so popular that it quickly found itself on both sides of the Atlantic, filling coops and spreading flavor to dining tables in both the current UK and in the Americas.
After his success with the Black, William Cook played around with other fowl colorings, Buff being the most commonly-known of his other successes.
The groundwork of variety was set during Cook’s time. Since then, the dark coloring of the Blacks was diluted with the reds of the Buffs, and over time, this dilution created a splash plumage and another variant called “Blue”. This blue was taken one step further to create a more genetically-stable slate-blue coloring that has the more official moniker “self-blue orpingtons.”
Lavender Orpington Appearance
What is the Color of a Lavender Orpington?
The color’s official title is “lavender”, but what you’ll get is a grey bird with a violet shimmer in the sunlight.
To create the lavender coloring of the feathers, breeders reduce the pigmentation in black feathers. Over time, this dilution becomes more and more pronounced, until the feathers look lavender.
This is a truly beautiful color that can easily trick the eye in appearance.
Don’t worry though – Lavender Orpingtons breed true, so if you breed a rooster and a hen, you can be sure the resulting chicks will be Lavender too!
The Lavender gene is recessive, so both parents must be Lavender to get chicks of the same coloring – so don’t breed a Buff hen with a Lavender rooster and expect soft, grey colored chicks!
Some Lavender Orpingtons have a darker head and its color lightens towards the tail feathers, others have lighter heads and darker tail feathers, still others have light heads and necks and darker body coloring. Say that fast 10 times!
Regardless of how prominent the black coloring is, the purple shimmer is present across its whole downy body, making for truly remarkable-looking birds.
Sometimes Lavender Orpingtons can have a bit of yellow in their coats. Sadly, these yellow-coaters should not be used for breeding, as the yellow will carry through future generations.
Their combs, wattles, and sweet little earlobes are red.
What Are Lavender Orpington Feathers Like?
Lavender Orpingtons are fluffy-looking birds whose thick feathers excel at dealing with cold weather. One of the characteristics of these fluffy feathers is that your birds may appear larger (and heavier) than they actually are.
Their feathers stop at their legs, and these birds wear no feathers on their legs.
How Large Do Lavender Orpingtons Get?
Lavender Orpingtons mature moderately early, and are considered heavy birds (they’re one of the more giant chicken breeds). Each one weighs in at 7 to 8.5 pounds (3.8 to 3.86 kilos). Some males can even reach 10 pounds (4.5 kg). This is a sizable chicken that can feed a family, much as William Cook intended when he created the Orpingtons 140 years ago.
Do Lavender Orpington Chickens Come in Bantam Size?
As a matter of fact, they do. Many major hatcheries will carry a bantam variation of the Lavender Orpington chicken. Bantams make great pets, although their eggs tend to be smaller. You can learn more about raising bantams here.
What is a “Pure English Lavender Orpington”?
A Pure English Lavender Orpington is just another name for a Lavender Orpington chick that’s the result of two parents of the same soft-grey coloring.
What is the Difference Between Blue Orpington and Lavender Orpington Chickens?
One of the biggest differences between Blue and Lavender Orpingtons is the predictability. Blue Orpingtons do NOT breed true; Lavender Orpingtons WILL breed true.
If you mate a Lavender Orpington with another Lavender Orpington, you’ve have a new clutch of Lavender Orpingtons. If you are breeding Blue Orpingtons, a look at this chart could be helpful in navigating the complexities of their genetics.
Another excellent explanation between the two different colors is here
Lavender Orpington Personalities
What are Lavender Orpington Roosters Like?
Like all other variations of Orpington chickens, Lavender Orpington roosters generally exhibit the standard docile and even temperament. We have several Orpington roosters (both the Buff Orpington and Lavender), and each is friendly to humans, and very gentle with his hens.
However, just remember that roosters CAN sometimes exhibit aggressive or possessive tendencies when their hens are threatened by predators, but this is quite rare. You can learn how to deal with a naughty rooster here.
What are Lavender Orpington Hens Like?
Lavender Orpington chickens are quite docile, friendly, calm, and generally quiet birds. They love foraging and seeing the sights on your farm.
They can make excellent pets that are a genuine treat to have around. Females occasionally go broody, which can be a great benefit when you are trying to create a next generation of Lavender Orpingtons.
Lavender Orpington Egg and Meat Production
How Many Lavender Orpington Eggs are Laid Each Year?
Lavender Orpingtons are excellent egg layers. A single hen can lay as many as 280 light brown eggs in a year. The best part about these eggs is their size: very large.
Are Lavender Orpinton Chickens Good for Meat?
They were breed to be used for both meat and eggs, so they are one of the best breeds as a true dual purpose bird. They are large, which means you can feed your whole family for dinner, depending on the size of your family, of course. If you have a small family, you’ll have leftovers for lunch the next day.
How to Care for Lavender Orpingtons
- Be sure they have plenty of fresh, clean water
- Feed quality chicken feed
- Let them be free-ranging chickens when you can
- Provide a chicken coop for shelter
- Help them to stay pest and parasite free
- Give them treats so they will love you more
Lice and mites are the most common external parasites you will want to watch for. They are nasty little creatures and they really like chickens. Read more about this here.
Rare? So Where Can I Buy Them?
Are Lavender Orpington Chickens Rare?
Yes. Because it’s recessive, and both parents must have the genes, Lavender Orpington chickens are rare. However, they’re becoming more popular because of their excellent personalities, and more and more breeders are offering them for sale.
Even more rare are Frizzled Lavender Orpington chickens! These beauties have frizzled feathers, and are not just friendly, they’re absolutely adorable! You can learn more about frizzles here. They’re a great pet for adults AND young children!
5 Best Hatcheries to Buy Lavender Orpington Chickens
1. The Chick Hatchery.com
Find more information and prices here: The Chick Hatchery.com
The Chick hatchery is Michigan’s “premier source for superior quality poultry.” With a creed that revolves around the sharing and joy of raising chickens, they operate in no-kill facilities. They raise their chickens humanely, with any unsold chicks going to Amish farms. Much of the experience of raising chickens is the awareness of the individual chicken and the relationship between food and our own health.
Their Lavender Orpington Chickens are available from February through August.
- Ships a minimum of 3 of each sex
- All poultry guaranteed live delivery
- Offers discounts on orders of larger quantities of birds
- Ships a maximum of 15 total chicks (the above discounts do not apply to Lavender Orpingtons, due to their product limitations)
- Does not ship to Hawaii or outside the USA
2. Cackle Hatchery
Find more information and prices here: Cackle Hatchery
Cackle Hatchery proudly boasts that they have been hatching and shipping since 1936. A third-generation hatchery based in Missouri, their mission is to provide customers with quality poultry for showing, meat, enjoyment, and eggs. They ship throughout the USA, including Alaska, Puerto Rico, and Hawaii. They offer nearly 200 different types of chickens at all stages.
Cackle also offers many other kinds of poultry including ducks, waterfowl, game birds, turkeys, and other fowl. They are also a good source of supplies and books. Lavender Orpingtons are available only as baby chicks, and they are a very seasonal bird, available only from early March through July.
- Discounts if you buy male chicks
- Vaccinations available
- Only need 3 birds to ship (or just one for male birds)
- Limited availability (February through September)
- Sold as baby chicks only
3. Hoover’s Hatchery
Find more information and prices here: Hoover’s Hatchery
Hoover’s Hatchery is a massive poultry production hatchery located in Rudd, IA. Hoover’s supplies many farm and garden supply stores in the United States with their chicks, making them a smart choice if you want to skip the middleman and order from the hatchery directly.
Plus, Hoover’s offers free shipping on practically everything you order. You’ll have to buy at least 15 chicks; so Hoover’s might not be the best option if you live in a city with chicken restrictions. However, as long as you’re willing to buy in bulk, it’s a smart choice. You can even mix and match your order by adding other birds of other chicken breeds along with poultry species like pheasants, turkeys, guineas, ducks, and more.
Lavender Orpington chicks are out of stock until mid-September 2020.
- Excellent guarantee and refund policy in case of shipping problems
- Hatches chicks during the winter, one of the few hatcheries to do so
- Discounts on increased orders up to 25+.
- Large minimum order (15 to 20 depending on size)
4. Murray McMurray Hatchery
Find more information and prices here: Murray McMurray Hatchery
Murray McMurray started his chicken business in 1917. As a banker, he sold his chicks to locals through the bank, and by 1919, he had developed his own stock of chickens. During the Great Depression, he devoted himself to chickens full-time. Since then, Murray McMurray Hatchery has developed into one of the largest chick hatcheries in the country. They sell more than just chickens, with ducks, geese, guineas, turkeys, other fowl, and game birds all in the catalog.
They take great pride in the Lavender Orpingtons that they produce, and are big fans of them.
- Very affordable
- Bulk discounts available
- Excellent breed availability with clear Availability chart
- Mixing and matching chick breeds is possible
- Minimum order of six birds at a time
5. Purely Poultry
Find more information and prices here: Purely Poultry
As a family-owned business, Purely Poultry has some of the best customer service around. They pride themselves on their knowledge of their products, selection, and how-to details related to everything they offer, including ducks, chickens, geese, and lots of other birds!
Located in Durand, WI, they guarantee live birds with every order, which is a good promise, indeed! Lavender Orpingtons are in high demand, thanks in part to their fluffiness.
- Each order backed by live arrival guarantee
- Small order minimum on chicks
- Other kinds of poultry offered, too
- Not a huge advantage to buying multiple chicks – discounts are minimal
- Expensive, especially for females. They charge extra on top of the Not Sexed rate.
Is This Breed of Chickens for Me?
If you are looking for a lovely chicken for your flock that walks just this side of rare, is famous both for its abundance of dinner meat and an extra-large annual delivery of extra-large eggs, a Lavender Orpington chicken could well be for you!
Maat van Uitert is a backyard chicken and sustainable living expert. She is also the author of Chickens: Naturally Raising A Sustainable Flock, which was a best seller in it’s Amazon category. Maat has been featured on NBC, CBS, AOL Finance, Community Chickens, the Huffington Post, Chickens magazine, Backyard Poultry, and Countryside Magazine. She lives on her farm in Southeast Missouri with her husband, two children, and about a million chickens and ducks. You can follow Maat on Facebook here and Instagram here.