Lavender Orpington Chicken Breed

By Chicken Pets on
Lavender Orpington Chicken Breed

Welcome to our blog post about the Lavender Orpington chicken breed! Let’s explore this beautiful bird and learn why it is a favorite among backyard chicken keepers.

Lavender Orpington Chicken Breed

The Lavender Orpington chicken is a friendly and calm breed known for its beautiful, soft lavender-colored feathers. They are excellent layers of large, brown eggs, making them an ideal addition to any backyard flock.

History of Lavender Orpingtons

Lavender Orpington chickens are a relatively new variety of the famous Orpington breed, first developed by William Cook in England in the late 1800s. The Lavender Orpington was created by breeding Black Orpingtons with a gene that causes lavender feathering. This stunning breed was introduced to the public in the early 20th century and has been a popular choice for backyard flocks ever since.

Appearance and Feather Color

Lavender Orpington chickens boast a unique and eye-catching appearance, thanks to their lavender plumage. This shade is not quite purple, but a soft, pale gray with a hint of blue, creating an elegant and appealing look for these lovely birds.

Aside from their delicate color, Lavender Orpingtons share the same sturdily built, round body, and heavyset appearance as their other Orpington counterparts. They have a broad chest, strong legs, and a medium-sized single comb, making them look friendly and approachable.

Behavior and Temperament

One of the main reasons people choose Lavender Orpington chickens for their backyard flock is their gentle and docile nature. They are very friendly birds that enjoy human interaction and can often be found following their caregivers around the yard.

Their calm demeanor makes them excellent pets, particularly for families with young children. Their strong broody instincts and maternal abilities make Lavender Orpington hens great mothers too.


Lavender Orpington roosters also exhibit a calm temperament, making them suitable for backyards where noise may be a concern. They are known to be protective of their flock, without being overly aggressive towards humans.

Egg Production and Broodiness

Lavender Orpington chickens are a dual-purpose breed, valued for both their meat and egg-producing abilities. They lay large brown eggs, with an average production of 3 to 4 eggs per week. This reliable egg production can be a great asset for small-scale egg farming or for meeting the needs of a family.

These lovely hens often go broody and are known to be excellent mothers. Once they start sitting on a clutch of eggs, they are quite dedicated to hatching and raising their chicks, often hatching other breeds’ eggs as well.

Size and Weight

Lavender Orpington chickens are considered heavy birds, with hens weighing around 7-8 lbs, and roosters weighing 8-10 lbs. Their large size and substantial amount of meat make them good table birds for those raising chickens for meat.

Care and Maintenance

Just like with any other chicken breed, caring for Lavender Orpingtons requires attention to some basic needs. Ensuring these needs are met will help in maintaining a healthy and happy flock.

Proper Coop Design

A good chicken coop will provide protection from predators, adequate ventilation, and provide appropriate roosting and nesting spaces. For Lavender Orpingtons, make sure the coop has around 4 square feet of space per bird to avoid overcrowding.

Nesting Boxes

Since Lavender Orpingtons are reliable layers, providing a comfortable nesting space is essential. Aim for at least one nesting box for every four hens and position them in a quiet, dimly lit area of the coop.

Routine Health Checks

Regular health checks will help to catch potential issues early on. Check for mites, lice, or other parasites and keep an eye out for signs of illness or injury. Consult a veterinarian if you’re ever unsure about your chickens’ health.

Diet and Nutrition

Providing a high-quality diet is vital to keeping your Lavender Orpingtons healthy and productive. Offer a balanced layer feed for proper egg production, along with supplemental food like fruits, vegetables, and insects for added nutrients.

Access to Outdoor Space

Lavender Orpingtons enjoy foraging in the outdoors, so providing them with access to outdoor space will keep them happy and healthy. A fenced run or free-ranging area will give them the opportunity to scratch, dust bathe, and search for tasty treats.

Hatchery Purchase vs. Breeder

If you’ve decided to add Lavender Orpingtons to your flock, the next step is to find a good source. There are benefits to both hatchery buying and working with a breeder, so it’s essential to consider which method will work best for you.


Hatcheries often offer a wide variety of breeds, including Lavender Orpingtons. Buying from a reputable hatchery ensures healthy chicks that have been vaccinated and properly cared for. This route tends to be more cost-effective and makes adding several birds to your flock a more manageable task.


Purchasing chickens from a breeder allows you to discuss the birds’ lineage and background with the person who raised them. Breeders often have a deeper knowledge of individual birds and can answer questions about temperament, color variations, and specific care needs. This option is generally more expensive but may be worth it if you’re looking for show-quality birds.

Breed Specific Tips

Now that you know all about raising Lavender Orpingtons let’s explore some helpful tips to ensure your success with this beautiful and gentle breed.

  • Since Lavender Orpingtons have a calm nature, they may not fare well in mixed flocks with more aggressive breeds. Keep this in mind when choosing your flock members.
  • While Lavender Orpington hens are avid layers, their size and calm demeanor can make them prone to bullying by more assertive breeds. Make sure to keep an eye on the pecking order, intervening if needed to ensure everyone gets along.
  • Consider providing an elevated dust bath for your birds. This is especially important during wet weather when the ground gets muddy. Lavender Orpingtons love to bathe in dust, so keeping them clean and parasite-free is important.

Lavender Orpingtons are a beautiful addition to any backyard flock, and they’re a great choice for those raising chickens for the first time. Their calm demeanor, friendly nature, and solid egg production make them a valuable asset in any backyard coop. Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll be well on your way to successfully raising these stunning birds.

Common Health Issues

Like all chicken breeds, Lavender Orpingtons can experience some common health issues. Being aware of the possible problems and maintaining proper prevention measures will help keep your chickens happy and healthy.


Bumblefoot is an infection in a chicken’s foot, usually caused by a small cut that becomes infected. To prevent this condition, keep the coop and run clean, and provide a soft landing for any perches or jumps.

Mites and Lice

Parasites like mites and lice can infest your flock if not managed correctly. Keep the coop clean and dust regularly with diatomaceous earth to prevent these pests. Providing your birds with dust baths will also help to keep them parasite-free.

Respiratory Issues

Respiratory issues can arise from poor air quality, damp environments, or inadequate ventilation in the coop. Keep the coop clean and dry, making sure there is proper ventilation to reduce the risk of respiratory illnesses.

How to Breed Lavender Orpingtons

For those interested in breeding Lavender Orpington chickens, having a proper understanding of their genetics and breeding practices is crucial to produce healthy, true-to-breed birds.


The key to understanding Lavender Orpington genetics is knowing that lavender is not a color but a diluting gene. This gene dilutes black pigment in the feathers to produce the lavender color. Since the lavender gene is recessive, both parents must carry this gene for their offspring to exhibit the lavender shade.

Selective Breeding

To breed Lavender Orpingtons, begin by choosing healthy, friendly, and good-looking birds as your breeding stock. Ensure they exhibit the proper traits and characteristics for the breed, such as body size and shape, color, and temperament.

Eggs from your chosen breeding stock should be collected daily and stored in a cool, dry place. To achieve the highest hatch rates, incubate the eggs within seven days of being laid. Incubation generally takes 21 days, and it is essential to maintain proper temperature, humidity, and egg-turning practices throughout the incubation period.

Once the chicks hatch, provide a brooder with appropriate heat, food, and water to ensure the chicks’ health and development. As they grow, carefully monitor their progress, keeping an eye out for any abnormalities or inconsistencies in the breed.

Showing Lavender Orpingtons

If you plan to show Lavender Orpington chickens, it is essential to understand the breed standards and requirements established by the American Poultry Association (APA) and other governing bodies.

Breed Standards

For Lavender Orpingtons, the following points should be considered when preparing for a show:

  • The bird’s overall size, weight, and shape
  • Feather color uniformity and quality
  • Body stance and the shape of the back, tail, and breast
  • Legs and feet color and structure, which should be free of deformities and possess the desired number of toes

Keeping a close eye on these factors and selecting only the strongest and most accurately representative chickens will give you the best chance of success in showing your Lavender Orpingtons.

Preparation for Showing

Before showing your Lavender Orpington chickens, it is important to spend some time grooming and caring for them. Bathe the birds gently with warm water and a mild soap, paying particular attention to removing any dirt from the feathers and feet. Trim the nails, comb, and wattles if needed. Make sure your birds are healthy and in good condition before entering a show.

By carefully breeding, selecting, and grooming Lavender Orpington chickens, you can successfully showcase this stunning breed and represent their magnificent characteristics to the world.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about Lavender Orpington chickens that will provide you with a deeper understanding and knowledge of this magnificent breed.

1. Can Lavender Orpingtons tolerate cold and hot climates?

Yes, Lavender Orpingtons are a hardy breed and can adapt well to both cold and hot climates. However, you should always provide proper ventilation and shade in hot weather, and keep the coop draft-free and well-insulated during colder months.

2. Are Lavender Orpingtons good for first-time chicken owners?

Absolutely! Their friendly, docile nature and low maintenance requirements make Lavender Orpingtons a great choice for first-time chicken owners.

3. Can Lavender Orpingtons fly?

Due to their heavy body size, Lavender Orpingtons are not good flyers. Their limited flying ability makes keeping them contained easier and reduces the risk of escape.

4. Do Lavender Orpingtons do well in mixed flocks?

While their calm disposition makes them susceptible to bullying from more aggressive breeds, Lavender Orpingtons can do well in mixed flocks when properly introduced and monitored, ensuring they aren’t being picked on by other birds.

5. Are Lavender Orpingtons noisy?

Lavender Orpingtons are relatively quiet birds. Roosters occasionally crow, but their docile temperament generally keeps noise levels low.

6. How long do Lavender Orpingtons lay eggs?

Lavender Orpingtons typically begin laying eggs at around 5-6 months of age and continue to do so for several years. Their egg production may decrease over time, but they remain reliable layers throughout their lifetime.

7. What is the average lifespan of a Lavender Orpington chicken?

The average lifespan of a Lavender Orpington chicken is between 5 to 9 years. With proper care and maintenance, they can live a healthy and productive life.

8. How can I improve my Lavender Orpington’s egg production?

Providing a high-quality, balanced diet, clean water, and an appropriate coop environment along with maintaining a regular lighting schedule will help improve your Lavender Orpington’s egg production.

9. Can I have a Lavender Orpington rooster in an urban backyard?

While Lavender Orpington roosters tend to be quieter than other breeds, local ordinances regarding roosters in urban backyards vary. It is essential to check with your local authorities before adding a rooster to your urban flock.

10. Do Lavender Orpingtons require any specific grooming or care?

Regular health checks along with proper coop maintenance should be sufficient for Lavender Orpingtons. Occasionally, you may want to clip their nails, and if preparing them for show, they will need a thorough cleaning and grooming.

11. Can I keep Lavender Orpingtons in a small backyard?

Yes, Lavender Orpingtons can be kept in a small backyard, as long as they have enough space to move around in their coop and have access to a fenced run or a safe outdoor area for foraging and exercise.

12. How many eggs does a Lavender Orpington lay in a year?

A Lavender Orpington hen typically lays around 150-250 eggs per year, depending on factors such as age, nutrition, and environment.

13. Are Lavender Orpingtons recognized by the American Poultry Association?

Although not all color varieties of Orpingtons, including Lavender, are officially recognized by the American Poultry Association (APA), they are still a popular and respected breed amongst backyard chicken keepers and fanciers.

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