Cuckoo Orpingtons

Posted by: HeritageHens

Cuckoo Orpingtons - 07/29/16 05:34 AM

I am interested in possibly starting a line of Cuckoo Orpingtons but as I usually do, I have to know what I am getting into. I have raised Black, Blue, and Buff Orpingtons for many years, lately I have been working on Lavenders.

If anyone has experience with this variety of Orpington, I would appreciate hearing from you. According to some information on another site, the Cuckoo variety was developed many years ago in England along with the Black Orpington, ie Dr. Cook. I find this hard to believe.

It seems that almost every day there is a new variety of Orpington popping up. To get these odd varieties, Jubilee, etc., other breeds must have been introduced. I guess the elephant in the room is this, does a "real" Orpington still exist? Perhaps I am too much a purest, but why can't some things be left alone? Why are some of these new spectacles being passed off as "heritage Orpingtons"?
Posted by: Hen-Gen

Re: Cuckoo Orpingtons - 08/15/16 11:46 AM

Interesting philosophical points you raise! laugh

It is completely unethical for anyone to misrepresent the stock that they breed/sell. This is tantamount to fraud. Having said that it is often necessary to introduce fresh blood to prevent inbreeding and to restore vigour. For example, I have a strain of Dominiques. This breed is almost unobtainable in the UK and they are, in fact, a mishmash of Barred Rocks, Columbian Wyandottes and Black Australorps. Selection over the years for barring, yellow legs and rose combs has, to all intents and purposes, created a line of Dominiques.
I guess the question hinges upon how one defines a breed. Is it something that is directly traceable to its earliest origins or is it a collection of genes incorporated in to a strain and bred for homozygosity?
Posted by: Robbie

Re: Cuckoo Orpingtons - 08/17/16 08:52 AM

I've joined in many discussions on other forums on exactly this topic. Apparently, since chickens have no pedigrees, if it looks like a breed, it is that breed regardless of it's genetic background.