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#33846 - 10/06/08 09:40 AM Black Orpingtons - How Black is Black?
Heritage Hens Offline
Chicken

Registered: 04/29/08
Posts: 113
Loc: Vermont
Does anyone have the Standard of Perfection for Orpingtons? I ordered some black orpingtons from a hatchery that specializes in heritage breeds. The black cockerel, not almost 6 months old, is pure black except for a band of silvery white feathers around the bottom of his neck.
I am wondering if this is a throwback, impure breeding situation, or if its common in black orps.
I am not happy with his appearance, needless to say.
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#33847 - 10/06/08 01:19 PM Re: Black Orpingtons - How Black is Black?
CJR Online   content
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8489
Loc: Montana
Hatchery chickens are just not guaranteed to be true to Standard. Even "reliable" hatcheries most often purchase their hatchi,ng eggs and they may never see the breeding birds at all.

To replace your Orp cockerel, if you seek a fine Standard (exhibition?) male, you are better advised to go to a Breeder/Exhibitor of the breed and will have a much better chance of obtaining a great bird.

Since so many birds are indeed mixes--although MANY, MANY years ago, throwbacks can sometimes be expected. You would not receive an off color bird from most reputable breeders, if not a hatchling. Hatcheries are: many, many, birds, and many are acceptable, some are not. Individual breeders keep records, will replace unacceptable birds in most cases, and at least, true to breed STandards. Good luck, CJR

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#33848 - 10/07/08 11:05 PM Re: Black Orpingtons - How Black is Black?
Blackdotte Offline
Ruler of the Roost

Registered: 10/02/04
Posts: 913
Loc: Australia
It is a sign he is lacking sufficient melanisers to be totally black, better luck next time,try for a replacement or go to a breeder.

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#33849 - 10/14/08 09:51 AM Re: Black Orpingtons - How Black is Black?
Heritage Hens Offline
Chicken

Registered: 04/29/08
Posts: 113
Loc: Vermont
This stock was purchased from a preservation center specializing in pure heritage genetics. That's why I'm thinking this is a throwback, but not having the standard for black orpington, I don't know if I have a complaint.
I am not a naive consumer, trust me. That is why I chose this center and none other. I have been working with chickens for 40 years, simply have not had experience with this breed.
I will contact them to see what explanation they may have.
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#33850 - 10/14/08 11:52 AM Re: Black Orpingtons - How Black is Black?
Bushman Offline
Ruler of the Roost

Registered: 07/25/07
Posts: 1047
Loc: Wisconsin
I can tell you the APA Standard for Black Orpingtons calls for 100% black feathers in this variety. So called "heritage genetics" is often overhyped IMHO. There are often good reasons why certain breeds/strains fall out of popularity.
Some breeders charge outlandish prices for basically perpetuating mediocrity.
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#33851 - 10/15/08 10:55 AM Re: Black Orpingtons - How Black is Black?
Heritage Hens Offline
Chicken

Registered: 04/29/08
Posts: 113
Loc: Vermont
Thank you, Bushman. That's what I was figuring. As you know, this is a British breed and creation, and they are very particular. I'm waiting to hear from someone across the pond about it. And of course will contact the source.
This could be a $4 dinner plus cost of grain.
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