Despite the Orpington Duck being one of the best dual-purpose breeds of duck, it is now a critically endangered breed. On this page, we are going to take a look at the Buff Orpington Duck in a bit more depth.
Buff Orpington Duck Facts at a Glance
|Eggs||150-200 eggs per year|
|Egg shell color||White|
|Size||Male: 6 lb|
Female: 5 lb
Where Do Buff Orpington Duck Come From?
A few breeds went into the creation of the Orpington Duck. This includes:
The duck was first put on show in the late 1800s. While it originally caught the attention of duck breeders, it didn’t really have the lasting impact of other duck breeds.
It is now at the point where the duck is at a serious risk of dying out. It isn’t really used as anything bar a backyard duck nowadays, which is a massive shame.
The Look of the Orpington Ducks
The Orpington Duck normally has a ‘buff’ color to it. However, due to the way that the buff gene works, it may not produce offspring that look the same.
The Orpington Duck can also be found in brown or blonde, although neither of these colors are going to be regarded as true Buff Orpington Ducks.
The color of the bill is never going to vary, though. The drake is always going to have a yellow bill, while the hen will have an orange bill. In both cases, their legs will be orange.
The Orpington Duck is of a medium-size. Since this is a bird that has (mostly) been created with meat in mind, it tends to be a bit chunkier.
The duck breasts are quite deep, which will provide more meat for those that consume it.
The Use of the Duck as a Show Bird
In the past, the Orpington Duck was heavily used as a show bird. However, that is no longer the case.
Sure, there are a few duck shows that will feature it on occasion, however, these are rare.
This is due to the rarity of the breed. That being said, there has been a small increase in the number of shows as of late.
This is because of the announcement of the bird being critically endangered, now a lot of duck breeders are looking to save it.
Due to the unique buff color, a lot of people willö use the Orpington Duck as an ornamental breed, albeit one that is going to be highly productive.
This is one of only a few breeds that can appear in a buff color, hence their popularity here.
As a Meat Duck
The main purpose of the Orpington Duck is as a meat bird. As we said before, it has deeper breasts, which will provide a lot more meat.
The Buff Orpington Duck tends to grow fairly fast too, without that fast growth really putting it at any risk of dying early due to health issues.
The bird weighs around 3kg in weight. This means that it is not the heaviest duck ever, but a lot of people find that 6.6 lbs. is the perfect weight for a duck that has been bred for meat.
Anything much larger than this could be a bit more difficult to raise.
The Buff Orpington Duck Eggs
The Orpington Duck lays a huge number of eggs. In fact, you can expect an Orpington Duck to lay anywhere between 150 and 200 eggs per year. It lays them throughout the entirety of the year too, with barely any time ‘off’.
This is one of the reasons as to why we are surprised that the Orpington Duck isn’t as heavily reared as other duck breeds for their eggs.
Although, we do suppose that duck eggs are not consumed as heavily as they were in the past.
However, if you do enjoy your duck eggs, then you are probably not going to find a better breed than the Orpington Duck for that purpose.
Buff Orpington Ducks for Breeding
Due to the huge number of eggs that the Orpington Duck lays, this should be a fairly easy duck to breed. You would likely be able to create a whole flock of them without trouble.
The main issue you will have when raising the Orpington Duck isn’t so much the actual breeding part, it is the fact that not all of the ducks will be bred with the Buff color.
As we said before; some will come out in different colors. As an estimate, about 50% of the ducks will be born with a buff color. This means that the other 50% will not qualify as show birds.
Of course, this probably isn’t going to matter too much unless creating a show standard duck is your purpose.
They are still going to lay a good number of eggs and still work as a meat producer.
Raising the Orpington Duck
This is a breed of duck tht isn’t going to take that much in the way of specialist care. It was developed to be a hardy breed. After all, the intention was for it to be used as a commercial duck.
This means that as long as you provide it with the staples a duck needs (food, water, and some sort of stimulation), then the duck is going to be absolutely fine on its own.
That being said, you probably will want to interact with your Orpington Ducks on occasion. This is because while it is a friendly breed, it does require regular human interaction to get used to them.
A lot of people will hand rear their Orpington Ducks from the second that they hatch to make this process little bit easier. If you do this, then the Orpington Duck will work incredibly well as a family pet.
There are no health issues associated with the Orpington Duck, all you need to do is keep an eye out to ensure that they do not get riddled with pests under their feathers, but ducks tend to do a decent job of cleaning themselves off anyway.