The Buffs are direct from Don Chandler, and I am breeding and culling heavily for size and body type.
The picture below shows the cockerel and pullet at just over a year and, at nearly two years now, they have filled out considerably. Updated pictures to follow.
Blue, Black and Splash Orpingtons
For part of 2014, I shall be keeping a specifically splash pen, consisting of a mature hen, three pullets and a cockerel. They have been selected for type and color, culling heavily for brassiness and leakage. All these birds are very 'clean'.
My blue hens will be kept with my new black cockerel, working for improved color and lacing on blues. My English black Orpington hens will be kept with a very large and well marked blue cockerel, breeding for body type and color. I do not plan to keep many blacks this year, perhaps just a handful of the very nicest English types for next year's pens.
While many breeders advertize their lavenders as 'rare', I think it's safe to say that they are no longer uncommon. What IS rare, however, are breeders who put the time and effort into ensuring that their lavenders are true to the Orpington breed in type, and pure coloring, free of brassiness or yellowing. It is, in my opinion, just too easy to label sub-standard birds as 'Lavender Orpingtons' and sell for a premium based on the name, rather than the quality of the bird. This makes the job of raising a true lavender Orpington much harder, but there are breeders who aredicated to doing just that, and producing birds which conform to the Orpington standard.
I breed nicely colored Lavender roosters to english type Orpington hens, and breed primarily for type, followed closely by coloring. I am not afraid to breed back a lavender cockerel to a pure black hen to produce F1 splits in order to improve type. I then select from this group of retained birds to match them up to breed for the characteristics that could be improved.