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Lincolnshire Buff Chickens

Using information found by the Lincolnshire Buff Poultry Society, learn more about Lincolnshire Buff Chickens on South Ormsby Estate.

 

Lincolnshire is unique among the English Counties in that we boast four distinct breeds of livestock which originated within the County boundaries. The Lincoln Longwool sheep, The Lincolnshire Red cattle, The Lincolnshire buff chickens and the curly coat pig. The Lincolnshire Curly Coat also known as the Baston Pig, is now an extinct British breed of domestic pig. There are various people and societies working hard to insure that no such tragedies as extinction happens again. The ‘Lincolnshire Buff Poulty Society’,  the ‘Lincoln longwool sheep breeders association’ and the ‘Lincoln Red Cattle Society’ all do excellent work in making their breeds known and making joining the society fun and easy to promote their respective breed.

Here at the estate, we are trying to promote the rise in numbers and popularity in the Lincolnshire heritage breeds. We are proud of our growing herd of around 340 Lincolnshire red cattle and hope to increase our numbers of buff chickens. The estate currently boasts a small flock of 4 cockerels and 12 hens, which includes the seven birds which hatched this year. Plans to increase the number to 500 chickens is currently being discussed and we are looking into the possibilities of housing a larger flock. The flock currently lives in the Walled Gardens and has its own chicken-house for shelter.

The flock will be transitioning to organic status next year with a goal for them to be pasture raised. Pasture feeding chickens gives them lots of space to roam around look out for their own food, meaning they will consume some feed and lots of grass, bugs, worms and anything else they can find in the dirt. A happy and healthy life for this flock of Lincolnshire buff chickens.

The Lincolnshire Buff originally appeared in the 1850s in rural Lincolnshire. It was developed from the Shanghai, which eventually became known as the Buff Cochin, which was crossed with different breeds including the Wheaten Old English Game and the Red Dorking.

They are a large, fast growing breed which lay over winter and make excellent table birds. They were never standardised but were a popular breed in Lincolnshire before 1900. However, they had almost disappeared by 1920 as they were replaced in popularity by the Buff Orpington. A redevelopment project was begun in 1980 and the breed has now been standardised. The Lincolnshire Buff differs from the Buff Orpington in that it has a longer back, much closer feathering and the tail is carried lower. They also have a long buff coloured beak, 5 toes and white legs.

Laying consistently, they produce around 120 – 130 eggs a year. The birds have a calm temperament and the ability to brood its own chicks, making it an ideal breed for large or small scale breeders and layers. The eggs are medium to large in size, tinted light brown in colour and are laid all year round.

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