Buff Orpington From Chick To Adult

Chicks transform from puff balls into adult hens in mere months. It’s as if a movie is being played in fast-action mode.

This is a Buff Orpington at one week of age, which is the quintessence of what people think that a chick should be. This stage doesn’t last more than a moment.


Buff Orpington Chick 1 week old

Blink. Feathers coming in.

chick 17 days

Buff Orpington 17 days old

Blink. Down gone.

buff 5 wks

Buffy Orpington 5 weeks old

Blink. Feathers flapping. Dust baths and foraging outside.

BO 7 weeks

Buff Orpington almost 7 weeks

Blink. Combs on heads and large feet digging up the dirt. At 20 weeks, she’s laying eggs.

ready to lay

Buff Orpington at point of lay

Blink. The hen is two.


Buff Orpington 2 years old

And then time slows. Years go by. The hen is seven. She’s not as glossy. She’s not laying. She’s old.


Buff Orpington 7 years old

Time is like that, it telescopes in and out depending on what is in front of you. I have chicks and old hens in the same picture. It’s a bit disconcerting. But when you see me sitting amongst the new birds and the Old Girls, it might look like I’m trying to make sense of it all. I’m not. I’m just there. Rather like the animals around me.


  1. It’s such a lovely and rewarding journey to be on with these lovely creatures though.

  2. Hope my Buff Orpington has as good as life as Buffy. She is already giving me so much pleasure and is just 1 week old. So hard to believe they grow so fast. Your pictures are amazing as always. Sounds like you and your chickens are in such a good place of contentment. I guess they do that.

  3. This is lovely. I have a friend who picked up some BO chicks 4 weeks ago so I forwarded this to her.

    You just need the photo of one sitting in a nest box being broody. Love my BO’s but sure wish there was a pill to make them either go broody or stop being broody. Sigh…

  4. Beautiful journey! I’m at Buffy’s stage – I love her.

  5. Great pictures. Love your comment, “I’m just there”. Yep, that says it all. It’s so much fun to document their growing up.
    Trying your quiche recipe from last month. It’s in the oven as I type! Can’t wait! : ) Thanks, Terry!

  6. I am new to your blog, and I just love it. I love to see all the photos and read the stories about your beautiful hens. So glad I found you in one of the chicken magazines so I could be introduced to your blog. :). I will never tire of chickens or your stories about them. I am also learning new things which is great since I now have. A flock of my own. We has many chickens when I was growing up. Although I was the primary care taker there are many things I have forgotten.

  7. Yes, I watched you out there on your yellow stool late one afternoon last week, watching and occasionally picking up the pullets. You commented on doing that in a previous blog – getting them used to being handled and seeing which were the most suitable for the nursing home. The people in that nursing home are going to be so fortunate with the hens to watch. Thankfully I’m not there yet but on behalf of those who are, thank you Terry. :-)

  8. buffy – is that who is in the last picture of the life of a hen?
    she looks like the poet was thinking of when he wrote ‘ the last of life for which the first was made’
    a most contented – even fulfilled – hen.

  9. I have a question: I’ve noticed that on pictures of older hens, some have combs and some do not. Why is this?

    • Some hens start out with smaller combs. Some breeds have barely noticeable combs. As a hen ages, her comb becomes less full and some shrink and darken. Buffy’s comb has been pecked at and ripped off by other hens. So, you might be noticing any number of reasons for the smaller comb size.

  10. Your comments are great. Thanks for sharing all the lovely pictures and thoughts.

  11. As George Carlin put it, “Life is a series of dogs.”
    (Or hens!)

  12. I like that your just there, bet I’m not the only one! :) Thank you.

  13. My favorite pic is the one where they were still in the brooder and all of their butts were in a circle around the lamp..too cute!!!