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Orpingtons Chicken Breed Page

 

 

Orpingtons
Chicken
 

 

The Orpington is a large bird from the English Class of chickens. The best known type of Orpington are buff in color but they were original developed in 1886 as black by William Cook in a village called Orpington. The black Orpington was bred using black Langshans, Minorcas and black Rock crosses. Cook also created white and buff colored orpingtons between 1889 - 1895 using buff Cochins, Dorkings and Gold Spangled Dutch fowl. Orpingtons come mostly in solid colors and the American Poultry Association recognizes black, white, buff and blue. Other colors and patterns include laced blue, porcelain, white spangled black, barred, red, buff-laced black, partridge, speckled, mottled, birchen and white-laced buff.

 

Orpingtons are heavy dual/general purpose birds that weigh seven to ten pounds. They lay between 110 to 160 eggs a year and they do not stop laying in the winter. Eggshells are yellow/brown in color with a size range of medium to large. They have excellent meat quality. Orpington can get broody and make very good mothers.

 

Orpingtons have medium sized single red combs. Wattles and Earlobes don't tend to get very large. Earlobes are mainly red and can have some white. Orpingtons are cleaned legged, without beards or crests and have the standard 4 toes. The skin color is white. They are hardy and their feathering lets them deal with colder weather them some breeds. Lighter colors do better then dark ones in heat. They are not very flighty and they don't have much lift but may still need their wings clipped.

 

Orpingtons have laid back personalities and are very docile. They are great foragers and do well in confinement. Orpingtons are very nice looking birds make great affectionate pets. Due to their timid nature Orpington chicks tend to be on the bottom of the pecking order when raised with other breeds.

 

-- Daniel M. Garcia


Photo from "Extraordinary Chickens"
by Stephen Green-Armytage

Comments (6)

I would question the one bit where it says that "they do not stop laying in winter"
My Buff Orpingtons laid about TWICE as many eggs as mentioned in this piece....although they did slow-down a bit in Winter...they continued to lay quite well. ( Cold Winters at 6800 feet altitude in the "High-Desert" of New Mexico. )
In England, where the weather is wet and cold the young orpingtons may lay eggs in the winter whereas the older ones being more sensible will lay in the spring - our orpingtons should not have white earlobes - it is considered to be a fault. We find that in England that are not as hardy as some breeds because being cold and wet in the winter over here, their feathers can become soggy, heavy and muddy making them catch colds and be a rather miserable bird for sure. Antibiotics is needed straight away as soon as we see our orpingtons look miserable.
I also find like most breeds, the older the bird, the bigger the wattles become, this way in relation to the size of the spurs, you can tell an old bird by the size of his wattles.
There is no need to clip their wings like other breeds that are of the flightly nature. Having most colours of the orpington, because of their dense feathers, there is no difference on colour as to who suffers the heat most, be it buff, blue or black, they all will shelter from the sun due to the immense feathering on the bodies.
Sandy xx
The information about the pecking order is important. We mixed Orpington chicks with other chicks of the same age, and the Orpingtons got pecked a lot by the others. One died, we don't know why. Today we have one with crook neck, and from what I've read, it seems likely it was caused by the other chicks pecking at its head and causing brain damage. The moral of the story? Probably best not to mix Orpington chicks with other chicks, at least while they are fairly small.
I am not 100% sure, but I think I have 1 buff orpington in my flock. I have 5 hens, all adult laying hens. I adopted them recently and am trying to figure out what breeds they are. This is challenging. What else looks like a BO but has a dominant personality, cause this one is clearly top of the pecking order?? She is not agressive, but she is top dog, I mean chicken. Any ideas?
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