Colors: Black, White, Buff, Blue, and patterns Eggs: Brown Temperament: Docile and sweet
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