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Russian Orloffs vs Gold Spangled Hamburgs

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by cyanne, Jun 24, 2008.

  1. cyanne

    cyanne Songster

    May 19, 2008
    Cedar Creek, TX
    I have a mystery that I was hoping the BYC'ers could help me solve. I went to the FS a few weeks ago to pick up some silver laced wyandotte chicks, and in the same pen there were some cute little chipmunk looking chicks.

    The label said they were gold-spangled hamburgs, and they were so cute and kept hopping into my hands as I tried to catch the SLW's that I couldn't resist buying a couple. [​IMG]

    Once I got home I read up on the hamburgs and was pretty happy that I had gotten them, though I was a little puzzled because the adults did not have beards or muffs and the chicks I bought did. I kind of shrugged it off, thinking that maybe the chicks were just extra fuzzy and the beards would go away once they were grown. (denial)

    The beards have stayed, however, and recently someone posted a pick of a Russian Orloff chick that looked EXACTLY like my supposed hamburgs. I read the info on the Orloffs, and what I found says that they are poor layers and used more as meat birds. [​IMG]

    Since then I have been trying to find as many pics of Orloff and Hamburg chicks as I can for comparison. I found some great pics of the Orloffs, but could not find any good ones of the Gold Spangled Hamburgs (lots of silver, no gold).

    Does anyone on here have pics of GSH as chicks? I also have taken some pics of mine and will be posting them later.

    If these are Orloffs, can anyone who owns those tell me more about them? Are they really bad layers? On the upside, I guess they are really neat looking, but I kinda had my heart set on the hamburgs.
  2. keljonma

    keljonma Songster

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
  3. Carole AM

    Carole AM Songster

    Jan 12, 2007
    Goshen, Indiana
    I never had Hamburgs, so I don't know about them. I love my Orloffs! I only have one hen now--the rest are chicks.

    I don't think she lays any less than some breeds; they take longer to mature, and the eggs are small for the size of the bird. Temperment wise, they can't be beat! They are gentle giants. JMO
  4. cyanne

    cyanne Songster

    May 19, 2008
    Cedar Creek, TX
    Yep, I checked on feathersite, but it wasn't much help because the pics of the hamburg chicks were not very good views so I couldn't tell whether they looked at all like the chicks I have.

    Honestly, the best pics I've found so far were on BYC, but I was not able to find any gold spangled hamburg chick pictures. Seems like most people have the silver ones (don't blame them, either, they are gorgeous!).

    Good to hear somebody say they aren't terrible layers...anyone else have good or bad feedback on the Orloffs?
  5. Chickndaddy

    Chickndaddy Songster

    Jul 26, 2007
    East Texas
    My Spangled Russian Orlophs layed quite well. Out of three hens I usually got one or two eggs a day.
  6. keljonma

    keljonma Songster

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    Quote:I just got The Complete Encyclopedia of Chickens by Esther Verhoef and Aad Rijs as a gift. In this book, there is a picture of a Golden Spangled Owl Beard. This bird looks like a Golden Spangled Hamburg but has a beard. I don't know if this is what you have, but it is a beautiful bird. They start the discussion of the breed on page 222 and the Silver is pictured on page 223 and the Gold pictured on page 212, 224, and 321.

    You may want to see if your local book store or library has books about chickens, if you can't find a picture on the internet.
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2008
  7. Drachenreiter

    Drachenreiter In the Brooder

    Jun 14, 2008

    if you want to see Germans Breeds, there is a good site in the www called

    The last pic. is about the young hamburgers.

    You also find a lot of interessting other German and European kind of breeds.

    from Bavaria

  8. Freeholder

    Freeholder Songster

    Mar 23, 2008
    Klamath County, OR
    I have a friend who raises the Orloff's. She says they lay very well their first year, but after that they are always wanting to go broody, so you won't get many eggs from them. I think they look neat, but are larger and slower to mature than I want my chickens to be (she's tried to talk me into raising them, too!).

  9. tx zookeeper

    tx zookeeper In the Brooder

    Jan 15, 2007
    Here is a picture of a bunch of Orloffs I hatched a couple of years ago... Very sweet friendly birds. And I can't remember now which is which but you can tell the males from females as babies.. I think the lighter colored ones are boys... could be wrong. Anyone know for sure?

  10. fowlafoot

    fowlafoot Songster

    Apr 22, 2008
    I love my Orloffs! Orloffs were actually bred towards winter egg laying... very important in Russia. They have heavy asiatic influence (probably Malay) so as a meat bird they would be very slow to develop. They were eaten so you could consider them dual purpose but the intent was to have hens who would hatch in spring around April and be laying by October and continue through their first winter. An article by Will Hally in the Feathered World Year Book 1917-1919 is probably the best source that I have been able to find a reference for in The Russian Orloff Fowl . He stresses that they were created for their prolific egg laying capabilities, they are much older than our commercial egg laying breeds so prolific should be taken in that context. Another good trait is that the hens moult for only a short time and are back to laying quickly. So you need to watch their food and nutirent intake very carefully during and after moult. They do have a broody instinct so if they are Orloffs and you want them to continue laying you will need to collect their eggs as soon as they are laid. I have more on their history and pics of adults Here

    Baby and Adolescent pictures Here
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2008

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