The Origin Of Russian Orloff , Russian Or Iranian?

Feathers of Eden

Songster
Feb 8, 2021
174
355
151
Ontario,Canada
I have lived in Canada for the last 16 years but I am originally from Iran .

When I ventured to study the poultry world I was curious to know if there was a Chicken breed from Iran that has gotten some fame in poultry world or not.

Back home I was lucky to be born in an outdoorsy family who took me to the remote corners of Iran for many reasons mostly fishing, hunting and doing preservation projects.

Point being I have seen most of the pure poultry breeds of Iran during twenty years of travelling in rural areas of Iran.

Russian Orloff chicken as its history suggests originates from Gilan province of Iran and has been perfected and gained fame via efforts of a prominent Russian gentleman called Orloff. I personally have no problem with the fact that a Russian worked on an Iranian chicken breed and subsequently was named after him. Good for him. I tend to think if he did not fall in love with the breed ,it would have been lost to history like many other breeds.

I only can shed light on the origin of the breed and why they are what they are and why they look like what they look like.


Gilan Province of Iran where the Orloff originates is a small province south of Caspian sea. The northern border of Gilan province is all Caspian sea and the south border is a 4000 meter plus mountain range. This special feature allows the Gilan to be enjoying the humidity and rain of Caspian sea that has been trapped by tall mountains to keep them above their space and not disperse south. Gilan is more like Washington State (not D.C). It is very green, mostly cleared forest for agriculture purpose and green temperate forest of permanent green trees with some fall coloring in high mountains.
Gilan by no means is a cold province. It is warm and very humid in summer and mild and mostly above freezing during winter except for the 4000 plus mountain range where the Orloff history begins.

Villages that were built in high range mountains of Gilan experience a weather more like high Alpine Switzerland than anywhere else.

Very mild summers and cold and high snow and wind during winter months(like Switzerland) .
The two photos may be a decent representation of the Area the Orloff originates from.

They needed a breed of chicken that can forage and is not dependent on to be fed by human. They wanted decent amount of egg production but good quantity of meat and more importantly good quality of meat.

They wanted a mellow but protective Rooster that never attacks kids because as you can see from photos they live close together and the kids are in the narrow streets playing alongside roosters. They consumed any rooster with even remote aggression tendency toward human.(Zero tolerance policy).

They needed a bird that looks like predators so the aerial predators(most common predator of the area) mistake them with another predator hence the Orloff Eagle look.

They needed a Cold Hardy breed that can withstand extreme cold of winter months in 2000 to 4000 meter elevation settlements.

And when they almost reached to their goal of breed they finally focused on plumage and the most common one spangled came victorious.

This process took about 1000 years in high mountains of Gilan and then efforts of Mr Orloff finalized and perfected this breed to today standard.

Hope this helps the Orloff enthusiast know more about the origin of this breed that has some fine enthusiasts and fans in this forum
 

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I have lived in Canada for the last 16 years but I am originally from Iran .

When I ventured to study the poultry world I was curious to know if there was a Chicken breed from Iran that has gotten some fame in poultry world or not.

Back home I was lucky to be born in an outdoorsy family who took me to the remote corners of Iran for many reasons mostly fishing, hunting and doing preservation projects.

Point being I have seen most of the pure poultry breeds of Iran during twenty years of travelling in rural areas of Iran.

Russian Orloff chicken as its history suggests originates from Gilan province of Iran and has been perfected and gained fame via efforts of a prominent Russian gentleman called Orloff. I personally have no problem with the fact that a Russian worked on an Iranian chicken breed and subsequently was named after him. Good for him. I tend to think if he did not fall in love with the breed ,it would have been lost to history like many other breeds.

I only can shed light on the origin of the breed and why they are what they are and why they look like what they look like.


Gilan Province of Iran where the Orloff originates is a small province south of Caspian sea. The northern border of Gilan province is all Caspian sea and the south border is a 4000 meter plus mountain range. This special feature allows the Gilan to be enjoying the humidity and rain of Caspian sea that has been trapped by tall mountains to keep them above their space and not disperse south. Gilan is more like Washington State (not D.C). It is very green, mostly cleared forest for agriculture purpose and green temperate forest of permanent green trees with some fall coloring in high mountains.
Gilan by no means is a cold province. It is warm and very humid in summer and mild and mostly above freezing during winter except for the 4000 plus mountain range where the Orloff history begins.

Villages that were built in high range mountains of Gilan experience a weather more like high Alpine Switzerland than anywhere else.

Very mild summers and cold and high snow and wind during winter months(like Switzerland) .
The two photos may be a decent representation of the Area the Orloff originates from.

They needed a breed of chicken that can forage and is not dependent on to be fed by human. They wanted decent amount of egg production but good quantity of meat and more importantly good quality of meat.

They wanted a mellow but protective Rooster that never attacks kids because as you can see from photos they live close together and the kids are in the narrow streets playing alongside roosters. They consumed any rooster with even remote aggression tendency toward human.(Zero tolerance policy).

They needed a bird that looks like predators so the aerial predators(most common predator of the area) mistake them with another predator hence the Orloff Eagle look.

They needed a Cold Hardy breed that can withstand extreme cold of winter months in 2000 to 4000 meter elevation settlements.

And when they almost reached to their goal of breed they finally focused on plumage and the most common one spangled came victorious.

This process took about 1000 years in high mountains of Gilan and then efforts of Mr Orloff finalized and perfected this breed to today standard.

Hope this helps the Orloff enthusiast know more about the origin of this breed that has some fine enthusiasts and fans in this forum
Super interesting!! Thanks so much for sharing! I just adore my Orloff and my girl is sweet, curious, and just a bit quirky which I love! 🥰
This is Brownie at 4.5 months old
76E67E26-9908-4CD3-A139-68EAA7DE2407.jpeg
 
Another fun fact about Russian Orloffs: Count Orloff, the guy responsible for making the more popular to the point they were named after him, is also accredited to breeding the Orlov Trotter, a rare breed of horse known both for its odd extra rib (has one extra set compared to most if not all other horse breeds), and also coming from a similar area in the world to the Russian Orloffs, in that one of the parent breeds used to develop it came from Arabia.
 
Another fun fact about Russian Orloffs: Count Orloff, the guy responsible for making the more popular to the point they were named after him, is also accredited to breeding the Orlov Trotter, a rare breed of horse known both for its odd extra rib (has one extra set compared to most if not all other horse breeds), and also coming from a similar area in the world to the Russian Orloffs, in that one of the parent breeds used to develop it came from Arabia.
Huh! I didn’t know that either! Count Orloff seems like an interesting dude! Gonna have to look up this horse—I’ve not heard of it. Thanks for sharing!! :)
 
Another fun fact about Russian Orloffs: Count Orloff, the guy responsible for making the more popular to the point they were named after him, is also accredited to breeding the Orlov Trotter, a rare breed of horse known both for its odd extra rib (has one extra set compared to most if not all other horse breeds), and also coming from a similar area in the world to the Russian Orloffs, in that one of the parent breeds used to develop it came from Arabia.
Oh my…I might need one of these Orlov horses! They’re quite stunning 😍
 
Huh! I didn’t know that either! Count Orloff seems like an interesting dude! Gonna have to look up this horse—I’ve not heard of it. Thanks for sharing!! :)
He really is. There’s quite a lot of history there if your interested in that sort of thing, it’s very interesting once you get into it. (Which I’ll refrain from doing here lest I vex the thread owner by going off topic 😅)
 
He really is. There’s quite a lot of history there if your interested in that sort of thing, it’s very interesting once you get into it. (Which I’ll refrain from doing here lest I vex the thread owner by going off topic 😅)
I find history super interesting when it’s a topic I really want to know things about! 😆 I just don’t know where to go to find that type of info! So thanks for sharing 😄
 

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