The Orpington Chicken produced in 1886 by Mr Cook at Orpington, County Kent, England, from a Black Langshan-Black Minorca-Black Plymouth Rock cross, is the original Orpington. The Buff (1894) and White (1889) varieties were produced from crosses other than those which were used to make up the Black Orpington. Cochin blood was introduced into some of the earlier strains of Orpingtons as evidenced by some of the more loosely feathered specimens. The original Black Orpington came to America in 1890.
The Blue Orpingtons were produced from crossing the Black and White varieties in 1923.
Characteristics: Orpington Chickens are heavily but loosely feathered, appearing massive. Their feathering allows them to endure cold temperatures better than some other breeds. They exist only in solid colors; are at home on free range or in relatively confined situations; and are docile. Hens exhibit broodiness and generally make good mothers. Chicks are not very aggressive and are often the underdogs when several breeds are brooded together. They are a good general use fowl.
- Standard Weights: Cock-10 pounds; hen-8-1/2 pounds; cockerel-8 pounds; pullet-7 pounds.
- Skin Color: White
- Egg Shell Color: Brown
- Use: Egg and meat Producer
- Origin: Great Britain
Interested in raising chickens, but not sure which breed might be right for you?
Things to consider:
Geography: Consider geography when selecting a breed. In cooler areas of the country, consider raising heavier birds. In hotter areas, consider lighter weight birds. Some birds have been specially breed for cold climates. Consider these birds if you live in a cold-climate area.
Space: Where will you be raising these chickens? Do you have a lot of farm land for the animals to be raised on, or are you planning to raise them in your backyard? If you have a small space in which to raise the birds, choose breeds with a calmer temperament and avoid birds that are listed as active. Active birds will not be happy in close confinement.
Temperament: When choosing a breed, consider temperament. Some breeds are calmer than others. If raising chickens in a backyard or in the city, you may prefer a calmer breed.