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Orpington Chicken Facts, Profile, Characteristics

Orpington Chicken Facts, Profile, Characteristics

Orpington Chicken Breed Information:

Today, let us talk about Orpington Chicken Breed.

Breed Profile: 

  • Name: Orpington.
  • Varieties: some recognized varieties are Buff, Black, Blue, White–Splash and Lavender are not recognized yet.
  • Chicken Weight: Male chicken weighs approximately: 3.60–4.55 kg and the female chickens weighs approximately. 2.70–3.60 kg.
  • Eggs: Good Layer, lays 3 to 4 eggs per week.
  • Cost: Chicken costs: 3 to 4 $.
  • Rarity: Buff variety Orpington chicken is common.
  • Purpose: Dual purpose chicken breed (reared for both meat and eggs).
  • Egg Laying: Good.
  • Egg Color: Light Brown.
  • Egg Size:Large.
  • Comb Type: Medium, or Single Comb.
  • Feathered Legs: No.
  • Number of Toes: 4.
  • Cold Hardiness: Hardy in winter.
  • Heat Tolerance: Not especially heat hardy.
  • Personality: Calm, Friendly, Curious, Patient, and can be handled without any problem.
  • Uses: They are kept as pets and mainly reared for eggs and meat.

Read: Brahma Chicken Breed Profile.

Introduction to Orpington Chicken Breed:

The Orpington is a dual-purpose chicken breed, reared for both eggs and meat. This chicken breed is introduced in Orpington, Kent, England, it was bred specifically for their superior eggs while still maintaining good meat quality. Orpington has been renowned as one of the most beautiful chickens with its rich colors and soft contours, they have become more and more popular in the show bird category. There are different color variations are available, including the common buff Orpington, and there are both full-sized and bantam varieties.

Orpington chickens are the best dual-purpose bird and among the top choices for small farmers. By the nature, these birds are docile, sweet and grow nice and large. The lay eggs and meat of this chicken are tasty, and the hens go broody easily.

These chickens are very cold hardy and produce eggs well through frigid winters and dark, short days. Orpington chicken is a popular and attractive breed mainly due to its large size, soft appearance and its rich color and gentle contours. It is also popular as a show bird. 

Origin of Orpington Chicken Breed:

  • The original Black Orpington breed was introduced by William Cook in 1886 by crossing Minorcas, Langshans and Plymouth Rocks that created a new hybrid bird.
  • The original colors chickens in  the breed are black, white, buff, blue and splash. And there are many additional varieties recognized throughout the world, only the original colors are recognized by the American Standard, the Buff is the most common color.
  • In the twentieth century, Herman Kuhn of Germany introduced a Bantam variety. The Bantam has the appearance of the full-size bird, but in a smaller size. There is a large variety of colors in the Bantam varieties, including black, blue laced, white, buff, red, buff black laced, barred, buff Columbian, and birchen. The Bantam retains the friendly personality of the Standard breed, and these birds seldom or never fly.

Physical Characteristics of Orpington Chicken Breed:

  • Orpington chicken breed birds are heavy in size, which are loosely feathered, and they appear massive. They have better feathering than some other breeds, and their feathering allows them to tolerate cold temperatures. These chickens are very cold hardy birds. There are two similar but different standards for Orpington chicken varieties.
  • The appearance of the Orpington chickens should be a heavy, broad body with a low stance, fluffed out feathers and a curvy, short back.
  • These chickens should be well feathered with broad, smooth feathers. Feet and shanks will be clean and pinkish white in color and with a white colored flesh. The beak of Orpington chicken breed will be in a pinkish white. And they have reddish bay colored eyes; with wattles, comb and earlobes should be red.
  • The single comb chickens should have five points, and there is also a rose comb variety.
  • Orpingtons chicken comes in two sizes – large fowl and bantam. Other characteristics of their Orpington chickens will be a curvy shape with a short back and U-shaped underline and a small head with medium single comb.
  • Orpington Hens lay larger light brown colored eggs. These hens are pretty good layers, and, on an average, hens lay approximately 3-4 eggs per week. These breed chicken reach maturity earlier. On an average, male Orpington chickens weigh around 3.6kg to 4.55kg and females’ weight around 2.7kg to 3.6kg. Buff, Black, White, and Blue Orpington’s are some recognized color varieties of this chicken breed.
  • Orpington Large fowl should weigh around ten pounds for the male and eight pounds for the female. In all other respects the bantams are the large fowl. The bantam variety in Orpington is one of the largest bantams available.

Read: Kadaknath Chicken Farming Project Report.

Behavior of Orpington Chicken Breed:

  • All Orpington chickens are said to be docile and friendly, and this is mainly true in case of the buff Orpington variety.
  • These chickens are very calm and stately, they just move smoothly across the barnyard, unless they are running for treats, in that case they just p their ‘skirts’ and runs like crazy.
  • These chickens love to be cuddled and often seeks them out to let you know they need attention.
  • They have a fabulous feathering which makes them very cold hardy, although if their feathers get sodden, they may chill and die quickly. They can easily tolerate warmer climates, but need good access to shade during the heat of the day.
  • They are great broodies and good mothers, they easily accept hatching eggs being placed under them. The buff roosters are fiercely protective of their offspring and will even take a spell on the nest to give mom a break.
  • These chickens are the top choice for many families for pet keeping, because the buff is superb with children, they can easily tolerate all sorts of things that kids do.
  • And you should keep a watchful eye since they have a strong beak that can deliver a mighty peck.
  • As they are laid back and friendly, makes them a great project bird for the 4H clubs as they tolerate handling and confinement so well. These same qualities make them a great show bird also as they are not upset by frequent handling, strange environments and unusual noises.
  • This breed chickens tolerate confinement very well and even they will free range, they rarely forage relying mainly on the feeders.
  • They are good layers of large brown eggs around 200–280 per year. If you are raising them for meat, they will be ready in 22 weeks. They are often considered the perfect dual-purpose chicken.

Health Issues in Orpington Chickens:

  • Orpingtons can tolerate cold, but very warm temperatures can kill them unless you provide a shade and good ventilation.
  • Orpingtons have dense feathers that can be easily affected by lice and mites, so they need regular application of poultry dust can keep pests in check.
  • Large birds, Orpingtons are sometimes prone to obesity unless they good exercise.

Read: Aubrac Cattle Facts.

Advantages of Orpington Chicken: 

  • Orpingtons are the best dual purpose birds.
  • Orpingtons are Beautiful birds.
  • They are Calm, Docile and Very friendly.
  • They are very patient, and gentle birds.
  • These birds are good layers. They lay brown colored eggs, which are very rich in proteins.
  • They go broody easily and hens are great mothers.
  • Best pets for kids
  • These chicken support confinement and are not noisy.
  • These chickens can tolerate cold temperatures.

Disadvantages of Orpington Chicken:

  • Too big chickens for some flocks.
  • Lot of them look like similar (hard to recognize without leg bands).
  • These chickens are easily beaten up by bossier chickens.

Read: Raising Catfish In Tanks.

Last Updated: December 27, 2018
Author: Jagdish

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