Very Friendly, Calm, Quiet
Recognized Color Varieties
Orpingtons are a big, broad, and furry breed that, like the Cochin, has largely been bred for exhibition. Because of this, the breed has dramatically changed in both its production and looks. They have abundant fluff that makes them very cold-hardy birds. They have a single red comb, bright red wattles, and fiery orange eyes. Orpingtons are notoriously broody, and while they lay a good number of eggs per week, their heavy tendency to go broody drastically decreases their total output of eggs in a given year. However, they make exceptional mothers to a brood of chicks, and are also fabulous chickens for families and children with their even and calm temperament. They enjoy human interaction, and tend to be particularly cuddly.
The first Orpington was a Black Orpington was developed by William Cook in Orpington, England. Cook's goal was to develop a bird that was a hardy, dual purpose bird: a chicken that would produce plenty of eggs, while meeting the rigorous expectations the British meat market set. He bred Minorca roosters with Black Plymouth Rock hens, and subsequently crossed the offspring of that cross with clean-legged Langhan chickens. The Orpingtons were a well established success in England and had begun to be exported to other countries. In Australia, the Black Orpington used in a breeding program designed to feed a growing colony population, which resulted in the Black Australorp (short for the Black Austral Orpington).
With the success of the Black Orpington, Cook decided to introduce other variations of the Orpington including the White, Buff, Jubilee, and Spangled.
Peak Egg Production
Good: Approx 200
Tolerant of Confinement
American Poultry Association