Chicken Breeds: Orpington Chickens
Learn about keeping chickens from the Orpington breed in this article. Orpington chickens are one of the UK's most famous breeds, as this guide considers.
One of the UK’s most famous chicken breeds is the Orpington chicken. Named after the London suburb where the birds were first bred by William Cook in 1886, Orpington chickens are renowned for being excellent layers and meat producers – something that makes them much in demand with poultry fanciers.
As a result of their sturdy build, Orpington chickens cannot fly, but they are extremely hardy birds that adapt well to cold climates. Learn more about keeping chickens from this prolific breed in the guide below.
Chicken Breeds: A Guide to Orpington Chickens
As touched on above, the Black Orpington dates all the way back to the latter half of the 19th century. Breed pioneer William Cook created the Orpington hybrid by crossing the Minorca, Langshan and Plymouth Rock bird.
Fascinatingly, it was always Cook’s intention to produce a bird of a lustrous black in colour, as a means of camouflaging the Orpington amongst the dirt and soot of Industrial Revolution London. Today, the Orpington is bred both for commercial and showing purposes; the distinctive feathering of the breed often catching the eye at livestock competitions.
Five principal colours tend to be recognised by the breed standard – buff, blue, black, white and splash. Healthy Orpington chickens for sale tend to be heavier than with many other chicken breeds on the marketplace, weighing in at around 7-10 pounds. Other common characteristics of the Orpington breed include a small head, short back, fluffy feathering and an easy-going temperament. If you’re looking for chickens for sale that guarantee a high egg yield, the Orpington breed tends to be a safe choice, as hens can lay as many as 200 eggs per year, and will continue to lay consistently throughout the winter months.
Even for the inexperienced poultry owner, keeping chickens from the Orpington breed should prove a relatively hassle-free experience. Provided the chicken coop is kept protected from predators, well-sheltered, and regularly topped up with a steady supply of feed and water, Orpington chickens will otherwise require the minimum of fuss.
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