Chicken Breeds : ‘Orpingtons’
“Like the Buffs, the White Orpingtons thrive best where the soil is light and sandy. They are great favourites and whether kept in confinement or given a free range they regularly fill the egg basket with tinted eggs. For the table they are excellent birds, having white flesh and legs. Orpingtons are not particularly good foragers and the chickens are rather slow in developing, but both varieties combine most of the qualities required in a dual purpose fowl.”
Gold Laced Orpingtons
The original Orpington (the Black) was developed in 1886 by William Cook. He crossed Minorcas, Langshans and Plymouth Rocks to create the new hybrid bird. Cook named the breed after his home town in Kent. The first Orpingtons looked very much like the Langshan and were black. Between 1889 and 1905, Cook also created white, buff and blue colored Orpingtons. The Orpington was bred as a dual-purpose breed (meat production and eggs), but its popularity grew as a show bird rather than a utility breed. Their large size and soft appearance together with their rich color and gentle contours make them very attractive.
Besides the original colors (black, white, buff, blue), lots of other varieties exist today, e.g. porcelain, red, mottled and birchen. The original colors are still the most widely bred varieties.
Orpingtons lay between 110 and 160 eggs a year.
“Hi Gina! I always enjoy reading your newsletters and seeing pictures of other peoples Chickens, well here is my favorite of my 18 month old Buff Orpington chickens. My Mom caught this while leaving my house. The girls were all out roaming the property on a warm summer afternoon and she caught this beautiful heart! My Husband is in the Navy so I will not be able to keep chickens for years, but these pictures will always remind me of our special pets. We hand raised 9 hens with my small children and this breed has been the best for us. They are so dog like in behavior and tame and calm. We just love our Buffs. They are going through their first moult right now so they are looking bad right now, but we still love them! They even have a big old bunny that live in the coop with them! Brooke Hamar, Maine”