Orpingtons have a very placid, friendly and docile nature, one that is tolerant of being handled. This placid nature does mean that it can be bullied by other birds so if mixing with other breeds make sure they have plenty of free range space. They are one of the best birds for the first time keeper and for those with children-an ideal ‘pet’ chicken. It is a fairly hardy breed but will need protection in wet weather - the heavy soft feathering can get waterlogged. They don’t like very hot weather so shade should be provided. They are not agile or flighty, a 3 foot fence is often sufficient to contain them. They make good mothers. Perches should be lower and nest boxes larger than normal.
This breed was named after the town in Kent where the originator, William Cook, had his farm. He bred the first Buff in 1894.
Cook originally intended them to be a dual purpose breed, as they remained in Australia, but poultry breeding in the UK was dominated by the show scene, because that was where the biggest profits were made.
Their profuse plumage undermined their productivity for meat or eggs but no one cared in a time when a show champion might be sold for a sum equivalent to a year’s wages for a working man.
Buff Orpingtons are heavy, large and broad body.
Plumage is fluffed out feathers and a curvy, short back.
Orpingtons come in two sizes of large fowl and bantam.
Egg yield varies enormously depending on the strain, 90-175, light brown eggs in a year.
Did you know?
Although birds look large, don't be fooled. Their size is actually made up mostly of their thick layer of feathers.