Buff Orpingtons belongs to the English Class. The Buff variety is the most popular variety of Orpingtons. Black Orpingtons, however, were the original variety of Orpingtons. They were developed in England at the town of Orpington in County Kent from a Black Langshan – Black Minorca – Black Plymouth Rock cross. Cochin blood was introduced into some of the earlier strains of Orpingtons as evidenced by their loose feathering. Black Orpingtons came to America in 1890 and were first shown at the Boston Show that year.
The Buff variety was admitted to the Standard in 1902 as the first Orpington variety. They gained popularity very rapidly, based on their excellence as a meat bird. As the commercial broiler and roaster market developed, the Orpingtons lost out partly because of the less desirable dressed bird appearance of white skinned birds. Today, most Buff Orpingtons are used for production of brown eggs although they are still classified as a dual-purpose bird.
Orpingtons are heavy but loosely feathered, appearing to be much heavier than their true weight. The feathers are broad and smooth fitting on the deep body of this breed. All the plumage is a rich golden buff. Beak, shanks, and toes are pinkish white. The reddish bay eyes are large, round, and prominent. The comb, wattles and ear lobes are bright red. The five point, single comb is of medium size. The combs of both males and females are perfectly straight and upright. The back is broad, flat at the shoulders and rather long with the width carried well back to the base of the tail and rising with a gradual incline to the tail. The male tail angle is 25 degrees above horizontal while the female tail angle is only I 5 degrees above horizontal.
The chicks are light buff or straw colored. The color is even throughout the body except that some of the heads are a darker buff color. They have single combs and clean, white legs and feet.
The beautiful rich golden color and quiet disposition has helped Buff Orpingtons become one of the most popular dual-purpose breeds. They are commonly called “Big Buffs”. They are one of the broodiest standard breeds and generally are excellent mothers. Orpingtons are cold hardy and very broody, making them a great choice for the backyard homestead.
- Poultry Show Class: English Class
- Weights: Hen—–8 lbs Rooster——10 lbs
- Purpose and Type: Primary production, Egg Laying & Pet/Secondary meat source
- Color of Egg Shell: Brown
- Egg Production: 240-280 eggs per year
- Egg Size: Medium
- Temperament: Docile
- Gender Accuracy: 85-90%
- Fertility Percentage: 65-80%
- Broody: Setter
- Mating Ratio: 9 Females to 1 Male
- Roost Height: 2 to 4 feet
- Country of Origin: England
- APA: Yes, Recognized by the American Standard of Perfection in 1902.
- ALBC: Recovering Status, Considered a sustainable heritage chicken breed
Available February – September
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