Breeds of Livestock, Department of Animal Science
Poultry Breeds - Orpington Chickens
Standard Weights: Cock-10 pounds; hen-8 pounds; cockerel8-1/2 pounds; pullet-7 pounds.
Skin Color: White.
Egg Shell Color: Brown.
Use: A heavy dual purpose fowl for the production of both meat and eggs.
Origin: Orpingtons were developed in England at the town of Orpington in County Kent during the 1880s. They were brought to America in the 1890s and gained popularity very rapidly, based on their excellence as a meat bird. As the commercial broiler and roaster market developed, the Orpington lost out partly because of its white skin.
Characteristics: Orpingtons are heavily but loosely feathered, appearing massive. Their feathering allows them to endure cold temperatures better than some other breeds. They exist only in solid colors; are at home on free range or in relatively confined situations; and are docile. Hens exhibit broodiness and generally make good mothers. Chicks are not very aggressive and are often the underdogs when several breeds are brooded together. They are a good general use fowl.
Chicken Breeds and Varieties (A2880), John L. Skinner, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Copyright © 1996. Oklahoma State University Board of Regents. All rights reserved.
Updated November 18, 1996