What are the Orpington chicken breed colors is a commonly asked question? This breed is very productive, low maintenance, and has a pleasing personality. Keep reading to learn more.
The breed also comes in a variety of colors, such as black, white, blue, red, and partridge.
If you plan to add these adorable birds to your backyard flock, you have come to the right place.
We will take you through everything you need about the Orpington chicken.
The Orpington Chicken is one of the true success stories of chicken breeds in the poultry world.
These adorable birds were created in the late 1800s by Mr. William Cook, who wanted to create an excellent dual-purpose bird.
History And Background
The Orpington chicken breed was created by William Cook in the 1800s. The breed is named after Orpington, Kent, a town in which he lived.
At the time of its creation, the hen fever had started to die down in England. Many chicken breeders had several breeds imported from far-away places like India and China.
Most of the imported chicken breeds did not thrive well in the English climate.
Others did not produce enough eggs to be functional or competitive commercial egg layers or table fare.
Their main contribution was in the genetic diversity to inject new blood into the older breeds of chicken.
Coop was a practical man who grasped this better than other breeders. His vision was to create a breed of chicken that was a good layer as well as a good table fare.
He wanted to create a valuable bird that outperformed existing species. To achieve this, he used an unorthodox method which was duly criticized.
Today, the method is accepted throughout the poultry world (merging chicken breeds to create something new).
When working, he made some improvements to increase the worth or quality of a particular breed rather than creating a new one.
Appearance Of The Orpington Chickens
The Orpingtons are large birds with single upright combs. When viewed from the side, their bodies are almost heart-shaped and have a curvy dip at the center.
Their bodies are also heavy and broad. Because of this, they tend to carry themselves low to the ground.
For the feathers, Orpingtons have a prolific amount. The common color is buff, although there are several other recognized varieties.
Regardless of the color of the feathers, they have red ear lobes and wattles with a short deep amber-colored beak.
The leg color will mostly depend on the color of their feathers. However, the most popular leg color is pinky white.
Size And Weight
Although Orpington chickens look big, a large part of their appearance is feathers.
Therefore, you can expect your birds to weigh less than you think. A mature rooster weighs around 10lb, while a hen weighs around 8lb.
The Orpington bantam varieties will weigh in around 4lb.
Recognized Orpington Chicken Varieties
There are several recognized color varieties of the Orpingtons. Here are some of them.
The buff is the second variety of the Orpington chicken to be created. However, it is by far the most popular variety of the breed.
Despite dwindling popularity, they back and have now found favor with many backyard chicken keepers.
The breed was created using Buff Cochins, Gold Spangled Hamburgh, and Dark Dorking chickens. This resulted in a bird with a beautiful and even golden plumage color.
Godfrey Shaw first created the White Orpington chickens.
He created them by breeding the White Dorking chickens with the Silver Spangled Hamburgs.
They were initially known as Albions before the name was changed to White Orpingtons.
Many folks are now raising them as utility chickens. Both hens and roosters are white throughout.
The Black Orpington chicken was the first variety of the Orpingtons to be created.
This variety was first unveiled in the early 1880s and was hugely a success.
Their plumage color is black throughout the entire body.
The Blue Orpington chicken variety was first seen in 1910. Initially, the blue color was not wildly successful, but today, it is very much sought after and commands a good price.
They were created by breeding the white and black varieties of Orpingtons.
A Blue Orpington rooster has two-toned slate plumage, with its saddle, hackle, wing bow, tail, and back in a darker slate.
The hens are similar but have lighter tones and dark lacing throughout the body.
This variety was created by Elizabeth Jane, William Cook’s daughter. However, the breed did not become so popular after its creation.
Other color varieties of the Orpington chickens include:
- Diamond Jubilee
- Silver Laced
- Gold Laced
- Lemon Cuckoo
Personality And Temperament
Orpingtons like to get out and about and to free-range for grass, bugs, and seeds.
However, they are not good foragers and prefer to spend most of their time around the feeder.
They can tolerate confinement well if they are provided with enough space.
Lack of space can cause anti-social behaviors like feather picking.
These birds are known to be very mellow (they have a wonderfully placid nature).
Since they are naturally docile, they can make good pets, especially for kids.
They are also less aggressive and around the middle of the pecking order.
This means they are more likely to be victims of attack from the more assertive chicken breeds.
They are known for broodiness and usually make wonderful mothers.
Generally, they are not a high-energy chicken breed.
They usually prefer a steadier and slower pace when walking around the yard. In addition, they like to forage to find more treats.
Generally, Orpingtons are prolific egg layers. However, the egg production of your hen will largely depend on the color variety.
For instance, Buff Orpingtons are very good egg producers and can lay anywhere from 3-5 eggs per week.
This translates to around 170-200 eggs per year. They lay medium-sized light brown eggs.
Generally, Orpingtons are quiet birds. This means that they are well suited to live in a city environment.
Although they may occasionally have their usual outbursts (predator alerts and egg song), your neighbor will barely hear them for the most part.
Like roosters of any other chicken breed, their roosters can be a bit noisier.
Orpington Chicken Care Guide
Like any other breed of chicken, your Orpington chickens will need good care in order to live a longer and more productive life.
Here are a few tips on successfully taking care of your birds.
You will need to feed your Orpington chicks on a high-quality feed of at least 20% protein. It will be upon you to decide whether or not you are using medicated chick feed.
If your baby chicks have been vaccinated against coccidiosis, you will have to offer them unmedicated feed.
Once your birds reach 16 weeks old, you can introduce them to a 16% layer feed. You will have to monitor their weight closely as they tend to get obese.
In addition to the feed, they will need some grit and oyster shells in separate bowls.
Laying Orpington hens will need a calcium supplement in their diet to aid in the formation of strong eggshells.
You will also need to ensure that there is clean, fresh water in the coop.
Orpingtons can do well both in confinement and when allowed to free-range.
Therefore, you can enable them to move around the yard to forage bugs and grass.
The Orpingtons are robust and healthy birds. You will hardly find a sick one in your flock.
These birds are also born without any hereditary health issues.
The biggest concern you will need to keep an eye on is their weight. If they gain a lot of weight, it can create egg-laying problems, such as egg binding and prolapse.
Like any other chicken breed, your Orpington chickens may be susceptible to parasites like lice, mites, and worms.
Depending on your management style, you can treat them with either regular or spot treatments.
For spot treatment, you will have to dust every seven days or more until you break the parasite’s life cycle. You should deworm them twice a year or as soon as you notice worms in their poop.
If you notice any other health problems, you should see your vet immediately.
Since Orpingtons are large fluffy birds, they will require enough space.
You can give them at least four square feet of coop space per bird. If you raise them in a flock of other breeds, give them more space.
They tend to be picked on by the assertive members of the flock.
Therefore, they will need some space to escape from unwanted attention.
hey will require a standard-sized nesting box of 12×12 inches.
The Orpington chicken is an attractive and productive bird that has proven its worth for years.
The breed comes in a wide variety of colors, such as Buff, Black, Blue, and White.