The Orpingtons Chickens Breed were bred to be an excellent layer with a good amount of quality meat. They are large in size and have a soft appearance, those attributes together with their rich colors and gentle contours make them a very elegant breed.
Orpington Chickens are a very friendly and affectionate breed that makes for a wonderful pet for children. These calm, quiet birds are easy to pick up and love to be held and loved on. They thrive on human affection and contact
They do well in confinement and thrive in free-range environments. though their large size means they can fly up in a tree or run fast enough to get away from predators and may do best with supervised free-ranging.
This breeds personality makes them an easy target for being bullied by other more aggressive breeds such as Rhode Islands Reds and Amerucanas.
Orpington chickens go broody fairly often 2-3 times per year and make wonderful mothers. Since they are such a big bird they can cover up to 18 eggs per brood.
As mentioned above Orpingtons are large and are unable to fly much over 18-20 in. So they work well as backyard birds and do not require high roosts, they, in fact, prefer roosts 12-18 in. off of the ground. They also prefer nesting boxes to be 10-12 in off of the ground or on the ground. Orpington hens will require a bigger nesting box than for your average chicken…a milk crate would work perfectly for their size.
Due to their heavy feathering, they are more equipped for a cooler climate but also do well in a warmer climate as long as they have cool shade and plenty of fresh cool water.
The Orpington chicken has a heavy, broad body with a low stance, and the soft down feathers from their lower body cover most of their legs thus giving the appearance that they have very short legs. Some characteristics of an Orpington are:
• Heavy weight, 8 to 10 pounds, Some are bigger sometimes weighing in at 15 lbs,
• Soft, profuse feathering, which almost hides the legs of the bird,
• They are curvy shaped with a short back and are U-shaped or bowl shaped from the tip of the tail to just under the beak,
• A wide or thick head, with a medium sized 5-point single comb.
• Large size and usually easily tamed
Orpingtons lay about 200 to 280 medium to large, cream to light-brown eggs a year. Since they are a cold hardy breed they do not stop laying in the winter. All of these qualities make them perfect Homestead chickens for first time chicken owners, kids, and make wonderful show/exhibition birds.
Do you have any Orpington Chickens?
This article was written by our friends over at strong>Lots ‘A’ Cluckin’ Farms
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