Pure breed chicken
Varieties: Jubilee, Spangled, Cuckoo, Blue; colourings including Red, Partridge, Barred, Gold & Silver Laced
Average Annual Egg Production: 180
Garden Suitability: Medium (large birds, free range only)
Best Features: lovely plumage, docile, good pets. Good show animals
Orpington chickens originate from the town of the same name in Kent. Originally bred just in black, Orpington hens now come in a dazzling variety of colours, including the golden feathers of the Orpington Buff. All varieties have magnificent feathers, but beauty comes at a price, namely a much lower egg yield than other breeds. The Orpington lays attractive smallish pink/beige eggs.
The Orpington is a greedy bird that needs lots of exercise to stay trim, but luckily they also have a small wingspan, so can be contained in an area with low fences.
Orpington hens are disposed to be broody, especially during spring and summer, and hens will sit on a nest all day given half the chance. They therefore make excellent mothers should you wish to raise your own chicks.