Orpington Chicken: Colors, Eggs, Appearance and More

The Orpington Chicken comes in a whole bunch of different varieties such as Buff, Splash, Blue, Lavender, Black, Jubilee, Chocolate, and a handful of others I am missing. In this article I am going too educate you on the types of eggs that this breed lays, the quantity of eggs they lay, the appearance and any other questions you may have.

Orpington Chicken History and Background

The Orpington Chicken! This amazing breed of chicken has an incredibly interesting history. The Orpington chicken originated in a small town called Orpington which is located in Kent, England. In the late 1800s, by a man named Mr. William Cook. He wanted to create a chicken breed that would serve the dual purpose of providing people with both eggs and meat. However, destiny had something else in store for these chickens.

Cook crossed the majestic Minorca with the robust Black Plymouth Rock and sprinkled in a bit of Langshan for good measure. This resulted in the birth of the Black Orpington in 1886. The bird’s black feathers were quite practical as they hid the dirt and soot from London’s grimy air. It wasn’t long before Orpingtons caught the eyes of poultry enthusiasts in the United States, shortly after they made their debut in Madison Square Garden in 1895. What’s even more interesting is that William Cook didn’t just stop at chickens – he also bred the Orpington Duck.

The American Poultry Association (APA), accepted the Orpington into its prestigious registry, with the Buff Orpington in 1902, a few years later they added the Black and White Orpington variations in 1905, and a good while after that they adopted the Blue Orpington in 1923.

Orpington Chicken Appearance

The Orpington are big-boned and have a large, round body. Their deep breast is beautifully complemented by a curved back. The thighs are thick and, the feathers are plush. Orpingtons also have short legs, which are completely covered in a layer of feathers. You’ll notice they have either a single or rose comb, and their wattles are also red, while their earlobes are white.

When it comes to color variations there’s a whole bunch of them. From the prestigious Black, to the most popular Buff, and the absolutely stunning blue, the list of color variations continues with colors such as Lavender, Splash, Diamond Jubilee, Lemon Cuckoo, Chocolate and I am sure there are more less popular variations as well!

Orpington Chicken Breed Standards

APA Standards: So, the American Poultry Association says that a mature Orpington rooster should weigh around 10 lbs, whereas the hens should be about 8 lbs. The young males, called cockerels, should be around 8.5 lbs, and the young females, known as pullets, should be around 7 lbs.

Australian Standards: In Australia, it’s all metric. A rooster should weigh between 4.55-6.35 kg, and a hen should weigh 3.40-4.80 kg.

Carriage: This is how the chicken carries itself. You know, its posture. For Orpingtons, it should be bold, upright, and graceful. Like they’re strutting on a runway!
Type: This talks about the body. Orpingtons should have a deep, broad, and cobby body. Think of them as the weightlifters in the chicken community.
Head: These guys should have a small and neat head. No big egos here!
Color of Skin: The skin should be white. Like, really, really white.
Color of Egg Shells: The color can vary from light brown to dark brown. So, somewhere in the brown spectrum.
Disqualifications: Watch out for the yellow beak, shanks, feet, or skin. These are considered no-no’s in the Orpington breed.
Comb, Wattles, and Earlobes: The comb on top can be either single or rose style, depending on where you are in the world. Their wattles are red and earlobes white.

Don’t forget that these standards can change depending on what part of the world you’re in. Different organizations, different rules. It’s like soccer and American football – same ball, different game.

Egg Laying and Broodiness

Buff Orpingtons are quite the layers. They can lay anywhere between 150 to 280 eggs per year, and these eggs are nothing like the ones you’d find in stores. Not only are much larger and have a delightful light brown hue. But the average weight of one of these eggs is a whopping 55 to 65 grams! That’s absolutely massive!

Orpingtons will start laying eggs at around 18-20 weeks of age, however some people have reported that this sometimes happens a bit earlier depending on how eager they may be. They’ll be in their prime egg-laying form for about 2 to 3 years, after which you might see a dip in egg production, but they can continue laying for up to five years or more!

Orpington Chicken Disposition

Orpington chickens are the cuddly teddy bears of the chicken world. Their demeanor is typically calm and gentle. When it comes to kids and other breeds of chickens, this breed is the ideal pick for families with children. Now, unlike some other breeds Orpingtons are incredibly active birds and they love a good free-range sesh in the garden. Foraging? They love it! But, they don’t mind being cooped up sometimes either, as long as they have enough space.

Be cautious though, these gentle giants can sometimes be the target of bullying by more aggressive breeds. They’re kind of in the middle of the pecking order, so on occasion they may stand up for themselves. The Buff Orpingtons, which are by far the most popular variation of the Orpington are known to be particularly docile. They are so mellow, that they can often be found in the laps of their owners, enjoying a good petting session.

Orpington Summary

The Orpington Chicken is like that old friend you love having around. A breed that originated from Orpington, Kent, in England, thanks to William Cook, this breed is like the gift that keeps on giving. Meat, eggs, or just strutting around looking fabulous, they’ve got it covered. They’re heavyweights with a large, round body, deep breast, and short legs. When it comes to egg-laying, Buff Orpingtons are like little machines, laying between 150 to 280 large, brown eggs per year. They’re friendly. With a calm disposition, they are great for families and generally play well with other breeds.

The Orpington will typically start laying around 18-20 weeks old, and when they’re about to start, they might just let you know by their behavior – like squatting, developing redder combs and wattles, or becoming more vocal. Whether you’re in it for the eggs, the friendship, or the sheer beauty of these birds, Orpingtons a pretty solid pick to bring joy to your backyard.


Oden is a homesteader from Southern, Illinois who's always had a love for avian creatures. He started Life Of A Farm as a means of helping connect newcomers to the homesteading lifestyle to information they need.

By Oden

Oden is a homesteader from Southern, Illinois who's always had a love for avian creatures. He started Life Of A Farm as a means of helping connect newcomers to the homesteading lifestyle to information they need.

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