Named after the town of Orpington, Kent, in south-east England, the Orpington chicken was created by William Cook in 1886. It was developed by crossing Minorcas, Langshans, and Plymouth Rocks to create a new hybrid. Since thier first appearance in Maddison Square Gardens in 1895, they have become instantly popular and well liked on account of their loose-feathered fluffy appearance. Not only is the Orpington a striking exhibition bird, but often prized for its docile nature. They are exceptionally hardy during the winter months and continually lay eggs in cold weather.
There are two types of Orpingtons currently available in the US, the pure UK or English variety (imported recently from England) and the American utility hybrid, commonly sold at most hatcheries. The American version is typically less heavy and loose feathered than the English style which leans more toward the exhibition standard. English roosters have been known to top off at close to 12 lbs while hens upward of 9.5 and 10 lbs. The American utility orpingtons are significantly lighter. This plump, white skinned bird is a good source of tender juicy meat.
Orpingtons are known to become broody, will mature slowly, and begin to lay medium to large brown eggs at around 24 weeks. They handle confinement well or can be free-ranged.
Our Blue Orpingtons are a perfect cross of two of England’s premiere lines: Sandra Hildreth (Orpingtons Galore UK) & Mark Sacre (Heirloom Orpingtons UK). Note: All blue chickens contain a blue diluter gene responsible for producing what is commonly referred to as BBS or blue, black, and splash offspring. Our blues are sold in random BBS lots.