Breed Profile: Orpington

Photo of Kassandra Smith

Kassandra Smith

Senior Editor • Backyard Chicken Coops

Last Updated: 18 July 2020


orpington chicken free ranging in backyard

The ‘Black Orpington’ was originally created through crossing the Minocra, Plymouth Rocks and Langshans breeds to create a hybrid chicken breed that was both an excellent layer and good meat quality. The Orpington has been renowned as one of the most attractive chickens with its rich colours and soft contours they have become more and more popular in the show bird category.


  • Origin: Orpington, England
  • Size: 3.2 – 4.8kg
  • Bantam Size: 1.6 – 2kg
  • Rarity: Common
  • Purpose: Family Based Chickens – Dual purpose
  • Colour varieties include: black, white, buff, blue and splash – Buff is most common
  • Bantam colour varieties include: black, blue laced, white, buff, red, buff black laced, barred, buff Columbian, and birchen


  • Medium to large eggs – Light Brown
  • 175 - 200 Eggs Average Annually – Capable of 340 Annually


The Orpingtons have soft, profuse feathering, which almost hides the legs of the bird. They are a large curved bird with a small head and medium single cone. Their fluffy feathers make them look even larger than they are!


  • Hardy in Winter: Yes
  • Especially Docile: Yes
  • Personality: Orpingtons are sweethearts! They are extremely personable and tend to connect with their owners much more readily than other breeds. They go broody very often, and make great mothers. They are docile and excellent with children.
  • Family Friendly Rating: 5/5
  • Other Breeds with a high 'Family Friendly Rating': New Hampshire, Rhode Island Red, ISA BrownPolish & Barred Plymouth Rock 

Want to know more? Have a sticky beak at 5 reasons to love Orpingtons here.

Do Orpingtons flutter your fancy? Maybe you're more interested in some bantam breeds? Before making that big decision, take a moment to consider all the other amazing chickens you could choose! It can be eggstremely overwhelming to find the perfect breed for your family. From looks, to traits to egg-laying talents - where should you begin?

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Sources and further reading