Buff Orpingtons are wonderful general purpose chickens. They provide both meat and eggs. The butchered birds weigh out on average at 3-4 pounds. Their eggs are medium sized and brown. They are active and alert birds, good egg layers and great foragers.

Brief History of Buff Orpington Chickens

William Cook of Orpington County Kent in England is credited with the development of the 'Orpington' variety of chicken. In 1886 he inroduced a fast growing, dual purpose (good for both eggs and meat) chicken that was black in color, had white flesh, and slate (grey) legs. He developed the breed by crossing Langshan, Minorca and Plymouth Rock chickens. Continued development eventually resulted in a Buff color varierty, introduced in 1894. Over time, a number of other color variations have been produced, such as the Spangled, Cuckoo and Blue, but none of these has achieved the popularity of the Buff Orpington.

Interest in the Orpington breeds languished in the US until a New York City showing of the Buff Orpington in 1895. The Buff soon became a popular farm flock breed and continued to flourish until the early decades of the 1900's when the general poultry industry gravitated toward white chickens with yellow legs. It has seen a recent resurgance of interest and now the Buff Orpington is considerated a recovering breed.

Buff Orpingtons are characterized by their broad flat backs and their tail rising in a slight concave sweep. They have white legs and a solid buff color, and a single comb. Roosters can have prominant waddles. Some appear almost orange, but the buff color is preferred. The hens can be good layers, laying some 200 eggs a year, and lay well into the cold weather. Live, mature roosters can weigh as much as 11 lbs, with hens topping out at 10. As with many single comb, large waddled chickens, it is best to provide indoor housing in cold cilmates to prevent frostbite during severe weather.


back