Thursday, December 23, 2010
A British layer available in large fowl and bantam
Classification: Heavy, soft feather
Size: Large fowl
Egg colour: Tinted
Temperament: Sedate, easily tamed
Originating in Orpington, Kent, in the late 19th century, this was a dual-purpose breed with Langshan in its ancestry, amongst others. Layers were said to be able to produce over 300 eggs a year, which would have made it the egg producer of its time. Unfortunately, like so many other breeds shown today, the Orpington is now unlikely to lay more than about 50 eggs a year, due in part to the development of under-fluff and loose, soft feathers for exhibition. A docile bird, they’re a familiar sight at many shows and recognisable by many people. Their large stature makes them a good garden bird, as they don’t fly and can be restrained by low fences around borders. Their only requirement is a dry area to perch, to prevent their under-fluff from getting waterlogged. Standard Orpington colours are blue, black, white and buff.