Everything You Need to Know About the Buff Orpington Chicken

Posted by Paige Cerulli
Buff Orpington
Josh Larios via Flickr

The Buff Orpington chicken is a large, attractive chicken known for being docile and quiet.

One of our writers has two Buff Orpingtons in their flock! Their brown eggs are beautiful. This cold hardy breed of chicken is a wonderful addition to any backyard chicken keeper's flock.

The Buff Orpingtons are good layers but not the best on the breed list. They lay 180 eggs per year, which is around one egg every two days. For context, the Rhode Island Red hen lays in some cases 300 eggs a year.

The Buff Orpington chicken is a dual-purpose bird (for both eggs and meat) which has an impressive appearance. The Buff Orpington has generous plumage which makes it hardy during winters. It can be raised free-range or confined, and its docile personality makes it a great choice for many breeders and hobbyists.

The Buff Orpington originated in Great Britain. The breed began during the "Hen Fever" of the 1800s, during which time interest in breeding chickens was peaked. William Cook crossed Minorcas, Langshans, and Plymouth Rock chickens to create the Orpington. The breed was named after Buff Orpington, Kent, where it was raised.

The Buff Orpington is a beautiful chicken breed. The breed's excellent temperament and cold tolerance make it a great choice for breeders and hobbyists, alike.

Raising chickens is a blast! If you enjoy those beautiful brown eggs and egg color is a priority for you when choosing the breeds for your flock, the Buff Orpington is a great choice. This breed is also a heritage chicken. A lot of chicken keepers try to save heritage breeds as these chickens are part of American history.

Fun fact about the Orpington breed: The first Black Orpington came to America in 1890, and was exhibited at the Boston Show the same year. It was in 1895, however, that the Black Orpingtons were made into a large exhibit at the Madison Square Garden in New York, and its popularity soared.

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General Appearance

The Orpington is a large chicken, weighing between 8 and 10 pounds on average. It has soft feathering and white skin. The Orpington has a broad body, and its wide stance places its body fairly close to the ground. It has a single comb.


Orpington chickens come in four color varieties: Buff, Black, Blue, and White. The Buff variety is the most common.

Egg Laying

The Orpington is a good egg layer, laying approximately three eggs per week.


Orpington chickens are known for being docile, sweet, and easy to tame. Because of their docile personalities, Orpingtons can sometimes be beaten up when contained with other, more aggressive breed types.

Image via: Elias Gayles via Flickr

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Everything You Need to Know About the Buff Orpington Chicken