Description breed Orpington chickens: care, breeding, feeding


Orpington refers to the meat-and-egg direction, is well distinguished, stable and widespread. The bird of this breed differs markedly from other hens by its characteristic features, the description and photo of which is presented below.

Breed description

Features of the breed make it attractive for breeding

Any bird colors fair-skinned, massive, with a cubic form of the body on the legs of medium length. The head is rounded small with an erect leaf-like crest, red small lobes and earrings. The eyes are black, brown, orange, correlated with the color of the plumage. Strong neck smoothly expands to the shoulders and chest, forms a curved line with the back and tail. The chest and abdomen are voluminous, the back is wide, the tail is short.


Orpingtons are calm, accommodating birds. Without alertness refer to the person. Well reconciled with a variety of living conditions. The best performance is achieved with captive content, when there is the possibility of daily walking. Adaptation in a new place is good.

It is important that the chickens of this breed - good hens. Thus, the flock itself can provide reproduction of livestock. When changing generations for the purity of the breed requires a change of the rooster.


Roosters weight orpingtons reaches 4–4.5 kg, chickens — 1 kg less. With the tendency of the breed to rapidly gain mass, these indicators are achieved without problems. If you do not control the physical activity of the bird and its diet, then it is possible and excess weight. However, this is not a desirable phenomenon, since in this case, the chicken has an excess of fat, not meat.

Egg production is average: up to 160 eggs in the first year with a tendency to decrease by 15 - 20% in each subsequent year. Such indicators make it impractical to keep hens for more than 2 years. The weight of an egg is about 50 g, it depends on the condition of the bird, and, therefore, on the conditions of detention.

When recalculated for dry food per 1 egg, 270 g of feed are consumed. Venting content reduces this figure by a third.

Breed species, photos and videos

Orpingtons are represented a wide range of colorseach of which has a standard and its own characteristics. Below are the species of the breed and their description.

Black The original color of the breed. The pen is glossy with a greenish sheen, the down is black. The eyes and beak are dark, from deep brown to black, the metatarsus are black. Signs of degeneration: haze feather, lilac or bronze gloss, reddishness, light fingers, fluff and beak.


Black-eyed (gold-stripped). Brown feathers with black stripes on the end. Typical distribution - mottled top, black belly. Beak and metatarsals are light, fingers are darker, this is permissible. Evils: a mixture of black and brown feathers, a dark beak and feet.

White Absolutely white feather and down, beak and feet, orange eyes. Rejection: yellowness of plumage, blue or red strokes on the tars.

Marble (black and white spotted, birch). The base color is black. Each pen has a large white wedge-shaped spot V. The beak is white, black spots are acceptable. Eyes red-orange, metatarsus white, pale pink. Deviations from the norm: brown, red, yellow shades of plumage.

Yellow (golden, fawn)

Yellow (golden, fawn). Deep yellow (golden) feathers with gloss, growing on the mane and lower back in roosters. The down is yellow matte, the beak is light / white, the metatarsus are white, the eyes are red-orange. Deviations: pale colouration, dullness of a feather, reddish color, spotting, color zonality, dark and white inclusions, light down, yellowish or blue tint in color plus, red touches on skin.

Porcelain (parcel, chintz)

Porcelain (parcel, chintz) The tricolor feather: the base is red-brown, on the tip of the feather is a black spot with a white dot on the edge (“pearl”). Steering and braids black with a white tip. The eyes are red-orange, the beak is light horny or white, the metatarsus are white or pale pink. Non-standard: black plumage on the chest, white feathers, dull color of the feather, small black dots in the colors.

Blue The main color is gray (pigeon). Dark border on each feather. The mane and loins are black and blue glossy, the tail is blue, the down is blue. Black beak, slate or black metatarsus, eyes black-brown or black. Evils: uneven or pale color, red or blackish patina, red eyes, bright metatarsus.

Striped (hawk). The base is black gloss with a greenish sheen, white clear transverse stripes, wider than the black layers between them. At the end of the pen is a black stripe. Pooh is also striped. Beak and feet are bright / white, eyes are red-orange. Deviations: unusual shades, monophonic down, dark beak and metatarsus.


With all the simplicity of the breed, consideration of content requirements, provision of proper nutrition and prevention of diseases will definitely have a positive effect on the development of the representatives of the breed.

In the first 10 days, an indispensable element of the menu is a hard-boiled crushed egg - 1 pc. on 30 chickens. From the 11th day it is replaced by meat and bone meal or fish meal.

AT chicken diet also includes reverse, cottage cheese with a low percentage of fat, crushed grain, raw greens. From the 4th day add the cake of rough greens.

The total amount of feed increases gradually: from 15 g on the first day to 110 g by the end of the second month. After 60 days of isolation, older chicks are transferred to a common flock. This is quite safe - for orpingtons, no agitation at the sight of newbies is typical, they are peaceful and, one can even say, somewhat indifferent to neighbors.


Teenagers and adult birds food is provided mixed feed or offer a mixed menu.

The composition of nutritional mixtures must include:

  • crushed grain or whole, about 50 - 60 g / head per day,
  • greenery fresh / dried - 25/5 g,
  • bran millet - 10 g,
  • vegetable meal - 12 g
  • flour fish or bone meat - 7,
  • reverse - 25 ml,
  • yeast - 3 g
  • salt - 0.7 g,
  • a piece of chalk - 5

The energy value 1 kg of feed should be 2900 kcal.

In addition to feeding the bird, it is necessary to provide sand-ash baths for the prevention of parasites, as well as regularly add eggshells to the feeders for chickens. Rooster this supplement is not required.

Feeders are best placed not on the floor, but higher - in order to avoid trampling down the feed. Drinking bowls are placed at the level of the hens chest, and the feeders are 2-3 cm higher. Males put equipment another 2 cm above.

Laying hens and hens

They are provided good nutrition during the whole year. This will prevent a decrease in egg production during the winter period and the release of eggs. An equally important factor is sufficient intake of fresh air. It is provided by regular walking of bird herds, airing the hen house.

For the prevention of disease, all individuals regularly take antihelminthic and anti-parasitic drugs. If conditions are good, the bird rarely gets sick. Important to maintain acceptable temperature in the hen house (13 - 18 °), provide livestock with thick bedding and water, exclude contact with wild birds. During the molting period, feeding is enhanced, and the temperature in the room is monitored. The diseased bird is isolated, treated according to the condition.

Advantages and disadvantages

TO positive qualities Orpington include:

  • big meat yield and its excellent quality,
  • start of egg production at 6 months
  • not bad egg production,
  • ability to incubation,
  • calm temperament,
  • unpretentiousness and easy adaptation.

disadvantages few in number

  • decline productivity over time and depending on the conditions
  • increased amount of feed to achieve optimum weight (+ 5%),
  • long weight gain (1 year),
  • the need for regular manufacturer shifts.

Orpington Reviews

Breeders have different opinions and reviews on the forums about this bird, but it does not leave anyone indifferent.

Sasha, Voznesenskadmires the decorative pedigree birds.

Lolo from St. Petersburgthat chicks do not show signs of breed for a long time - up to 4 - 6 months.

Ivy, poultry tellingthat at first did not understand the beauty of this bird, but now it is happy to breed it.

Natalie from Tver region dreams of orpingtons and is looking for a breeder near to buy.

Those who have tried to do this breed, note the delicious taste of meat, good indicators of eggs, impatience and calmness of the bird. The breed is well spread in Ukraine and Russia, the owners change the males to maintain the breed.

Orpingtons combine the best poultry qualities: delivery of meat and eggs, decorative, easy maintenance. That is why they are always in demand by poultry farmers for personal use.

Description and origin of the Orpington breed

This breed of chickens came to us from England, from the city of Orpington, from where it got its name. Chickens were bred artificially in order to obtain the perfect meat poultry with high egg production. Particular attention was paid to the breeding process. external mind birds. Breeders have been working on this species for three decades, and as a result a breed of black birds with different crests was bred.

But this process did not stop breeding, as a result of which today you can see chickens that differ from each other in appearance, but at the same time belong to the same breed.

Poultry farmers in England almost immediately appreciated new breed of chickens Most of all, they liked their unique appearance and high ability to lay eggs.

The most productive species of Orpingtons are fawn hens, which were bred at the end of the 19th century. Now it is the most common type of hen of this breed. They have high productivity and very beautiful color. At the beginning of the 20th century, German breeders bred red-colored birds from pale yellow chickens.

All Orpington chickens differ from other breeds in large by weight. The body of the chicks is covered with a hard feather. The nature of the chickens is very soft, to their relatives, they are friendly.

The small head of the cockerels is decorated with a exactly standing comb. Ears and earrings bright red, round shape, small size. The neck is slightly arched, while it is very strong, protected by a thick plumage. Eye color is different depending on the color of the pen, it can be either orange or black or dark red. Also depends on the breed and color beak.

Chickens have a massive physique, body muscles are well developed. In most species of birds of this breed the tail is short, and often completely hidden under the plumage of the back. The wingspan is small, they closely adjoin the body, but at the same time the shoulders are very massive and fleshy. The body structure of cocks and hens of the Orpington breed are very similar, they differ only slightly in body size and height.

In the process of growing chickens farmers need to pay attention to some features of the body of chickens. If they are different from the standard, then these birds are rejected. To such features relate:

  • Too long or short legs,
  • Low back
  • Long pronounced tail,
  • Yellowish skin
  • Too light eye color.

What is the productivity of chickens Orpington?

Poultry farmers choose this breed of chickens not only for their beautiful appearance, but also for their high performance.

Eggs chickens of this variety are quite massive, on average they weigh from 60 to 65 grams. They have a very thick shells of light brown color. In a year, one chicken can bring about 170 eggs to its owner, and this is a fairly average figure, which depends on proper care and conditions of the poultry.

Roosters bring more meat than chickens. One individual can reach a weight of 4 to 5 kilograms. But it will take quite a long time to grow a bird of this size, because Orpington chickens do not grow fast. For their growth you need a lot of feed.

This breed has many merits:

  1. large body weight of the bird,
  2. pleasant taste,
  3. relatively constant egg production throughout life,
  4. Chickens have a very friendly nature, which simplifies the process of caring for them.

Despite all the obvious advantages of the breed, breeding such chickens has a number of deficiencies:

  1. it takes a lot of feed to grow one adult
  2. unlike broiler chickens, Orpington chickens gain weight very long,
  3. compared to other popular breeds of chickens, Orpington carry few eggs.

What are the varieties of Orpington chickens?

Scientists were engaged in breeding new subspecies of chickens for many years, and they managed to bring to light various species that differ from each other in the color of feathers, beaks and eyes. Here are the most popular varieties of chickens, which appeared as a result of years of work breeders:

  • The black Orpington. These are the ancestors of the breed, it was from them that all other subspecies were subsequently derived. The birds have a very beautiful color, their plumage is black with small greenish patches. Eye color can range from dark brown to completely black. The beak and legs are also black. If the breeder notices in chickens differences in the color of the feathers, for example, purple blotches, then such individuals are excluded from the total mass of birds. Scarlet color of eyes and redhead in feathers in the neck area also indicate marriage.
  • White. This is the exact opposite of the black subspecies, has bright orange eyes and pure white plumage. The paws and beak of the birds are white. Nestlings with yellowing in feather color are rejected.
  • Golden Orpington. The male's reddish-brown head in this breed is small, the rooster itself has a golden-black color. The peculiarity of this subspecies is that each feather is bordered by a dark stripe, as if delineating it. The difference between chickens and roosters is the appearance of the neck collar. In roosters, it is gold with black patches.
  • Orpington pale yellow. The second name of this species is yellow Orpington. Chickens of this breed have a rich golden color. Down on the bird's belly should fully match the color of the main feathers. On the collar feathers shimmer beautifully in the light. Eye color, as described, resembles that of Golden Orpington. If the fawn Orpington in the feathers notice different spots, then such birds are considered to be a marriage.
  • Blue. The color of the feathers in individuals of this species is light blue. The color should be uniform in color, without inclusions over the entire area of ​​the body. Each feather borders a black frame. The feather on the neck and the belt is dark blue. The hens' eyes and beak are colored dark, often to black. Individuals whose color of the pen differs from that described above, and also if the feathers do not have a black frame, are subject to rejection.
  • Calico. Chickens have a brick-colored feather, while at the end of each feather there is a black circle with a white dot inside. Because of this feature calico chickens are also called pearl or porcelain. Individuals have a white beak and light red eyes. A bird is culled with insufficiently bright feathering, as well as interspersed with white and black in the feather.
  • Striped. The bird has a hawk variegated color, mostly dominated by black with green glimpses. Despite the dark color of the feathers, the bird's beak and paws are white. Eyes are dark orange. If a redhead begins to manifest itself in the chicks, this means that it is necessary to reject them from the main brood.

These bird species are considered the most common among novice poultry farmers. Rarely, on the farms one can meet Orpington’s red, marble, and grouse chickens. Partridge chickens are considered the rarest among the representatives of the breed. This is due to their complex color. Chickens and roosters do not resemble each other.

Head off roosters small, plumage beautiful brick color. The neck is framed by a golden feather, and the back is brown. On a stomach thin feathers of black color.

In females there is golden plumage with brown splashes. Feathers are framed by black narrow stripes. The eyes are bright, the beak and legs are white. If the re-drawing is not clear enough, white or red spots appear, the chickens are rejected immediately.

How to care for Orpington breed chickens?

First of all, the breeder needs to take care of the convenience of the room in which hens will live. Animals weigh a lot, so often they are settled in litter, which is not changed throughout the winter. To properly build, you need to fill limestone to the surface - this measure will help protect the litter from damp and rot. Layer layers are laid over the lime. You can use for this sawdust, dried grass, straw and other suitable materials for warming and creating an air cushion. Properly equipped housing will facilitate easier adaptation of chickens to frost.

Dry the material before using it. It is better to do this in advance, usually experienced farmers do this summer.

In the process of using the litter, you need to constantly clean it, removing part of the upper layer and replacing it with a new one. If this is not done, harmful bacteria can develop in the litter, which will lead to various diseases of the birds.

What to feed the chickens?

Individuals of the Orpington breed are prone to the rapid recruitment of fat, therefore, their diet should be compiled with this in mind. In winter, chickens are most susceptible to overeating and obesity, because of this, their egg production and ability to grow new chicks may decrease.

Before the period begins shelving eggs, you need to change the diet of both males and females. This should be done in advance, in about one and a half to two months. Enough to reduce the amount of feed. You can instead of the "heavy" grain with high calorie intake into the diet lighter options for food. In pet stores sell special flour for chickens, which is enriched with vitamin and minerals. This addition is perfect for adding to the feed.

In general, the food of this breed has no special differences from other species. Particular attention should be paid to sanitary conditions of housing and feeding chickens.

How to breed in the home?

The breed is not recommended to be mixed with other types of chickens. therefore, they need to be kept in a separate room. These measures will help bring out purebred chickens To get the addition of livestock, you need to monitor the number of males and females. Experienced poultry farmers say that for the winter you can increase the number of males by 1-2, so that by the spring the balance would be normal.

To choose an egg for growing chickens, you need to use an ovoscope. It helps increase the likelihood that more chicks will hatch from the selected eggs.

Chickens have a high ability to incubate chicks, but because of their high body weight there is a danger of crushing the egg. To avoid this, you need to carefully monitor the hen and constantly clean the nest.

Orpington chickens are quite picky. They are easy to maintain, so increasingly beginning poultry farmers choose this breed for breeding. The egg production of chickens is high, and at the exit of them you can get a lot of meat.

Productivity features

This graceful and large bird is able to compete in its productive performance with some industrial cross-country chickens. They gain a large living body weight: up to 4-5 kg ​​of roosters and up to 3-4 kg of chicken.

Reviews unanimously call the main advantage when breeding for meat: Orpington’s carcasses have white skin, regardless of bird color. Due to the absence of black hemp from the feathers, such a bird looks attractive to the buyer.

Characteristic representatives of home breeding (a pair in the photo 14 months)

However, in contrast to other breeds of meat, orpingons are not so fast. Chickens grow relatively long, feed consumes more. And the adult bird is quite gluttonous. In addition, due to a certain tendency to a sedentary lifestyle, chickens are subject to obesity, which affects reproduction and egg production.

Although so indicators of egg production orpingon not very high. According to the reviews about the breed, for the first year of life one layer will bring 160-180 pieces, and for the second less, only 130.

Eggs do not differ in large sizes, from 53 to 62 grams by weight. Although in this direction, many breeds of meat and egg chickens have similar indicators. The shells of orpington eggs are usually yellow or creamy yellow, with proper care and balanced feeding is strong enough.

The first thing you notice when describing the Orpington breed is its magnificent body size. A massive rectangular torso rather low horizontally planted. Broad shoulders, large breasts, which in some cases even closes the belly, indicate that this breed wins among many others in the meat direction of productivity.

Resistance to the bird gains due to the widely spaced short shank. However, one should not attribute orpingons to short-legged chickens.

The rectangular torso is achieved by the presence of a wide waist. The impression is reinforced by the lush, albeit tough, bird plumage. A short wide tail with closed tail feathers only emphasizes the similarity with the cube.

In the photo - black orpington.

Depending on the subspecies of the individual, the color of the plumage, the color of the beak and the legs, varies. Eye color can also vary from orange-red to bluish-black.

Today, the purebred orpingons are also judged by the type of bird scallop. Unlike the first one, which was bred by the Cook, which could have a comb of any shape, the current head should be decorated only with a leaf-shaped vertical comb.

Moreover, the number of teeth must be from 4 to 6, and they themselves - pronounced. The crest is usually not very wide, of medium length, upright.

Earlobes and earrings in orpingons are small, smoothly delineated, bright red. Any, even insignificant, whitish plaque on the lobes, catkins or scallops leads to culling of the individual. The skin in these areas is soft, silky.

The neck is beautifully curved, covered with thick feathers, resembling a mane. From this she seems fat, strong. A well-rounded, small head in terms of volume compared to a powerful body seems miniature. But this does not spoil the bird, but only gives its appearance originality, even some exoticism.

Chickens of this breed are a match for roosters. They practically repeat all signs of males, differing only in slightly smaller sizes, fuller bellies, shorter tails, more developed lumbar “pillows”.

Calico version of color. Another name for the colors is porseline or parcel (porcelain).

Disadvantages of Causing

If the bird, called orpington, has a narrow body and a flat chest, this indicates a genetic failure. Such an individual should not be left for reproduction. Chickens with a very high or, on the contrary, too low set of bodies, like those of short-legged breeds, are also subject to rejection.

The disadvantage is a figure similar to the Cochinquinas. Individuals with a long, sharp or open tail should not be left in the parent flock - this is a deviation from the norm.

The description of the exterior of the Orpington breed is quite strict, each species has its own color of feather, plus, beak, and eye. Any discrepancy is considered as an unclean breed.

For example, yellow soles of the feet, light (pearl) eyes are an indicator of deviation from the standard. Most often, such problems occur due to the negligence of the poultry farmer, when pedigree chickens have the opportunity to interbreed with other breeds.

Therefore, it is recommended that orpingtons be kept isolated from other chickens. The fence around the pasture should not be below one and a half meters, despite the fact that these powerful birds themselves absolutely cannot fly - chickens from other farms can fly into the pen.

Pros and cons of breed

It follows from the above that the advantages of orpingons are:

  • stable egg production
  • high meat productivity
  • excellent taste of meat,
  • calm and friendly temper
  • well developed maternal instinct.

Their imperfections reviews about the Orpington breed are noted:

  • fairly slow chickens
  • the voracity of the bird,
  • tendency to obesity with subsequent deviations,
  • relatively low egg production.

Content Features

The room should be bright and spacious. Be sure to consider the ventilation system, especially in winter, when the bird is in the room most of the time.

Due to the accumulation of harmful gases in it, poisoning of chickens can occur. Roosters stop trampling laying eggs, which makes unfertilized eggs.

Due to the fact that the bird of this breed is very heavy, the orpingtons practically cannot fly. Therefore, the roost should be made low from the floor with special ladders for lifting. And under them it is important to lay a thick layer of straw in case the bird falls down.

It is placed not on a clean floor, but sprinkled with lime. The bedding itself can be of dried sawdust, straw, crushed stalks of sunflower. Also use dry peat.

If the litter is irremovable, you need to ensure that it is always dry - does not stick to the shoe, slightly springs under your feet. Otherwise, it will cause serious illness. In a wet bedding bacteria, worms, parasites will begin to develop. Getting on chickens themselves or in their intestines, they cause many diseases.

Normal bedding with a moisture content not exceeding 25% will become a heat source for the bird, protecting it from hypothermia and shock when it falls. Laying sawdust, straw or peat should be in dry weather. Harvest material for bedding should be in the summer, dry it well under the sun.

Although the litter is called irremovable, it does not indicate that it is laid out once and for many, many years. Of course, it should be periodically replaced as necessary, regularly cleaned, removing the top layer and sprinkling fresh.

It is very important to balance the diet of orpingons. In normal times, adult birds are given whole grains mixed with six other ingredients. It should be beets (preferably boiled and shredded), grated raw carrots, other vegetables, various greens, boiled meat and fish products, cottage cheese and other dairy products.

If it is decided to make a mix of mixed fodder, then it is best to add to the shredder not the water, but the whey left over by tilting the curd.

Food should be given to the Orpington twice a day: early in the morning, when they wake up, and at 15 o'clock. Separately, you need to put a bowl with limestone, crushed shell, dried shells of eggs.

To prevent the spread of food rationally use bunker feeders.

Be sure to have chickens should always be fresh water. Therefore, if you do not have organized auto-drinkers, on ordinary days the water should be changed twice a day, and in hot weather - three times.

By the way, soldering orpingon milk whey is very useful. But completely replace it with water is not worth it.

In winter, the farmer usually tries to leave individuals to form the parent stock. And obesity, to which chickens of this breed are prone, especially in winter, has a negative effect on the fertility of eggs.

Therefore, a couple of months before the start of the collection of eggs for incubation, the hens and cocks are restricted in feed. And it is even better to replace high-calorie grain mixtures with germinated grain - it is a lighter product and at the same time with a high content of vitamins and microelements.

It is very important to monitor the health of the livestock. In healthy chickens the paws are warm, the scallop is full, bright, hot, the eyes are open, the litter is no different from the usual brown-black. Normal chicken is active, in the evening its goiter is full.


To keep the breed clean, farmers keep orpingons in a separate aviary. It is important to respect the ratio of chickens and roosters, it is usually 10: 1. But experienced poultry farmers insure themselves and leave for a mating period a couple of spare males, although they keep them temporarily separate from the parent flock.

The photo illustrates how to properly cut off the extra feathers under the tail in chickens to facilitate the mating process.

If it is possible to let the “storekeepers” to the ordinary non-pedigree chickens, then this will improve the properties of their young offspring.

The Orpingtons have extremely lush plumage around the tail. This may be fraught with low fertility of eggs. Therefore it is worth cutting out in advance a part of the fluff in the genital area and in chickens and roosters.

Many experienced farmers cut their claws and cut down the spurs of roosters to prevent injuries during mating.

Hatching Egg

For breeding the breed should be selected large, regular-shaped eggs. They should have a completely smooth shell, without the slightest build-up and cracks.

The best in terms are eggs of five to seven days of age. Store them preferably horizontally, not vertically.

The chicken itself prefers to sit around, gathering 13-15 pieces in the nest. That is, the age of the first egg will be a little over 2 weeks.

In some cases, the storage of an incubation egg for up to a month is allowed, although it is risky. In order for it to retain its properties, it is necessary to maintain the temperature in the room not higher than +15 degrees and not lower than +5. It is also very important to ensure a constant supply of fresh air to the shell.

For incubation, it is undesirable to use contaminated eggs. At the same time, washed, too, will not work.

Before laying, it is recommended to check the incubation material through the ovoscope and select an unfertilized egg to increase the percentage of hatchability of chickens.

To disinfect the air in the incubator, it is recommended to add a couple of iodine drops to the water prepared to maintain the humidity in it. You can even dip each egg before laying in this solution, but do not wipe it. This method will increase the percentage of hatchability of chicks and raise their viability.

The incubation period for orpingons does not differ from other breeds - from 19 to 23 days in the incubator and 21 days under the hen. Inference is usually 80% or higher, subject to all rules.

Orpingon breed chickens often sit on their own eggs, hatch well, then lead the chickens responsibly. But they, as mentioned above, are often overweight, which can crush one or more eggs. Therefore, the best nest in which the hen sat down to hatch chickens, cover with a thick layer of straw. It is also necessary to daily check the integrity of the eggs under the hen in order to immediately remove the crushed ones.

Features feeding the young

It is recommended that chickens of the Orpington breed be well fed from early childhood, since it is then that the ability to grow and gain weight is laid.. Therefore, special attention should be paid to the diet of chickens from the first day of their life.

It is recommended immediately after birth to offer them finely chopped yolk of a hard-boiled egg. On the second day, you can add pressed grated fresh cottage cheese to the already familiar food. If the cottage cheese you do not own cooking, for disinfection it is useful to dip it in gauze in boiling water for 1-2 minutes.

On the third day, you can diversify the menu by adding a new dish - boiled crumbly millet - to the egg-curd chopped meat.

On day 4, you can introduce chicks to corn porridge, and on the fifth, add chopped washed greens to your diet. At the age of 2 weeks, chickens enjoy eating sour milk, ground vegetables, boiled meat and fish products.

If possible, you can pamper the young and live earthworms. Although some poultry farmers claim that it is fraught with infection of chickens by parasites. Therefore, the question of whether to give worms to chicks at an early age or not, we will put up for discussion here.

Also controversial is the question: how long can boiled eggs be fed to chickens? The allowances for breeding chickens published in the Soviet Union strictly regulated the period of feeding the young with eggs - only up to 5 days. Experts of the time insisted that diarrhea could begin in chicks older than that age if they continue to give eggs. And how do modern couches look at this? It would be interesting to know their opinion on this matter.

Especially talk about drinking chickens. They should have water all the time - this is not discussed. It is best to change it three or four times a day and offer it in a warm form. Some poultry farmers recommend to dissolve several crystals of potassium permanganate in the drink. Others insist that before 2 months the water should be boiled.

Many farmers are engaged specifically in the production of breeding eggs and young stock for sale. In Ukraine, for example, an adult Orpingon can be purchased for 300 hryvnia, a daily chicken for 50, an incubation egg stands there from 15 hryvnia per piece.

In Russia today, too, these chickens are common. Farmers breeders sell one hatching egg at 100-350 rubles, a seven-day chicken - at 230-450. An adult rooster or laying hen can be bought already for 600 rubles.

Trading orpingon meat is also profitable. Despite the fact that it is valued higher than normal chicken, restaurants are happy to make its purchase. The reason for this is a delicate and dense consistency, high taste qualities.

As can be seen from the above, this is a lucrative business, although it does require certain skills, hard work and, of course, knowledge.

Orpington breed history

Work on the breeding of this breed began in the last quarter of the XIX century in the city of Orpington, Kent, southeast England. The merit of the appearance of these chickens is wholly owned by a breeder named William Cook, who set out to breed the breed that best meets English poultry standards. Among other things, for example, the task was to get a large bird with white rather than yellow skin, which, according to the English gourmets, more consistent with the concept of delicious chicken.

Several advanced rocks of that time were taken as a basis, in particular, Plymouth, Minorca and Croud Langshan. The initial stage of breeding work on chickens orpington lasted at least 30 years, but the breed was finally bred without Cook himself. Nevertheless, it was he who performed the most important part of this work.

The breed derived by Cook had only a black version of the color and had rather mixed external features. For example, the cocks met several types of comb on the head. Ввиду этого селекционерам пришлось продолжить работу Кука, чтобы добиться стабильности и единообразия породных признаков. В частности орпингтонов скрестили с черными кохинхинами, в результате чего полученная разновидность впоследствии получила статус классической формы курицы орпингтон.

The new breed quickly fell in love with British farmers, because it had good productivity and very original appearance at that time.

In subsequent years, yellow or fawn orpingtons were also bred. This type also had high productivity, and therefore was not inferior in popularity to the classical type. In 1889, a white variety appeared, obtained by crossing with leggorn.

In the early years of the 20th century, the Orpingtons were exported to Germany, where local breeders developed another breed, the red one.

In total, at least 11 color varieties of orpingons were obtained.

Description of Orpington Hens

The most prominent feature in the appearance of the Orpington breed is the massiveness of birds. These hens have a very strong constitution and a cube-like body. It is covered with loose, but very abundant plumage.

The orpingons have a small rounded head, which in roosters is crowned with an erect comb. Strong slightly curved neck is decorated with a luxurious mane. The back is long and very wide, with abundant musculature. The rooster’s short tail is hidden under the feather braids. The chest is unusually powerful and wide. The wings are short and tight to the body. The color of the beak is determined by the color of the plumage.

With the exception of smaller sizes and sexual characteristics, chickens do not fundamentally differ from roosters.

According to the official description of the chickens of the orpingons, the bird is subject to rejection if it has a narrow body, non-standard leg length, a sunken chest, a long fluffy tail, yellow skin, or other breed defects.

At the moment there are 11 options for the color of chickens of this breed. Black, white, fawn, porcelain, black and white, and red orpingtons are most prevalent.

As for the nature of the chickens, they are considered very calm and friendly. Some even characterize them as very phlegmatic birds.

Orpington productivity

Since orpingtons are a universal meat and egg breed, their meat and egg performance indicators are good, though not outstanding, as in more specialized breeds.

According to reviews, orpingtons are not growing at a very fast pace, but they are capable of gaining a solid mass: adult chickens weigh an average of about 3-4 kg, and roosters - 4-5 kg. Obviously, with such indicators of maximum mass, high ripening is simply impossible.

The egg production of birds is also quite solid, although not outstanding. In the first year, the hen gives an average of 160 to 180 eggs. In the second year, egg production decreases to 130–140 eggs. The eggs themselves are of medium size (55-60 g), with a solid light brown or cream shell.

Orpingon content

By and large, the hen of the Orpingon breed is an absolutely picky bird, but because of its massiveness, it still requires somewhat more specific conditions than other breeds. This applies mainly to the internal arrangement of the chicken coop.

Firstly, since orpingtons practically cannot fly due to their weight, it is recommended to make perches as close to the floor as possible, and the distance between the poles should not be very large. It is better to use special ladders-ladders on which the bird could climb on foot.

Secondly, heavy orpingons can be maintained at all on a deep litter that is not replaceable for three to four months. The main thing is to equip it properly. At the very bottom you need to pour lime, which will prevent the beginning of the litter from rotting and for some time will keep the humidity level. Lime on top of the litter material is laid out in several layers. Straw is usually used for bedding, but wood chips or sawdust, hay, and other materials of this type are also suitable.

Since it is impossible to completely stop the rotting of the litter, the processes of bacteria breeding in it will create enough heat to eliminate the need to heat the chicken coop. However, it is important to do everything possible so that the litter materials are extremely dry at the time of installation.

As needed, the top layer of the litter can and should be changed. If the entire litter has become very wet, then you need to change it all. Otherwise, the bird may become infected with parasites or infectious diseases.

Some farmers practice the cellular content of English orpingons. This method is also suitable for this breed, but due to the large size of the birds, the cage also needs to be made slightly more standard.

Due to the fact that orpingtons tend to obesity, you need to carefully monitor their diet, avoiding overfeeding. Otherwise, the obese birds will rush worse and multiply, and their health condition will worsen markedly. Particularly high risk of obesity in the cold season, when the birds walk a little, spending a lot of time in the hen house.

If the breeding livestock still shows signs of obesity, then a month or two before the start of the breeding season of the Orpington breed chickens should be put on a strict diet. First of all, you need to limit the amount of feed and replace some of them with less high-calorie foods. For example, instead of feed, give chickens germinated grain or vitamin flour.

Well, in general, the rules of feeding orpingons are the same as for all other breeds.

Prospects for breeding orpingtons in Russia

Like all universal meat and egg breeds, orpingtons are very well suited for small farms and private house farms. The breed is undemanding to the conditions of detention and feed, and therefore it can easily be bred even by inexperienced people who have only basic knowledge and limited resources. In the most elementary conditions, orpingtons demonstrate good performance in both types of products, and therefore are excellent for beginners. In addition, some varieties, such as calico orpingtons, are excellent for decorative birds.

As for large poultry farms, everything is much more complicated. In its pure form, the breed is inferior in productivity to cross hens, and therefore is not directly used to produce the main product. But as a maternal breed for obtaining highly productive crosses it is still sometimes used. And even though it is difficult to call it very popular in this area, it is still too early to write it off.