Buff Orpington Chicken

Last updated: May 27, 2024
Verified by: AZ Animals Staff
Tyler T. Photography/Shutterstock.com

Buff Orpingtons love to sit on your lap.


Buff Orpington Chicken Scientific Classification


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Buff Orpington Chicken Locations

Buff Orpington Chicken Locations

Buff Orpington Chicken Facts

Name Of Young
Group Behavior
  • Flock
Fun Fact
Buff Orpingtons love to sit on your lap.
Biggest Threat
Foxes, coyotes
Most Distinctive Feature
They are very docile and calm.
Docile and calm
Foxes, coyotes
  • Flock
Favorite Food
Chicken feed
Common Name
Orpington, England
Number Of Species
Nesting Location
Nesting boxes

Buff Orpington Chicken Physical Characteristics

  • Tan
  • Orange
  • Light-Brown
Skin Type
8-10 pounds

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Buff Orpington chickens are very docile, happy chickens.

Buff Orpington Chicken Summary

If you imagine a chicken in a backyard coop, there’s a good chance you’re picturing the popular Buff Orpington breed. These chickens make great additions to a backyard flock because they are docile and get along with other chickens while still producing plenty of eggs. They also make great mother hens and are large and fluffy.

Buff Orpington Chicken Facts

  • Buff Orpingtons were only introduced in the late 1800s.
  • These chickens are incredibly docile and like to sit on your lap.
  • They lay brown eggs.
  • Buff refers to the tan-orange color of their feathers, although they also come in other colors.

Where to Find Buff Orpington Chickens

These chickens are very popular in England, where they were first bred. But you can find them all around the world. They are cold-tolerant and can be pretty comfortable in colder climates. If you keep them in hot climates, ensure they have plenty of water and shade.

Buff Orpington Chicken Scientific Name

These chickens are named for their original breeding location — Orpington, England. They are associated with the English countryside and are frequently found there. They belong to the species Gallus gallus domesticus, which includes all chickens. Buff Orpingtons are a specific breed within the species. Chickens are part of the Phasianidae family. Birds in this family are all ground-dwelling heavier birds, such as chickens, turkeys, peafowl, and pheasants.

They are part of the Galliformes order, Aves class, Chordata phylum, and Animalia kingdom. While it is helpful to understand how chickens fit into the larger animal kingdom, many breeds can be very different in temperament and appearance.

Buff Orpington Chicken Size, Appearance, and Behavior

Buff Orpington Rooster

Buff Orpingtons make great pets.

Orpingtons were initially bred to be black. This helped hide the soot and dirt common during the late 1800s. Buff refers to the lighter tan color now popular with the breed. However, they can come in various colors, including white and blue-grey. These chickens are known for being fluffy, round, and quite large. They can weigh up to 8 pounds. A bantam breed is around half the size of a full Buff Orpington. Female Buff Orpingtons generally weigh a few pounds less than males.

They are very docile, happy chickens. While they need adequate shade and water, especially in hotter climates, they are happy to share their space with other chickens and be part of a flock. They like cold weather because they get plenty of warmth and insulation from their numerous feathers. These chickens can be kept in colder climates and be happy outdoors even into winter.

Buff Orpingtons make great pets. They will even sit on your lap and follow you around the yard, waiting for food or affection. They are exceptionally calm — one of the calmest breeds out there.

Buff Orpington Chicken Diet

If you keep Buff Orpingtons, it is best to get feed that is designed for domestic chickens. They can forage for some insects and plants but are not known as great eaters. They are happy with plenty of care from their owners through regular meals.

Buff Orpingtons do not require any specialized diet unless they have health issues. Remember that due to their calm nature, they will not be assertive as some other breeds. If you keep Buff Orpingtons, limit your flock to other calm breeds. This prevents fights as well as competition for food. If they have to compete for food with more dominant breeds, Buff Orpingtons are not likely to fight much, which can become a problem over time.

Buff Orpington Chicken Predators and Threats

Like most chickens, Buff Orpingtons are vulnerable to predators trying to get into the coop. This is more common at night when the chickens are asleep, and their guard is down, although some bolder predators will also go after them during the day. Common predators vary by location. Some of the more common ones include foxes, raccoons, and coyotes. Snakes and other birds will go after their eggs if they can.

One of the best things you can do to prevent predators from getting your chickens is to construct or purchase a coop to protect them. Look for a coop with fencing that makes it hard for predators to get through. The door or opening to the coop should also be large enough for your chickens to come in and out without having room for larger animals to find their way in. Some can be pretty determined, so multiple layers of protection are ideal.

Buff Orpington Chicken Reproduction, Babies, and Lifespan

They like to brood, which refers to the chicken’s tendency to sit on nests to incubate eggs. Buff Orpingtons are good mothers who take special care of their eggs. They are also very gentle and friendly with young kids, making them ideal chickens for younger families who want to introduce chickens to their children.

The eggs of Buff Orpingtons are brown. If you want to keep chickens for eggs, look for a utility Buff Orpington. These hens are bred to produce many eggs, typically over 200 in a single year. These contrast with show Buff Orpingtons, which are kept for breeding and for being great mothers. They are also popular at livestock shows.

Buff Orpington Chicken Population

The Buff Orpington is one of the most popular choices among chicken breeders and keepers. Because they are docile and can thrive in various climates, these chickens are easy to keep. They make a great addition to a backyard flock because they will not pick fights with other chickens, are quiet, and lay plenty of eggs. Their larger size also makes them good birds to raise for meat. As mothers, they take care of nests and eggs well.

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About the Author

Katie is a freelance writer and teaching artist specializing in home, lifestyle, and family topics. Her work has appeared in At Ease Magazine, PEOPLE, and The Spruce, among others. When she is not writing, Katie teaches creative writing with the Apex Arts Magnet Program in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. You can follow Katie @katiemelynnwriter.

Buff Orpington Chicken FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Are Buff Orpington hens noisy?

No, these are very quiet chickens you can even keep around neighbors (assuming your area allows for backyard chickens).

Do Buff Orpingtons lay blue eggs?

No, Buff Orpingtons lay brown eggs.

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