Jubilee Orpington Chickens – All You Need To Know

Developed towards the latter part of the 19th century, the Jubilee Orpington was created in England by William Cook. His intention was to forge a hardy dual-purpose chicken with the capacity of laying well under a very cold climate. The Orpington which is a dual-purpose bird (for both eggs and meat) won the hearts of breeders, thanks to its docile nature and beautiful plumage which has contributed to making it an excellent show bird. The breed is considered the quintessential backyard hen and would make a superb addition to any backyard coop.

History and origin of Jubilee Orpington Chickens

The history of Jubilee Orpington chickens is not just long but a very rich one. These beauties have existed among us for more than a century being founded in 1897. No doubt, it is listed among the longest-standing chickens in the world.

William Cook first introduced it in England and he is credited as the developer and founder of what is known as the standard Orpington breed. After he founded the Orpingtons, Cook continued developing and introducing newer varieties of the breed until he eventually created this royal fowl.

It is believed that the breed was created by crossing the Spangled Old English Game, Buff Orpingtons, Dorkings, and possibly Speckled Sussex.

After it has existed in England for decades, the Orpington breed started spreading to other parts of the world. The first set of the royal chicken was introduced in the United States in 2011 and because it has been in America for just over a decade, it is considered to be rare in that part of the world but it isn’t in short supply in its home country.

The chicken’s regal appearance isn’t the only reason they are referred to as royal birds, they are connected to royalty in actual fact. The chickens are associated with the past queen of England, Queen Victoria, and were first named Diamond Jubilee Orpingtons just to pay homage to Queen Victoria’s celebration of her Diamond Jubilee as the monarch of England. During the celebration, the queen received a flock of these regal chickens as a gift.

Are Jubilee Orpingtons rare?

Since they have been around in England for more than a century, the Jubilee Orpington is not rare in that part of the globe. However, it is considered to be rare in other countries like the US where it is newly introduced. This has made the breed extremely difficult to find outside England.

The chickens have been described as one of the world’s largest, weighing around eight pounds. They are also listed among the friendliest, thanks to their docile, calm, and dependable personalities. The reason why it is difficult to locate the breed in America is that the breeders are very few.

What color of eggs do jubilee Orpingtons lay?

The jubilee Orpington breed of chicken is known to lay eggs that are light brown in color. These dual-purpose fowls can never fail when they are reared for meat or eggs. The eggs that come from them are medium to large size and they are listed among the world’s excellent layers.

On average, a jubilee Orpington chicken that is reared for egg production has the capacity of producing over 200 eggs per year. There have been some recorded occasions where these regal breeds produced up to 280 eggs.

In addition to that, the mother hen often goes broody which is just right for breeders that may want to hatch their eggs.


Jubilee Orpington
Brown Orpington source

The Jubilee Orpington breed can be realized in black, white, blue, buff, or splash feathers that are usually very fluffy. They are counted among the world’s largest breeds of poultry with characteristic Orpington full bodies, including fluffy butts.

The chickens will finally end up with spectacular and intricate feather patterns but this takes as much as 18 months before the coloration matures. With a mahogany background, the color is speckled with flecks of white and black, with an emerald sheen and bright crimson. This pattern is comparable to the Speckled Sussex, however, the feather texture and carriage of the Orpington is what makes all the difference.

Dense, fluffy feathering serves as covering for the body of the Jubilee Orpingtons, especially on the chicken’s butt and thigh. This usually comes in patterns of black and white. Their beaks are white so are their feet and legs. Other parts of their body like the faces, combs, earlobes, eyes, and wattles are red.

Typical behavior & temperament

Particularly, Jubilee Orpingtons are considered to be among the world’s friendliest breeds of chicken. You may never find a more calm and docile fowl anywhere. Their large size and hardiness make them an excellent choice for experts, backyard breeders, and novices. These birds are in fact known to enjoy human attention and are not averse to handling – they actually seek to be handled.

Thanks to their thick feathering, Jubilee Orpingtons are known to be hardy and can tolerate extremely cold climates. They are excellent mothers, readily hatching any eggs placed under their care. Highly adaptable, Orpingtons can tolerate confinement excellently and because they love to be handled, the breed makes perfect show birds.

The chickens are not great at foraging, thus, it will be best to allow them to eat their ration from a feeder even while roaming freely.

What is the rarest Orpington?

Presently, the Blue Orpingtons are the rarest. Most of the Orpington breeders want their chickens in a brand new color. Adding one or two Blue Orpington to your poultry makes it more colorful.

When should Orpington be slaughtered?

If you are a breeder raising your Orpington for meat consumption, the chickens should be ready for slaughter at about 22 weeks. However, those rearing them for eggs have no need for this information. You can enjoy your Orpington for maximum production of eggs for a while before there is any need to slaughter.

Interestingly, some people prefer to keep their Jubilee Orpington as pets due to the lovely appearance of their feathers and docile temperament. You just have to fall in love with this breed of chickens.

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