Russian Orloff

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    The Orloff breed of chicken got its name from a Russian Count named Alexey Grigoryvich. This is why sometimes this particular breed is called the Russian or the Russian Orloff.

    A rich-feathered and tall chicken, an Orloff chicken usually looks fat because of its thick feathers on the neck and head. Their feather colors vary. There's black, white, red to black tail, mahogany, spangled, and cuckoo. It's a cold hardy breed of chicken due to its small-sized earlobes, small walnut comb, and wattles that are minuscule. A rare breed in the western part of the world, the Orloff breed is considered as critically endangered by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy.

    Although it's famously known for being a Russian breed, many research studies lately have gone to prove that this breed appeared in Persia before it was seen in other countries such as Russia. It was said to have been distributed to other parts of the world come 17th century.

Recent Reviews

  1. derek-dubolski
    "A good review of the breed as I know it."
    Pros - Attractive and unusual. Very hardy. Good winter egg layer.
    Cons - Still not very widespread as a breed and therefore can be difficult to obtain stock.
    I first kept this rare breed in the UK in the early 1980s when there were very few breeders in England. My original trio came apparently from the Czech Republic and were not terribly good specimens. However, I later acquired an excellent young rooster from a fellow enthuisast who had imported stock from the then East Germany. Using this bird I soon improved my strain of Spangled Orloffs and won prizes with them. There is now a reasonably good following and quality stock in the UK and several people have developed attractive bantam strains. Now living in Canada I again found it quite hard to locate stock but eventually hatched a few good birds from eggs bought in British Columbia. I was originally informed that 'true' Orloffs should have a few very small feathers in between their toes and in fact always found this to be the case with any birds I have. They come in various colours although I always had only spangled. However, it is obvious, given the amount of white flecking in their plumage that I could easily develop a pure white strain. Interestingly I once had a man come to buy different breeds from me when I was not advertising Orloffs. He was originally from communist Eastern Europe and was abolutely thrilled to see my Orloffs which he claimed were still common in his homeland! I love the breed and highly recommend them.
  2. Tara80
    "A friendly and hardy large bird, can be used..."
    Pros - Extremely friendly, cold hardy, large, lay eggs and can be considered a meat bird
    Cons - Very slow grower, extremely docile which may result in being picked on by other breeds
    The Orloff is one of my favorite breeds; they are currently not very common in the US but seem to slowly be gaining recognition.
    These birds are extremely friendly and our flock will follow us around when working outside and will climb in our laps the minute we sit down. This can be both positive and negative as they are easily picked on by other breeds if not raised together.
    If you are looking for a meat bird, these are not cost efficient due to the necessary food ratio vs. growth rate, but they are good layers for their first few egg laying years.
    They are fairly pretty and large birds, very regal looking with the hawkish beak and golden eyes.
    The cockerels are sure to turn heads when presented during any type of show or event, although they are currently not recognized by the American Poultry Association due to lack of interest in the past.
    Hopefully this breed will gain in popularity and recognition in the future, as they are very worth it.


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