Russian Orloff Chicken

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Willem Hoekstra

Other common names: Orloff Chicken

The basics:
The Russian Orloff Chicken is an ancient, rare dual purpose breed which is believed to have originated in Persia before being brought to Europe in the 17th century. Orloff bantams have been known in Germany since 1925.

According to the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, "Russian tradition credits Count Orloff – Alexey Grigoryevich Orlov (1737-1808) – with the importation and promotion of this breed of chicken. The Russian Orloff chicken was not known in England and western Europe until 1899. But clearly the breed arrived in America much before this, being included in the American Poultry Association’s standards from the first in 1875 until 1894 when it was removed due to lack of popularity."

Types: Bantam, Largefowl
Varieties (Walnut Comb): Black, Cuckoo, Mahogany, Spangled, White
Uses: Eggs, Meat, Preservation
Bantam: 36 - 40 oz
Largefowl: 6.5 - 8.5 lbs
Personality: Hens can become very friendly, but most Orloffs are observant and aloof.
Broody: Some bloodlines
Preferred climate: Cool
Handles confinement: Yes
Egg production: Good (3/week)
Egg color: Brown
Egg size: Large

What else you should know:
Many bloodlines of Largefowl struggle with fertility and hatchability. Keeping fewer hens with your rooster is recommendable, if this problem occurs. Also, keep a close eye on the humidity in your incubator.

Bantam Russian Orloffs tend to be more broody then the largefowl. The bantam roosters are usually highly aggressive, and are not recommended for children.


hardy, beautiful bird, quiet chickens, winter time, good egg layers


feisty bird, flight birds


muffed cheeks, tall straight stature, Bantam Russian Orloff, rare breed chickens, stunning tail feather

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