Orloff Chickens
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About Orloff ChickensAbout Orloff Chickens



Orloff, also known as Russian Orloff, chickens are named after Alexei Grigoryevich Orlov, a Russian Count. For most of its history, the Orloff was considered to be a product of Russia and Orlov, but modern research has discovered that the breed first appeared in Persia, and was distributed across Europe and Asia by the 17th century. However, Count Orlov was a key promoter of the breed in the 19th century, and the breed became known in the West following his efforts.

Orloffs were first introduced to Great Britain in the 1920s, and were also refined a good deal in Germany; Germans created the first miniaturized Orloff by 1925. They were once included in the American Poultry Association's breed standard, the Standard of Perfection, but it was removed due a lack of interest from breeders. In the 21st century, the Orloff remains a rare breed in the West. The Livestock Conservancy lists the breed as critically endangered.

They are tall, well-feathered chickens with a somewhat game-like appearance. Their head and neck are very thickly feathered. They appear in several color varieties: Black, White, Spangled, Black-tailed Red, Mahogany, and Cuckoo. Their plumage, combined with their tiny walnut comb, small earlobes and minuscule wattles, makes the Orloff a very cold-hardy breed. The males generally weigh 3.6 kilograms (7.9 lb) and hens about 3 kg (6.6 lb).

Orloffs are primarily bred for meat production, but hens are reasonable layers of light brown eggs and do not usually go broody. They are relatively calm birds.

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