The Orpington is a large bird from the English class of chickens. It is a bold, upright breed with a wide chest, broad back, and small head and tail. The Orpington was bred as a dual-purpose breed (meat production and eggs), but its popularity grew as a show bird rather than a utility breed. Their large size and soft appearance together with their rich color and gentle contours make them very attractive.
The original Orpington (the Black) was developed in 1886 by William Cook. He crossed Minorcas, Langshans and Plymouth Rocks to create the new hybrid bird. Cook named the breed after his home town in Kent. The first Orpingtons looked very much like the Langshan and were black. Between 1889 and 1905, Cook also created white, buff and blue colored Orpingtons. The breed was famous for its great egg-capacity.