Why Backyard Chicken Farmers Love Russian Orloffs
If you’re looking for a new type of chicken to raise in your backyard or working farm, you must first consider what the purpose of your birds is going to be. Some birds are best suited for producing large, delicious eggs, and other birds are great if you’re looking for your own source of natural free-range chicken meat. The last important thing is whether you’re looking for an exotic-looking bird or one that could be your new family pet. For farmers or hobbyists looking for a calm breed of chicken that also looks different from the typical bird, consider raising Russian Orloff chickens. This rare breed of chicken may make a colorful addition to your backyard flock.
Russian Orloff chickens were named after a noteworthy Russian aristocrat, Alexi Grigoryevich Orlov. Orlov did not first breed this bird, but his efforts to promote the breed across Europe in the 1800s forever connected his name to the birds. Some research suggests that these chickens were first bred in Persia hundreds of years before Orlov’s association with them. Here are some other basics about the breed:
- Docile and Calm – Russian Orloff chickens are a calm bird that could do well with other types of poultry breeds. They aren’t likely to be affectionate like other friendly chickens, but you shouldn’t experience any conflict with these birds.
- Not the Best Egg Layers – While some people enjoy the taste of the bird’s eggs, Orloff chickens don’t produce very many of them; they average about two eggs per week. Eggs are medium in size and typically brown in color. Meat is the primary reason why some farmers raise them.
- Color and Look – The Russian Orloff rooster weighs nearly eight pounds, with the hen coming in a little smaller. Their body type is stocky, and they have lots of fluffy brown speckled feathers on their body.
- Weather Hardiness – This chicken breed is suited for cold weather conditions because of its round body, so you can feel comfortable letting them roost in their coop during the winter.
Keep Your Flock Comfortable
Once you’ve made the decision to raise Russian Orloff chickens, it’s time to plan out your chicken coop. The ideal space should be set up in your backyard. Make sure your local jurisdiction allows homeowners to raise backyard chickens before you begin construction of your coop. Here are some key requirements:
- Clean and Airy – Chickens need to have enough air circulation inside of their coop so they won’t come down with illnesses. Be sure the airflow is sufficient.
- Rodent Free – Use chicken wire to keep small areas from being infiltrated by rats, mice and other small pests. Your chickens will be more comfortable, and your coop will be cleaner without the added problem of vermin and their droppings.
- Spacious – Be sure your chickens have plenty of space to roost and lay eggs if they need to with several egg-laying boxes and a roosting pole.
Russian Orloff chickens are a fascinating breed to look at and discover for the new chicken farmer. Their long, storied history and interesting look make them a great choice for your backyard flock.