Orloff Chicken: Raising Russian Orloff Chicken

Orloff Chicken comes from the European part of Russia, emerged from the cross between the Malay Fighter and Russian bearded hens. The Russian Orloff is the only distinctly Russian breed of chicken to be found in America. Though this breed has been forgotten by most Americans, it was imported from Persia originally and was promoted heavily by Count Alexey Grigoryevich Orlov (1737-1808). The name ‘Orloff’ comes from a famous horse breeder with that last name who brought back these chickens after he traveled abroad.

The Russian Orloff chicken was not known in England and Western Europe until 1899, but it is clear that the breed arrived there much before this. The American Poultry Association included them as part of their standards from 1875 to 1894 when they were removed due to lack of popularity. Famous poultry author John Robinson remarked that he had seen these chickens back home at a young age many decades before 1899; however, by then they only existed on his family farm!

Orloff Chicken

Characteristics of Orloff Chicken

Orloff Chicken is a rustic breed with beard and whiskers, medium size between Malay and Russian rustic type. They differ from Malay by the shorter body; by the longer and wider tail, with long sickles; by the cover of the upturned neck, and by the beard. It is a bird of right position, wild and proud appearance, as well as short and energetic movements. Their production of large eggs was better than that of the Malays and other fighters.

Chickens rarely become broody, but if necessary they perform incubation and breeding of chicks well. It produces abundant, juicy and tasty meat, although somewhat dense. The crossing with Faverolles has given rise to poultry producing abundant and excellent meat, while the crossing with the Italian ones has had an impact on egg production.

The plumage is abundant on the head, neck, and abdomen, although rather poor on the chest. This breed lays eggs weighing a minimum of 53 grams; with the shell white to brown. The males of this species weigh between 3 to 3.5 Kg. While the hen weighs between 2.25 to 2.75 kg. This species has ahead of medium size; with the very wide frontal bone; with beard and feather sideburns.

It has a feathered beard, full and well developed. For its part, it has the most developed sideburns possible, without impeding vision. The face is usually red and only visible at the beginning of the peak; the rest is hidden by the sideburns. It also has a low, flat ridge of 1 to 2 cm. high, comparable by its shape to a raspberry cut in half. You may also like to read Dorking Chicken.

On the upper surface, it is pearled with very small grain and filoplumes grow. It is located in the front half and extended to the nostrils. The barbels are rudimentary and hidden by the beard. It has very small ears and is hidden by the whiskers. It has a short, strong and curved bill; yellow in the tricolor varieties and brown spotted in the darker varieties.

The red skin of the face covers the beak until reaching the area of the nostrils. Has big eyes; of appearance sunk by the prominent eyebrows; with pearl-orange iris. While the neck is quite long and erect. Provided on top of a thicker and thicker than at the base of the neck. In this way, at the nape of the neck, a hemispherical bag of feathers gives rise to a large bulge, with which the neck seems thinner on the shoulders, where the plumage is tighter.

The trunk is medium length, wide and inclined, While the back is medium length, wide, piano and inclined; The careless is not too long. His chest is wide, full and not very prominent. For its part, the tail is medium, quite wide and carried up to be able to reach a right angle with the line of the back. You may also like to read Turkey Breeds.

In addition, the tail is provided with numerous narrow sickles and a little short. The wings are medium length and very close to the body. It has very visible thighs, of medium length, well separated, muscular and prominent, with tight plumage. The tarsi are medium length, smooth, naked, strong and lemon yellow to orange-yellow, with four fingers well separated and well planted.


Orloff Chicken is a double-purpose race. The breeders produce it because of its good meat flavor, as well as medium-sized chickens. For what good meat of this species is removed. As well as this species is valued for the production of their eggs since these are large. Although this species has also been used to cross with other species to improve production characteristics.

Special Feature

The female of the Orloff Chicken species resembles the rooster, but the position of the trunk is less inclined and the abdomen more developed. It has no ridge, just a small pink area with some filoplumes. The chins do not develop. The beard is stronger and more developed reaching beyond the peak below.

This species comes in several colors, among them tricolor, mahogany, white and black. There are some serious defects that this species presents, among them, is the domed back, ridge in pink or simple. As well as the absence of beard and sideburns, color of the tarsi different from yellow, abdomen little developed in the hen, absence of the ball of feathers in the neck, feathers in the tarsi. You may also like to read New Hampshire Chicken.


In this blog post, we’ve learned about the Orloff breed of chicken. They are named after a Russian count and sometimes called the Russian Orloff or just Russian. We hope our guide has helped you to learn more about these fascinating chickens! Good luck with your flock!

As a reference: Wikipedia

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