Orpingtons are very popular with most lines laying around 160 eggs per year on most with some going even higher. Production lines producing around 280 eggs per year.
In 1880, William Cook began experimenting by combining a number of popular breeds with the aim of producing a breed “of handsome appearance and a good winter layer.” Seven years later he had produced the first Orpington chicken, named after the town of Orpington in his native England. You may not know that the earliest Orpingtons were intentionally bred to be dark birds so they wouldn’t show the soot that settled on them from the polluted air of the industrialized Great Britain. Cook came from humble beginnings as a coachman to later become an international poultry entrepreneur, introducing the birds to America in 1890. Cook would later own breeding farms in England, the United States, and South Africa. Orpingtons were adopted by the upper-class Britons as a superior breed that reflected their owners’ superior breeding. Today, Orpingtons are the most popular breed in England, still hanging around as the result of Cook’s skills as a breeder and being a dedicated salesman of the breed that he had created.