A Spangled Orloff cock standing in the typical upright position.
This large, gamey-looking fowl took its name from a Count Orloff, who--from what I can dig out of the literature--imported some of them from or to somewhere and thereby got his name attached. In earlier times in Russia they were known as "Chlianskiai." Malay blood was clearly involved in the origin of this bird. In the US and Britain this is definitely a rare breed.
The major characteristics of the breed are its round head with full muffs and beard, topped off by a small raspberry comb. The beak should be short and hooked and the eyelids heavy. The legs should be yellow. They lay a light brown egg, but are known to be poor layers. They were developed for the table. Although a slow-growing breed, Orloffs are very hardy and resistant to harsh winter weather.
I have seen Spangled and Cuckoo Orloffs, and there are also known to have existed Black, White and Mahogany varieties. Nineteenth-century authors have stated that the Mahogany Orloff had the richest color of any fowl.
Here is an article on the Orloff by Craig Russell, President of the Society for Preservation of Poultry Antiquities.
Russian Orloff Society USA & Canada
German Orloff Club (in German)
Russian Orloff Chickens Supporters Group
The Russian Orloff Society.GB
Russian Orloff Fanciers Fun Page
The Livestock Conservancy on Orloffs
Carolina Orloffs -- a blog
Orloffs and Orloff Bantams at Rare Feathers Farm
This image is from 1931 - I sure would love to get my birds to look like this!
A pair of Spangled Orloffs at the Bloomsburg, PA, show,
Photo courtesy of Beth Adams
A pen of Spangled Orloffs. The color of the hens is fairly clear in this image. They are very attractive birds. The spangling increases with age. The cockerel on the left will develop a more marked plumage as he grows.
Two Cuckoo Orloff cocks
Only the one on the right looks like an Orloff to me
A Cuckoo Orloff hen
A Pair of White Orloffs
A Black Orloff rooster and his head
Photos courtesy of Rupert Stephenson
Two shots of a Splash Orloff cockerel
Photos courtesy of James Heselden
A Spangled pullet
Spangled Orloff bantams
Photos courtesy of Heather Spaet
A Spangled Orloff cockerel from the UK
Photo courtesy of Rupert Stephenson
Black Orloffs, male on the left
Black-breasted Red Orloffs, a cockerel and a pair
Photos courtesy of Desert Poultry
Spangled Orloffs from Bulgaria
Photo courtesy of Hristo Hristov
Mon ami Thomas avec sa amie "Twitch," une poule Spangled = My friend Thomas with his friend "Twitch," a Spangled hen
Mahogany Orloff hens
Left photo courtesy of Josh Snyder; right photo courtesy of Taryn Koerker
A White Orloff pullet from Germany
Photo courtesy of Sascha Michel
Young Crele Orloffs
Photo courtesy of Anderson Hatchery
One of my Spangled Orloff cockerels
Photo courtesy of Robert Sussman
Another shot of the pen of Spangled birds.
Another Spangled pullet
Head shots of Spangled Orloffs, male on right
Photos courtesy of Alberto Prats
Yet another Spangled Orloff pullet
Photo courtesy of Heather Spaet
A Spangled Orloff rooster from the UK
Photos courtesy of Helena Gardner
Two of my breeder Spangled Orloff hens
Photo courtesy of Toni Ransfield
One of my nicer Spangled Orloff cockerels
Two shots of Spangled Orloff chicks
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Direct questions and comments to Barry at FeatherSite -- questions and comments