Russian Orloffs

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.

Breed clubs:

Russian Orloff Society USA & Canada

German Orloff Club (in German)

Orloff Links:

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, 1997
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

[Chickens D-O]


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