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Jubilee Orpington Chickens: A Royal Breed For Your Flock

Jubilee Orpington Chickens: A Royal Breed For Your Flock

The Jubilee Orpington has a ‘royal’ history and is one of the rarest and exquisite chicken varieties in the United States. This is because these Orpingtons have only been imported in the U.S. and Canada within the last 10 years, despite being found in England for over a hundred years. 

Looking for more about this splendid bird? In this article, we cover all things you should know about the Jubilee Orpington including its history, temperament, specific features, egg laying, and broodiness, among others.

Is the Jubilee Orpington right for your flock?

  • A large dual-purpose breed that is great for egg or meat production
  • Lays 150+ large, light brown eggs per year
  • Friendly chickens that are good with kids
  • Cold tolerant, but does not do well in the heat

Background & History of the Jubilee Orpington

William Cook introduced the Orpington Chicken breed in the mid-19th century. It was named after the town of Orpington, Kent, in south-east England. After the heritage breed’s success, Cook and his family continued to diversify its color varieties. 

The Jubilee Orpington was developed in 1897 and originally named Diamond Jubilee Orpingtons in honor of the celebration of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee on the throne. As part of the celebration, the Queen was presented with a flock of these regal Orpingtons.

Brown speckled Jubilee Orpington chicken
Photo source: My Pet Chicken

Jubilee Orpingtons were believed to be a cross between Spangled Old English Game, Dorkings, Buff Orpingtons, and possibly Speckled Sussex.

Temperament & Behavior

These Orpingtons, although being special, are not known for an attitude. Their calm and gentle disposition renders them as kid-friendly and patient pet chickens. Also, these docile birds enjoy being petted and easily become lap chickens. 

The Jubilee Orpington has a ‘royal’ history and is one of the rarest and exquisite chicken varieties in the United States. This is because these Orpingtons have only been imported in the U.S. and Canada within the last 10 years, despite being found in England for over a hundred years. 

These chickens are on the heavier side, which is why they are less flighty once they reach maturity. This means that a fence 18 inches in height would be enough for you to keep them contained.

Jubilee Orpington hens are known to go broody often and make very good mother hens – which is great if you want more chicks! 

Brown Jubilee Orpington speckled chicken
Image source: Cackle Hatchery

Jubilee Orpington characteristics

Appearance

These fluffy, beautiful chickens are one of the largest breeds, with typical Orpington full bodies and fluffy butts. Their spectacular and complex feather pattern takes up to 18 months to mature in coloration.

The mahogany background color is sprinkled with speckles of black and white, with a bright crimson and emerald sheen. This patterning can be compared to the Speckled Sussex, but the Orpington carriage and feather texture make all the difference.

The Jubilee Orpingtons are covered with dense, fluffy feathering – especially on their thighs and butt, which are all patterned in brown, white and black. They have white beaks, legs, and feet, while their faces, earlobes, combs, wattles and eyes are red. 

Jubilee Orpington Chickens: A Royal Breed For Your Flock 2

Other Traits

They love to eat and are cold-hardy – thanks to their densely feathered bodies! Though, they would need cool water and shade to keep them from suffering heat stroke in hot summer temperatures.

The docile nature of Jubilee Orpingtons makes them prone to bullying by more aggressive breeds. Although intimidating in size, they require protection from predators.

Common Health Problems

Health-wise, the Orpingtons are generally known as robust, hardy, and disease-resistant birds. They may suffer from lice and mites though, because of their heavy feathering, so we recommend regular checks on skin and plumage.

A good dust bath will also help these heavily feathered breeds ward off lice and mites.

Jubilee Orpington Quick Facts

TypeDual Purpose
SizeLarge
Heritage BreedNo
Average Weight7-8 pounds
Weeks To Maturity 24
Average Life Span5-10 years
Color variationsSpeckled
Egg SizeLarge
Egg ColorLight brown
Egg Production150+ per year
TemperamentDocile, friendly
Beginner FriendlyYes
Kid FriendlyYes
Heat TolerantNo
Cold TolerantYes
Comb TypeSingle
BroodinessOften
FlightinessToo heavy to fly well
Noise LevelQuiet
HeritageAcresMarket.com

Eggs

The Jubilee Orpingtons are known to be good egg layers. However, remember these chickens may not lay eggs before they are 24 weeks old. 

Their eggs are cream to light brown – which is a lighter egg coloring than most Orpingtons. The size of the egg is medium to large. They also have good egg productivity and would reward you with 150+ eggs per year.

Brown Jubilee Orpington speckled chicken
Image source: BackyardChickens.com

Where to buy Jubilee Orpingtons

Jubilee Orpingtons are hard to find and not available at many hatcheries.

Cackle Hatchery offers chicks for as little as $9.95 each.

Cackle Hatchery is our preferred and recommended hatchery. While most hatcheries require orders of at least 25 chicks, you can buy as few as 3 chicks from Cackle. They are also highly rated on Google and have been in business since 1936. 

Summary

The Jubilee Orpington is a graceful dual purpose breed. Quiet and mellow, they are well-suited for urban backyard farms. Their sweet and docile temperament also makes them reliable with kids.

It is an excellent heritage breed to have and would make an impressive addition to your backyard flock. However, you need to be cautious when mixing them with other breeds as they get bullied by more aggressive chickens.

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KATHRYN A LININGER

Saturday 9th of January 2021

The Jubilee Orpington chickens are BEAUTIFUL!!! I really enjoyed the back round and History about them. I have 2 Chocolate Orpington hens, and really love them! They are very sweet tempered, friendly, and were slow to mature. They were close to 6 months before laying eggs. Now, both are 'broody'! And NOT very friendly! They peck HARD and won't stop until I pull my hand back. I hope you can have a detailed back round and history story about the 'Chocolate Orpingtons' some day. I would love to learn more about them. I plan to copy the story and pictures of the 'Jubilee Orpingtons' to put in my chicken info binder. Thank you very much!

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