How many breeds of chickens can you name? There are hundreds. Which do you like best? Tell Hattie about your favourite breed and it might be featured here!
If you want a really friendly chicken that will sit on your lap and let you stroke her masses of fluffy feathers, then an Orpington would be ideal! They are large birds, but there is a bantam variety too. The most popular colour is buff, like the hens in the picture, although there are lots of other colours available. When the Orpington was created in 1880, it was a very good egg-layer, even in winter. This has changed over the years, but Orpingtons can still lay plenty of eggs if you look after them well. Make sure they have shelter from the rain and can dry their feathers in a comfortable henhouse at night. Be careful if you have other chickens, as Orpingtons are so gentle they are easily bullied. If you decide to keep Orpingtons you will be in good company – Queen Elizabeth, the mother of our present queen, kept a flock of these lovely birds and was Patron of the Buff Orpington Society.