Russian Chicken Breeds: You Must Know About

Russian Chicken Breeds

When we say poultry farming or animal husbandry, Russia most certainly is not the first or second thing you think about. 

Russia is often misconceived to be gloomy desolate land where in reality, Russia has a booming poultry farming market, and even exports to many neighboring regions. 

When talking of poultry farming, an essential animal is a chicken – bred for eternity for its meat and eggs. 

So today we are going to look at the most popular Russian chicken breeds and go in-depth into all that you have to know about them.

So without further ado, let’s get into it.

The Russian Orloff Chicken

Perhaps the most recognizable of Russian breeds because of its current widespread availability, the Orloff chicken can be bought all over the world. 

Although it is named after the person who introduced it, a Russian count called Alexei Grigoryevich Orlov. 

Its actual origins have now been traced back to 17th century Persia, where it was then distributed throughout Asia and Europe. 

It took about 200 years for the breed to really catch on and become as popular with poultry lovers as they are now.

Appearance

The Orloff comes in a variety of colors and patterns, including black, cuckoo, mahogany, black-tailed red, and so on. 

It is a tall chicken and has a very game-like appearance. It is characterized by its surplus of plumage, especially crowded around its head and neck. 

This extra layer of insulation makes them very hardy birds, able to deal with the harsh winter conditions of Russia. 

It is a large and plump chicken coming in at about 9 pounds. They have tiny earlobes, yellow skin, and yellow feet. 

Their plumage is generally red, white, or a spangled mix of the two. They also have a small walnut-shaped comb that aids their cold resisting abilities.

Egg Production

They are considered to be average egg producers and are rarely bred purely for their egg-producing abilities. 

Owners and farmers can expect these hens to lay about 2 eggs per week with the very best average being 104 eggs a year. 

Since this is generally a lesser amount, they are most often bred for meat production rather than egg-laying.

While they are currently low in number, these eggs fetch a high price. 

While this is a piece of happy news for the breeders themselves, this restricts many from entering the Orloff farming scene furthering their endangered status.

Temperament and Personality

Orloff chickens often tend to be the calmer ones in the flock and have pretty friendly personalities. 

They are not so friendly that they would want to cuddle with you though, and are just generally a hands-off pet. 

They are well-known for their unaggressive personalities, yet will still stand up for themselves when the opportunity arises.

Pavlovskaya Chicken

Agreed by many to be one of the most ancient breeds of chicken in Russia, the exact history is a bit murky. 

In the late 1800s when peasants were taking count of their native breeds, the Pavlovskaya was already virtually extinct. 

Even though a definite date of creation or production cannot be ascertained, we know that the species dates back to the 17th century. 

As opposed to the first chicken though, this species is restricted to some areas of Russia and is almost extinct. 

Many chicken and history enthusiasts are in the effort to bring them back, but there is no solid data on how that is going.

Appearance

Maybe the most iconic thing about them is their lovely and elegant appearance which gives them such a huge fan following. 

They have a regal look that is hard to look away from, as described by many. Generally, on the smaller side, the breed has a compact body and a helmet-like crest that is covered in wonderful plumage. 

They also come in a variety of shades like silver, gold, and black-gold. They also have a wonderfully colorful tail that they are infamous for.

Egg Production

These chickens are not avid layers either but nor are they, good meat producers. Pavlovskaya chickens are almost completely used for ornamental reasons now, their plumage being their main selling point. 

A reason why they are so rare is because of this decreased egg production, which is about 70 to 90 eggs a year. The hens do have great maternal instincts and take utmost care of their eggs.

Temperament and Personality

Pavlovskaya chickens are often described as a delight to be around because of their lively and active disposition. 

They tend to be quite social, loving flock mates and human beings alike. The roosters can sometimes be haughty and not socialize as much with others while the hens are generally very social. 

They are also quite trusting and loyal, and if properly provided for, they will not try to leave their coop and will live about their days happily.

Are Orloff Chickens Rare?

Orloff chicken is an all-around great chicken with beautiful plumage and plenty of meat to go around the dinner table. 

But they have been in the endangered category for a few years. Even if they have widespread availability, their low egg-laying capabilities make them a relatively rare breed of chickens.

What Color Eggs Do Orloff Chickens Lay?

Even though they produce fewer eggs than other breeds, at about 2 eggs a week, their eggs are often described to be quite delicious. Russian Orloff hens lay medium-sized eggs that are a pleasant light brown in color.

Are Russian Orloff Chickens Friendly?

Russian Orloff chickens are generally known to be pretty tame and gentle creatures, and even with their sociability, they are rarely referred to as friendly. 

They are pretty low-maintenance and easy pets, but would most likely not want to cuddle up with their humans, though there are exceptions. 

They should generally not give you any trouble though and are pretty hands-off pets.

In Conclusion

While Russia is certainly not famous for its chicken breeds, the varieties they do bring to the table are quite fun and colorful and have interesting traits about them. 

We hope you had a fun time learning about these two fascinating breeds, and more importantly, that you learned something new.

Thank you for reading!

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