Developed by William Cook of Orpington House in Kent, this breed of hen was first introduced in 1866. Later, other coloured varieties were introduced, including the more well known "Buff Orpington" which is perhaps the most common hen nowadays. Originally it was regarded as a good utility fowl with good winter laying properties producing a rich brown egg, and as an excellent table bird, especially when crossed with Indian Game. Modern strains have retained their table qualities but have sacrificed the winter laying and egg colour for an increase in feathers and other show qualities. They are small, dark and compact.