australorp chicken breed
wes hill / Flickr (Creative Commons)
  • Purpose: Dual/Purpose — Meat And Eggs
  • Eggs: Brown
  • Egg Size: Large
  • Color: Black With Green And Purple Tones
  • Comb Type: Single Comb

It doesn’t take a lot of sleuthing to figure out that this national chicken of Australia was developed from Orpington stock, hence the name Australorp.

It’s hard to find something negative to point out about the Australorp. The main drawback to this breed may very well be their affable temperaments. Some keepers report that their birds are so friendly that they may lack a little common sense when it comes to self-preservation.

As with any flock, do your best to ensure that predators cannot access your birds. With Australorps, you may have to do a little extra thinking than with more alert, stand-offish breeds, such as the non-personable but fiercely independent Ancona.

It is also worth noting that though they are extremely cold tolerant, they may be slightly sensitive to prolonged high temperatures. For those in sweltering climates, the flighty Fayoumi, independent Andalusian, or popular Rhode Island Red may be better choices.

Characteristics

Catch this seemingly black chicken in a ray of sunshine, and these heavy-looking birds will gleam with iridescent greens and purples. And just like their feathers show up best with a little attention, so does their somewhat under-represented reputation as prolific egg-layers.

Egg-Laying Champions

Though more popular breeds may be mentioned when it comes to building a backyard flock, the Australorp deserves time in the limelight. A team of hens won the world record for yearly egg production in the 1920’s, producing a dazzling average of 309 eggs each.

Though you may not have a record-breaker on your hands if you decide to go with these calm birds, you can at least anticipate having a dedicated layer. Particularly hardy in cold weather, docile, and able to be confined to a smaller coop with little drama, this chicken may be the ideal choice for an urban backyard.

Their even temperament may also make them a good choice as a pet, or a lovely starting breed for the novice chicken-keeper.

What’s The Yield?

Though it is highly unlikely that your chickens will achieve the record-breaking yields the breed is famous for, you can reasonably expect at least 200 brown eggs a year from your healthy Australorp hens.

With a fairly heavy, meaty body, a gift from their Orpington bloodline, Australorp chickens can also make a good dual-purpose backyard chicken as well. Anticipate that your hens will reach around 6 ½ pounds, and your roosters will weigh about 8 ½ pounds.

What’s Special About the Australorp?

Though they’re not recognized officially, there are more colors than just the beetle-green birds. You may be able to find white, splashed, buff, or even blue-white variations of these gentle chickens. Though you won’t be able to show them in the exhibition ring, they are still worthwhile additions to your flock!

Pictures Of Australorp Chickens

australorp face
Larry Miller / Flickr (Creative Commons)

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Two hens one nesting box

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