Chicken Breeds: Australorp

The Australorp is a breed of chicken developed in Australia. It is frequently described in comparison to the Orpingtons, because the Australorp is based on Black Orpington breed stock, which was imported into Australia in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The Black Orpington was crossed with Rhode Island Reds and a few other breeds (including the Leghorn, Langshan, and Minorca) to create a “utility bird.”

The Australorp is a black bird whose feathers show flashes of metallic teal, green, and purple in the sun. They have a single comb, and are very weather-hardy.

Being descended from Orpingtons, the Australorp has retained the Orpington’s calm and friendly nature. The Australorp is slightly smaller than the Orpington (although still large in comparison to other chicken breeds). Roosters weigh in at about 8.5 pounds, and hens at 6.5 pounds.

Australorp chickens were bred to be useful, and they have made good on that promise. The Australorp was meant as a dual purpose meat and egg bird, and had to produce well on the rough Australian range. It was originally called the “Black Utility Orpington,” until Australian breeders decided to write up their own breed standard and give the breed an Australian prefix.

Australorp hens lay brown eggs, and plenty of them. An Australorp chicken currently holds the world’s record for egg laying, having laid 364 eggs in 365 days! In fact, the Australorp as a breed came to the world’s attention in the early 1920s, when a team of Australorps swept the existing egg laying record in a trial. Australorp chickens are an excellent choice for the backyard flock. They are record breaking egg producers, and are very docile and calm. Their easy-going nature makes them a good candidate for families with small children.

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Comments 14 comments

magdielqr profile image

magdielqr 7 years ago

Thank you for this informative Hub.

RoosterShamblin 6 years ago from Oklahoma I have been raising 50 breeds of chickens for 40 years. please take a few minutes to read my blog

thefinalword profile image

thefinalword 5 years ago

Great article...Do you know the optimum time to butcher a Australorp?

Blogging Erika profile image

Blogging Erika 5 years ago Author

I don't - I keep chickens strictly as pets. I recommend the Meat Birds board on the forums, those folks are super knowledgeable about such things!

thefinalword profile image

thefinalword 5 years ago

Thanks Erika for getting back to me so soon. I'm writing for an internet site about all the breeds and found your article accurate and helpful. Keep writing. Make lots of money.

Darren (Green Change) 5 years ago

I love my Australorps! They are very hardy, and are excellent foragers when free-ranged. They cover a lot of ground, and can provide a lot of their food themselves.

@thefinalword: I usually butcher my chickens just when they start to crow (we keep or sell females, sometimes keep 1 or 2 males for breeding, and eat the surplus males). For Australorps, this is around 5-6 months old. I did one last week that hatched at the start of this year, and it was excellent.

There's an old saying that chickens follow the "rule of 21" - they hatch in 21 days, they are best butchered at 21 weeks, and layers should be replaced at 21 months. As a rough guide, it's not far wrong.

Blogging Erika profile image

Blogging Erika 5 years ago Author

Awesome answer, Darren, thank you!

Mary Titian Norum 5 years ago

I am Mary Norum writing from Papua New Guinea. I am very interested in geting some of your black australope chickens, do you ship to Papua New Guinea? or any of your outlets in Papua New Guinea. Please reply ASAP. cheers!


Peter Bamne 4 years ago

I am writing from Papua New Guinea and am also interested in buying Australorp chickens. 3 years ago

laying hens 6 or 8 , Australope hens 3 years ago

Julie Lucas 3307151825 Ohio

Johne88 2 years ago

I like this post, enjoyed this one regards for posting. He removes the greatest ornament of friendship, who takes away from it respect. by Cicero. kcfebeeddfke

Jacki 23 months ago

Wow! That's a really neat anewrs!

jessse lee 22 months ago

How long does it take for these hen to start setting,how old

thank you jesse

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