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Published on 29th December 2023 by staff

Australorp Chicken

Black Australorp Chicken
Black Australorp Chicken

The Australorp Chicken is a breed of large fowls that was developed in Australia. This is known to be a very hardy breed, being one of the largest heritage utility breeds of chicken. However, a bantam variety of the breed is also found. Other than being a dual purpose breed (meat and eggs), they are also equally popular as ornamental birds for their vibrantly-colored feathers and good looks. Farming and taking care of these birds is easy since they can bear confinement well and are resistant to most of the common poultry diseases.

Quick Description

Other Names/NicknamesBlack Australorp, Australian Orpington; Austral
CharacteristicsLarge size birds with soft feathers bird and have very dark beady eyes; they have 4 toes and the legs do not bear feathers
Plumage/Feather Colors3 types:
Glossy black with lustrous green sheen;
Slate blue with dark lacing;
White (but is rarely found)
Skin ColorWhite
CombYes; large, non-crested, moderately upright, single, red, with five points
Personality/TemperamentActive, docile, not loud, sweet, shy, good with children and other birds, cold-hardy
Purposes/UsesEgg, meat, show, ornamental
EggsNormally up to 250 per year; shell is tinted and/or brown in color
Laying Age6 months
Height (Size)Large (tall)
WeightHeavy category;
Male: 3.20–4.10 kg;
Female: 2.250–3.10 kg;

Bantam Cocks/Roosters: 0.96–1.23 kg;
Bantam Hens: 0.79–1.04 kg
DietGeneral chicken diet
Country of OriginAustralia
Conservation StatusAustralia: common,
United Kingdom: at risk,
Elsewhere: recovering
Standards and Qualification InformationAPA, ABA, PCGB, APS
Breed Standard

History and Development

The Australorp chicken originated as the ‘Australian Laying Orpingtons’ which were formerly called the ‘Utility Type Orpingtons’.

During the late 1800s, the early Black Orpingtons were imported into Australia, where they had been refined for utility purposes. The Australians started valuing this breed immediately because of its egg-laying ability, and continued breeding them along the lines of the original type.

Australorp Chicken
Australorp Chicken Images

In 1919, Arthur Harwood suggested that the breed ‘Australian Laying Orpingtons’ be named “Australs”, while the suffix “orp” was suggested for denoting the major breed in the development of this bird.

In the 1920s, this flock was again exported back to Australia as the ‘Australorps’, after it was genetically modified in Britain. This breed was imported to the USA soon after, in the 1920s. Fortunately, unlike the Black Orpingtons, the Australops have not undergone any genetic change or alteration over the years till date.

Australorp Chicken Pictures
Black Australorp Chickens

Meat & Egg Production

This breed is known for its excellent laying abilities, with around 200-250 eggs per year. The eggs are medium to large with a light brown pigmentation.

These are well-fleshed fowls yielding white, tender meat. Since these chickens are also well-known as good nest sitters and mothers, they are quite lucrative in the meat market. Their market weight is between 5.5 and 7.5 lbs.

Australorp Chicken Eggs
Australorp Chick

Interesting Facts

  • In 1922-23, during a 365 day egg laying trial, six of the female Australorps had set a world record laying an average of 309.5 eggs each.
  • A new egg-laying record has also been set after a hen laid 364 eggs in 365 days.
Blue Australorp Chickens
Australorp Chickens
Australorp Chicks
Australorp Chickens
Australorp Chicken Babies

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