Australorp

The Australorp Breed was developed in Australia at the end of the nineteenth century with Black...

General Information

Breed Purpose
Dual Purpose
Comb
Single
Broodiness
Average
Climate Tolerance
All Climates
Egg Productivity
High
Egg Size
Large
Egg Color
Brown
Breed Temperament
Friendly, Easily handled, Calm, Bears confinement well, Quiet, Docile
Breed Colors/Varieties
Black, Blue and White are recognised in the Australian Poultry Standards
Breed Size
Large Fowl
APA/ABA Class
English
LL.jpg

The Australorp is an Australian breed which was developed from Black Orpingtons imported into Australia starting around 1890. The egg laying ability of the Orpingtons was emphasized by the Australian breeders, and other breeds including Minorca, Leghorns, and Langshans were bred into the lines to increase egg production and decrease broodiness. The result was a bird with exceptional egg laying ability. They were popular entries in egg laying contests in the day and for years Australorps held many of the world egg laying records, one hen famously laying 364 eggs in 365 days.

These "Australian Black Orpingtons" were given the name Australorp around 1920. Australorps were exported in the US and England in the 1920’s, where they were an immediate hit because of their great egg laying ability, and they remain a very popular breed to this day.

Australorps are a medium sized breed. The APA recognises only one color, the original Black, but there are several other colors developed by breeders, including Blue and White, which is recognized in Australia.

They tend to be calm, docile, fairly quiet birds, with nice temperaments and they make good pets. The roosters are generally good natured. They are dependable winter layers of big brown eggs, fairly heat tolerant despite the usually black feathers, and quite cold hardy. They generally do not fly well and take well to confinement. The hens will occasionally go broody and make good mothers. They are very popular with backyard flock owners looking for a friendly productive brown egg layer, and small flock owners looking for a duel purpose breed with hens that have excellent laying ability.

It was recognized by the APA in 1929 and it is on The Livestock Conservancy's Recovering list.

First egg laid by an Australorp pullet:
20180223_161335.jpg

A male and female Australorp, aged 11 weeks:
juvie.jpg

Australorp rooster:

7005.jpg

Australorp hen:
LLhen.jpg

For more on this breed and owners' experiences, likes and dislikes, see our breed discussion here:

https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/chicken-breed-focus-australorp.988347/

Latest reviews

Freindly
Pros: Good layers and very friendly. Also very pretty.
Cons: Weird sometimes.
Mine went broody a couple months ago and hasn't laid since after I got her off of it. Before she went broody she laid huge eggs, alot. Also make sure you have on a 20% protein diet to keep their feathers looking good, like a flock raiser feed or a all flock feed. Very pretty, even without laying in a while. I dont mind it.
Purchase Price
2.00
Purchase Date
2/2017
Australorp mostly great as egg layers, occasionally on the broody side
Pros: Docile to owner, great egg layer once she establishes her territory
Cons: territorial, broody, bully to other chicks, to the duck and to the rooster even! Asserts her coop and her nest and doesn't recognize other layers.
I got mine as a rescue, brought in same day -from a local farm, with few other shabby looking birds- whose physical appearance would give out right away their story. Though I didn't ask-for it was obvious; also- every person working there had a different story about the background of the birds- whether they lay eggs or not (one said every day, they just laid eggs today, another says - not for a long time, so you have to buy them this layer food, third says these hens were just fooling with the rooster- so you are getting eggs tonight!! and the rooster looks like he had a career as a fighter in Argentina)... so I pick up my Gailina (hen in Spanish) and I am surprised she is so timid as her size is quite large- yet her beak is broken off; and she had big skin tags as well-visible signs of abuse or neglect; but then again- I bought her during the winter - when no one is selling egg layers, so I was like -ok! I will nurture her back to health.
Gailina seemed like the sweetest thing, until I put her in a flock with other small chicks- she made the duck bleed; dug out all my lettuce from my greenhouse, ate my new apple trees, then finished off with the tomato sprouts bed- and all of that while she still wasn't laying! Well-after ravishing my greenhouse I thought enough! - I am bringing this hen back! And the next day there it goes - she lays; next day yet again, and again! Then she starts to be sweet with me; seeks attention, yet the only way for her to not be territorial with the other chicks is to be left in her coop. She would leave her food, while all birds are eating, only to sneak behind the others-so to bully them out of their food-even when that is not the food she likes eating-Just to pick on them!! -and this is when I find out she feels rather sleepy and needs to go back to her coop. Somehow I feel like she challenges me to be hard with her- because she doesn't have a rooster her size; I have about given up she would lay eggs until she killed greenhouse produce which got me so mad I locked her up right away and she started laying! The day before she would come around me picking on my construction gloves while I was working on my pond. It was hard to chase her off! Its very interesting, temperamental hen; would also swing her tail a lot. Is that normal?
Purchase Price
$25 (with the recommended feed :)
Purchase Date
03.2021
Last edited:
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J
Jeans
Sounds like my hen, now she is lame and carried everywhere but when feeding she tries to "run the show" with my other two younger Astrolorpes.
Amazing birds.
Pros: Usually consistent layers

Hardy

Beautiful

Friendly
Cons: Rarely go broody (good or bad)
I love my Black Australorp, Jasmine. She’s so sweet, friendly, and gorgeous!

She is now a good layer. I’m not sure if they are usually late bloomers, but Jasmine didn’t start laying for a year.

For a while, she was top of the pecking order, and would sometimes peck our toes. Not very nice, but ok.

Then, one day, she was attacked. She and her flock mates had been free ranging in the yard. Usually dogs don’t roam free in the neighborhood, (many people keep chickens) but the neighbors dog escaped. The dog ran down the street, and bit Jasmine hard.

I thought Jasmine was a goner. She was barely alive. She couldn’t walk, and had huge teeth marks on her back. We took her to an avian vet, who said she had bad nerve damage, and there was only the slightest chance she would ever be able to join the flock again. It was either months of medicine, thousands of dollars, and Jasmine living in the house, or she would have to be out down.

The medicine was what was chosen. Although it was expensive, we wanted to give her the chance of survival. She stayed in the house for months. (And let me tell you, a chicken loving in the spare bedroom is stinky!) but after those long months, she slowly learned to walk on one foot, and use her wings to move farther. And guess what? She’s all the way back to normal! And much sweeter to. A few months after that, she lauded her first egg. (Oops, Sorry about this ramble!)

Anyway, I love Australorps, and recommend them to anyone.
Purchase Price
3.00
Purchase Date
February 2019

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J
Jeans
I love a victory story! Glad Jasmine is back! They are precious and deserving of our care. And we reap the rewards in many ways.

Comments

I agree with everything you've said! I have three and while I've sold off most of my original flock of birds, the Australorps have gotten to stay because of all their wonderful qualities. I've found mine to be on the broody side, but that works for me since I don't have an incubator. They're great mom's too!
 
I am about postive that the Australop will be 1 of my best pick for egg laying.It is really difficult to decide on the ones I do want.I want Silkies,Favorelles,and I don`t what else yet,Thanks for info of all on BYC,Sandra
 
Thanks Knock Kneed Hen and Back Swamp Girl! I am new to chickens this past year and I am so glad I went with the Australorp. They couldn't be sweeter and more friendly. Had I known these birds could be such like pets, I would have gotten into chickens years ago! So far, none of my girls have not gone broody, although they are approaching 1 year old soon. I do not have a rooster so am not interested in chicks.
Good luck to the both of you and Happy Australorping!!
 
same with me my girl is flightly even though she is the size of a watermelon not friendly hasnt brooded and only laid well for the first yr i have an isa brown that has laid well for 2 or more yrs and has gone broody and raised chicks
 
my girl is flightly even though she is huge and doesnt lay very well at all and doesnt brood
 
I have one of these, and she is a beauty ! I love how she looks greenish in the sunlight :)
 
no lol thats not it i cant post a foto it looks like a red sex link crossed a red star and a red comet
it all brown witht he neck feathers being darker with yellow legs its beautiful midmolt its all speckeled and mottled lol
 
Wow! I've never heard a comment like that on Australorps before. Everyone I've known with them likes them a lot.
 
Why? Can you give some reasons? And how do they have "all" cons? Almost everyone else said that they loved the breed.
 
We have 1 Black Australorp who is head hen! She is quick to put the lower ranking hens in their place. She also tends to go broody so not our best egg layer. She is 2 years old and went broody twice last year. We wondered if she would be lower in rank after spending so much time in a nest box trying to hatch non-existent eggs but she came out of the experience still on top!
 

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