Crossing Opringtons and Australorps


In the Brooder
11 Years
Jun 10, 2008
After my 8 year old son had a terrible bout with cancer (he's doing well now) I decided I wanted to have a little more control over our foood. At least I wanted to think I had a little more control. This spring I purchased 7 Buff Orpingtons from an area feedstore. I figured I might lose a few to predators or so 7 seemed like a good way to keep 5.

I picked BO's because I wanted a bird that would do well in Michigan's harsh winter and still lay. I also wanted a quiet docile bird as my wife was dead set against the whole idea. By the time they were 12 weeks old I decided I had to have more and what the heck, why not add a rooster...I'm in the country. I thought I'd try Australorps. A friend has one who is a terrific layer.

The hatchery sent me more than I bargained for:/. I now have the original 7 BO's, 3 Black Black Australorp girls, 2 Black Australorp roosters, and an unidentified rooster that I am 95% certain is a grey leghorn. Three roo's is too many for 10 girls. I know I don't want the leghorn. He's flighty, noisy and skittish and tends to send the BA's into a tizzy when he panics. A neighbor has agreed to take him. One of the BA's has already drawn my blood twice. If I can't re-home him, I think he'll end up on the dinner plate eventually.

I really love the BO's. They came from a different hatcery than the BA's and they are wonderful. Quiet, friendly, easily handled. Even my darling wife tolerates them well. The BA's are less friendly, more skittish. I think I'd rather have BO's breed true. However, I am wondering what kind of mix I would get with the two? Does anyone happen to know? I want a quiet, docile winter layer, but more eggs are better right? My instincts tell me I goofed and should have gotten a BO roo. That way my BO's would breed true and the others, well we'd see. Anyone have any experince with these breeds together?


I wish I could help. I had some Austrlorps about four years ago and the hens were so agressive toward my other chickens that I sold everyone of them. I breed Orps and they have all been such wonderful layed back birds.
Thank you Bama. I like them too. I'm starting to think I should have stuck with them, but I thought a little color in thge flock would be nice.
I don't have a lot of roo experience, but my BO roo is a true gentleman. He is never aggressive, is protective of his girls, is timid, and beautiful. I had a RIR cockeral that I rehomed at about 4-5 months old, and he was already shaping up to be a nasty bird. I think some bloodlines produce calmer, nicer birds and if you want them like that I'd try to find a roo with those characteristics.

I don't know what the color cross would look like. Chicken color genetics baffles me, and I have a bachelors in biology.
Just my 2 cents, probably worth only half that,
but there are so many BO roosters around why not try and find a good one the same age, with a nice disposition , and rehome the australorps. INMHO it would be much nicer to have pure buffs than a cross, and much easier to get rid of any unwanted stock in the future.
We have two black austrolorp hens that are very mellow, but no experience with BA roosters. From reeding posts about different breeds and peoples different experiences I get the impression that any breed can be mellow and any breed can be skitish and aggresive. I'm not sure if its a matter of upbringing or different strains of the same breed from different hatcheries....

I've noticed quite a bit of chicken trades and give aways as well as chickens for sale on Craigs List in our area. That might be a good place to post an add about trading for a different breed or rehoming your BA's.
I believe that Black Austrolorps were created by intermixing Orpingtons if I remember right. They should be really sweet.

I have a black Orp roo from BamaChicken's flock and he's a real sweet heart. He did nip at me when I had to take one of his girls, a BO in for a cleaning up the other day but other than that he's not at all aggressive. He didn't even nip at me hard, just to let me know I was messing with his property.

I also have a blue Orp or Jersey Giant (haven't figured out for sure which he is) and he's a real sweet heart too. Then there's slick, he's a EEer Roo.... NOT SWEET AT ALL!
His girls can't even stand him.

So yes, you have to be careful the breeds you select. I've had good luck with Barred Rocks too.

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