The Australorp is a heritage breed. They are highly productive egg layers - in fact, these hens are one of the best brown egg layers out of all the heavy-weight chickens. They are dual-purpose, so they can also be raised for meat production.
Hens are not likely to go broody, which is good news if you plan to collect eggs rather than hatch them. If you want to breed Australorps on your farm, you’ll need a broodier hen to sit on the eggs.
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Australorp Chicken Breed Quick Info
Australorp Chicken Description
|Australorp Ease of Raising/Keeping:||Easy|
|Australorp Special Care Needs:||No|
|Is the Australorp breed a common, rare, or protected breed of chicken?||Rare, “recovering” status|
|Australorp Temperament:||Gentle, active|
|Australorp Ability/Likelihood to Free Range:||Yes|
Australorp Egg Production
|Estimated Number of Eggs Per Year||250-350|
|Likeliness to Brood Eggs/Raise Chicks||Low|
Australorp Meat Production
|Dressed Weight Male||5 ½ lbs.|
|Dressed Weight Female||3 ¾ lbs.|
Australorp Climate Tolerance
Australorp Age to Maturity
|Number of Months to Reach Full Size||5 Months|
|Number of Months to Start Egg Laying||5 Months|
|Number of Weeks/Months to Reach Meat Harvest Size||20 Weeks|
Australorp Size at Maturity
|Female||5 ½ lbs.|
Origins of the Australorp Chicken
The Australorp chicken originated in Australia. It was developed using the Black Orpington breed, which was imported from England to Australian poultry farms during the late 19th century. Minorcas, White Leghorns, and Langshans were all crossed to create the Australorp.
This heritage breed was developed with egg production in mind. The goal was to improve laying without compromising the size of the chicken and meat quality. Once the Australorp breed was established, they were imported to the United States in the 1920s.
Some Things to Know About the Australorp Chicken
This beautiful bird can be recognized by their close-fitting, iridescent black feathers. They have a greenish-purple sheen, which gives them a multi-dimensional quality. Their long, broad back ends in a high-set tail that is full of plumage in the rooster.
They boast a large red single comb that matches their hefty body size. This is one of the qualities that makes them excellent meat birds.
How Easy is it to Keep Australorp Chickens?
The Austalorp is an extremely gentle breed that is easy to care for and handle. They are a great breed for children and make excellent 4-H projects and fair chickens.
They are known to be quiet, which makes them ideal for backyard chicken owners who live close to neighbors. Overall, they are a healthy, hardy breed with a lovable personality.
Special Care and Considerations for Australorp Chickens
There are a few things to be aware of when adding Australorp chickens to your flock.
Because of their black feathers, they are more prone to heatstroke than other breeds. Be sure to provide plenty of shade, water, and a fan or two when the temperature rises.
The Austalorp is a fairly adaptable breed that does well in both confinements and as a free-range chicken. However, if they aren’t given a chance to get out and roam around once in a while, they are prone to becoming overweight. Exercise is important for them, and they love to forage and be active, so they should be allowed to free range at least part of the time.
Finally, their single comb poses a risk of frostbite in the winter. You can use vaseline to protect it from the cold when temperatures drop.