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Australorps: A Comprehensive Guide

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australorps-chickens-are-an-aussie-backyard-favourite

Australorps are a favourite in Australian backyards – and there’s plenty of good reasons why they are so popular. Lots of delicious eggs, a beautiful, calm temperament (plus they’re a true blue Aussie breed!) Read on to hear more about this gorgeous local chicken breed.

Lifespan

Australorps live to be approximately 6-10 years of age.

Class

The Australorp is part of the ‘English’ class of chicken.

Rarity

The Black coloured Australorp is the most common and popular in Australia – the blue variety is a little harder to come by, but it’s worth asking any Australorp breeders whether it is in stock if you are partial to this beautiful colour! The black is certainly still a fine choice, and is egg-sactly the same except for the colour.

Origin

The Australorp is a breed native to Australia – having been bred from the Orpington chicken. It was bred to be a good dual purpose chicken, as it is a heavy breed that lays eggs productively, regardless of weather patterns or seasonal changes.

Fun Facts

  • Is known as the ‘Australian Orpington’, as it was bred from this English chicken breed.

  • It is said that an Australorp chicken holds the record for the most eggs laid by a chicken – one hen laid 364 eggs in 365 days! Not a bad effort.

  • After this record was set by the Australorp, the breed was introduced to the UK, however they did not lay nearly as much – whether the climate or the chicken was to blame still remains the question!

Current Use/Purpose

Australorps are used primarily as a dual purpose birds, as well as family pets – this is because they have such a sweet temperament, are productive egg layers and also have a significant amount of meat on them.

Personality and Temperament

Australorps are a very gentle natured, docile breed that become attached to their owners as much as you will to them! They are egg-stremely calm and are a delight in any urban or acreage backyard – they are also great for families with children, because they are so tame.

Incubating and Hatching

The Australorp does occasionally display broody behaviour (their English counterpart the Orpington is a very broody breed), however they aren’t a reliable breed that will sit on the eggs to term. If you do find a reliable broody Australorp that incubates to term, they do have good mothering instincts, and will be doting hens to their baby chicks!

australorp-chickens-have-good-mothering-instincts

Egg Behaviour

Australorps are egg-stremely productive egg layers – sure to satiate your cravings for omelettes and pavlovas. They lay 250-300 large, light brown eggs each year, which is good news for any egg enthusiasts!

Appearance

Australorps are quite large birds (weighing in at around 3-4kgs), and have beautiful soft feathers which are lovely to touch. Their feathers, when shining in the sun, contain a few subtle hints of vibrant colours such as purple and green – quite a beautiful sight! They come in three different variations – black, white and blue (although the white variety isn’t hugely popular).

The Australorp can also be found as a bantam variety.

Care

As far as care goes, Australorps don’t require any extra grooming techniques outside what we do for normal chickens. Because Australorps are heavy, they aren’t flighty and can’t get far, so you shouldn’t need to clip their wings.

Health Issues

Australorps aren’t regarded as having any particular ailments specific to their breed. They should be wormed regularly, like all chickens, and vaccinated if necessary (if there are known chicken illnesses in your area). Otherwise, your flock should stay fighting fit, as long as they’re well protected from predators.

Hardiness

Because of their heavy weight, the Australorp can withstand cold winter temperatures easily, as well as hot weather – they were bred here after all! They are even said to keep laying whilst the temperature is especially hot and cold – what a trooper.

australorp-chickens-are-a-great-breed-for-the-cold

Why We Love Them!

Australorps are just great in virtually every sense – they’re productive egg layers, and make loving family companions. Plus, they were bred here, so we have a little sense of pride from having Australian chickens in our Aussie backyard! Want to know more? Check out our 5 reasons to love Australorps here!

Australorps are a great breed for a number of reasons – check out these comprehensive breed profiles articles about other fabulous breeds!

Comprehensive Guide to Isa Browns:

http://www.backyardchickencoops.com.au/isa-browns-a-comprehensive-guide

Comprehensive Guide to Plymouth Rocks:

http://www.backyardchickencoops.com.au/plymouth-rock-a-comprehensive-guide

Sources and further reading

Download our Ultimate Breeds Handbook

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