Australorp - The Best Backyard Chicken Breed

Photo of Kassandra Smith

Kassandra Smith

Senior Editor • Backyard Chicken Coops

Last Updated: 18 July 2020

The most common question asked of us by intrepid chicken keepers has to be ‘Which chicken breed should I choose?’ Sometimes the answer depends on the particular needs of the keeper, sometimes it depends on which chicken was last on our mind, but more often than not we find ourselves circling back to our fabulous favourite - the Australorp! Whether you’re looking for eggs, looks, or company, you can’t go wrong with this true-blue chook. That’s why we’re crowning these ladies the official Best Backyard Chicken Breed (crown not pictured - we made it from mealworms and it was eaten in seconds).

Why are they so great? Because we said so! But no, seriously, here’s why:

australorp chicken breed close up

Australorps are a piece of Australian history!

The Australorp is the very first chicken breed developed right here in Australia! And just like our melting pot culture, these girls take all the best traits from a healthy mix of heritage chicken breeds. The Australorp is part Orpington (hence, the -orp!), part Rhode Island Red, part Langshan, part Plymouth Rock, and 100% clucky chook. Forget the Hills’ hoist, put down the Lamington and put away the Vegemite; the Australorp chicken is our national pride and joy. Aussie, Aussie, Aussie - orp, orp, orp!

australorp chicken breed in backyard

Australorps are local legends!

Our weather is simply egg-cellent for most of the year, but in those rare hot months, it’s good to know that your chooks are hardy enough to handle it! Fortunately, Australorps figured all that business out a long time ago. Unlike some foreign imports, these girls won’t be begging their keeper for in-coop air-conditioning; just make sure to give them plenty of water, and the odd icy treat (ice block, anyone?)

australorp chicken breed in chicken run

Australorps are cracking egg layers!

Did you know that the Australorp was once a record-breaking egg-layer! It’s true! A black Australorp chicken once laid 364 eggs in a single year. That’s only one day off. That day? Australia Day, obviously. Although modern Australorps can’t quite match these champion standards, they’ll still give you a tidy 250 eggs per year - you won’t have a boring breaky again.

australorp chicken breed in chicken coop

Australorps are little beauties!

Looks aren’t everything, but crikey, these girls are real stunners. Velvety, dark feathers with a green shimmer, to go with an ample, curved body. Their sturdy frame means they aren’t the greatest of fliers, which is good news for backyard chicken keeping - just install some poultry fencing, and your chickens will stay right where you want them.

You’ve surely already rushed off to hatch some Australorps of your own, but if you absolutely aren’t convinced, why not cluck over to our Top 20 Chicken Breeds for Your Backyard here.

Do the Australorps flutter your fancy? Before making that big decision, take a moment to consider all the other amazing chooks you could choose! It can be eggstremely overwhelming to find the perfect breed for your family. From looks, to traits to egg-laying talents - where should you begin?

Cluckily, our friends over at Chickenpedia have created an amazing Chicken Breeds Course. This extensive online course shares useful advice on choosing the right chickens for you as well as size & frequency of eggs laid. You will even learn about their individual personalities, and be able to use their family-friendly compatibility scale through this well-structured program. It really is a great way to find your perfect backyard buddies which is why I highly recommend them to all of my readers!  The courses are beginner-friendly and filled with vital information to help you raise a happy, healthy flock.

As chicken keepers, we want to do an eggcellent job when caring for our feathered friends. Unfortunately, many of us struggle to handle chicken health or behaviour issues, especially in the first few years of having a flock. Chickenpedia have a full range of comprehensive online courses that cover everything you didn’t know you need to know and then some more! From healthcare to raising baby chicks to feeding and behavior, get the knowledge and confidence to successfully look after your chickens like an eggspert!

As a member, you will get access to ALL their fantastic courses. So, no need to wing it, become a confident chicken keeper. Click here to check out Chickenpedia today!

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