The Australorp breed of a chicken has been around since the 1890s or thereabout. It is still here today, thanks to it being a great egg-layer as well as good meat yield.
A dual-purpose breed, the Australorp is a good choice for anyone who wants to keep chicken in their backyard or homestead.
Australorp background information.
The Australorp chicken originates from the words “Australian Black Orpington” which is a chicken in the “English” class of chicken.
As the Orpington birds spread in the early 20th century, they were introduced to Australian farmers who did not hesitate to crossbreed them with several other breeds with the aim of having a good egg-laying bird.
They were first crossed with the Rhode Island Red. The experiments did not stop there, they went on and on cross-breeding, with the aim of improving the qualities of the Australorp Chickens. In 1930 the breed was crossed with the Leghorn producing the Austral breed which later was renamed Australorp.
After some time, their popularity took a dip, partially due to the rise of commercial egg layers, but they never lost their qualities neither did they go extinct.
Australorp Physical attributes (Size, color, weight, comb, plumage).
When it comes to appearance the Australorp is large, stands upright bird with its tail high; talk of standing tall.
The hen and the rooster start to identify themselves categorically between the 7th-8th week of existence. The female usually gives a firm and deep body look while the rooster tends to be straighter.
Australorp Chickens Color
Their most dominant feature is their black-colored feathers, Note that this is the only color recognized by the American Poultry Association because of its dominance.
They also have black, blue, and white variants, recognized in Australia.
In South Africa buff, splash, golden and wheat laced is acknowledged.
The birds have a red or black single comb, red earlobes and wattles paired with black eyes.
Another feature is that their legs are always feather- free and are often black or blue with 4 toes and white or pale soles. Feathers around the body are usually close fitting and their breasts are well rounded.
The rooster weighs about 8-10 pounds while the hen goes with 6-8 pound at maturity point.
Australorps generally have a cool temperament making them pleasant to keep.
Australorp egg production
Australorp hens start the egg-laying process around the 16th-20th week. The eggs are brown in color. Australorp hens can lay 4-5 eggs in a week, amounting to about 240 eggs in a year.
Australorp meat production.
Besides the egg production, Austalorp chickens have good meat yield because of their weight (6-10 pounds)
The production cycle for Australorp chickens
Just like any living creature they too have a lifespan, their production years, and how they cope with life. The bird’s average life expectancy is about six to 10 years.
Australorps can lay in winter. A spring hatched Australorp hen will start to lay in fall or early winter.
Note that, the number of daylight hours that a laying hen is exposed to can have a great effect on her laying process.
Australorp Chickens will take a break, during molting, when hit 18 months after their first season of laying then they slow down on the process.
Are Australorp chickens noisy?
When it comes to noise, the hens are pretty quiet. The only time they raise their voices high is when a predator intrudes.
However, the Australorp roosters can be loud enough to annoy your neighbors. This can be a concern for backyard poultry keepers where chicken noise is prohibited. You can choose no to keep Australorp roosters or use a rooster collar that suppressed crowing roosters.