Australorps are considered a utility chicken, they usually lay 5 light-brown eggs a week and can begin as early as 5 months old. They are primarily bred for egg production but adequately qualify as a dual-purpose chicken reaching butchering age at eighteen weeks. Australorps are very hardy and do well in cold weather and confinement.
Australorps cause very little problems, they are calm, friendly, peaceful, dignified, sweet and shy. They are an active chicken without being a flighty or feisty one. They like to brood, fly little, fight less, and stay close to the coop.
The Australorp, has a solid black plumage with hints of green or purple hue in direct sunlight set off with a single red comb, medium matching wattles, red earlobes, and dark eyes.
Build a standard coop and run for your Australorp flock. Insulate for heat retention in the winter and heat reduction in the summer. Eliminate drafts. Australorps like to forage as do most egg layers. Build a spacious clean run for them. Australorps lay well into the winter months without electric lights. However, artificial lighting always increases egg production. Using a timer, add the light to the morning hours. They need to have a natural sunset with the light fading gradually. Sudden darkness will frighten your chickens and decrease egg production. Use a good “layer” feed that contains elysine, methionine, calcium, and phosphorus to support the prodigious egg production of this breed.
The name of the breed comes from blending names of the Astral breed and the Orpington line. In reality, Australorps also have Rhode Island Red, White Leghorn, Langshan, and Minora genes. Bred as a utility breed in Australia, it gained acceptance to England’s Standard of Perfection in 1929. Australia developed their own standards for the breed after World War II. One hen laid a world record 364 eggs in a year. Six hens set a world’s team record of 1857 eggs in a year. Australorps captured both records without the aid of modern day lighting protocols. The breed put Australia on the map in poultry circles and paved the way for utility breeding worldwide.