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Australorp Chickens: Everything You Need To Know

Australorp - desert chicken breeds

The Australorp is a fairly recent arrival on the chicken scene. Still, it has made a huge impression on chicken keepers and the poultry industry the world over in its relatively short history.

The name is a contraction of Australian black Orpington. Several different names called the breed before Australorp was settled upon.

Since Australians did the major development of this breed in Australia, they are the honorary National bird of Australia.

This article will look at their temperament, egg-laying ability, and breed standard before addressing how to care for them and common health issues properly.

History of Australorps

In the early 1900s, William Cook’s Orpingtons were imported to Australia to create a good dual-purpose bird suitable for the Australian climate.

People crossed them with Rhode Island Reds to improve the egg-laying ability.


In England, the Orpington was being refined to produce good quality meat. Still, the ever-practical Australian poultry breeders of the 1920s wanted a good utility bird, emphasizing lots of eggs and secondary meat production.

To this end, Cook’s Orpingtons were crossed with Rhode Island Reds, Minorcas, White Leghorn, Langshan, and possibly some Plymouth Rocks.

The result was a bird that was a phenomenal layer – probably the combination of Orpington, Leghorn, and Rhode Island Red genes made this bird a laying superstar!

In 1922-23 six Australorp hens laid 1,857 eggs, averaging 309.5 eggs per bird over a 365 day period.

Farmers held regular egg-laying contests all over Australia, and the following year a hen laid 347 eggs in 365 days. The current record stands as 364 eggs in 365 days – an amazing achievement, especially when considering they did this without extra lighting for the hens.

The poultry industry soon became interested in them because of their prolific egg-laying ability – it was a breed they didn’t have to coerce into laying.

The interest waned in the 1930-the 1940s as the Australorp was crossed with the white Leghorn, creating the Austra White, an even more productive hen.

The Australorp went into a decline which has been reversed over the last few years. It is listed as a recovering breed. They remain a top layer to this day and are well suited for the smaller backyard environment.

Backyard chicken folk love them for the same reason – and a few more besides.

They also go by Black Australorp (there are white and blue also), Australian Orpington, or Australs.

The Australorp, while shy initially, is known to be an extremely friendly large-breed chicken. They make the perfect children’s chicken and are great for those who are interested in fair chickens.

Breed Standard

The American Poultry Association recognizes the Australorp in its’ original color only – black.

However, The Australian Poultry Society recognizes the black, blue, and white varieties.

South Africa has also buff, splash, wheaten laced, and golden in addition to the other colors.

The Australorp is a large, heavy bird with close-fitting, soft feathers. It is classified as a heavy, soft feathered English bird.

Australorp Rooster

It should have a very upright stance, carrying the tail high. The breast is full and well-rounded with a deep, solid body. Wattles, earlobes, and comb should all be red in color. The comb should be upright and have no more than seven points.

The legs should be clean of feathers, black or slate blue in color. There are four toes to each foot, and the skin on the bottom of the foot should be white, as is the body’s skin. Eyes are shiny jet black, and the beak is dark in color.

The standard-sized birds are heavy, with a male weighing between 8½-10lb and a hen between 6½-8lb.

Bantams weigh in at 2-2.7lb for males and 1.7-2.2lb for hens.


Australorp Temperament and Appearance

The feathers of the black Australorp have a beetle-green sheen in the sunlight giving a stunning iridescence to the feathers.

It is somewhat ‘stately’ in walking – a trait it got from the Orpington, which sort of glides across the barnyard much like a Duchess at a tea party.

They will tolerate confinement well, but like most of the heavier, larger breeds will enjoy free-ranging and searching for bugs and morsels in the yard as they really do like to be active.

The exercise aspect of free-ranging is good for them since they can be slightly prone to obesity if kept solely in confinement.

They are a fast-growing breed with a slightly shy demeanor initially, but once they settle in, they are likely to follow you around the yard if you have any treats in your pockets!



Egg Laying

As we have noted above, the Australorp is an egg-laying machine. Although not as prolific as their forebears, the current variety will give you an average of 250 eggs/year. Individuals may lay more or less, depending on the hen.

This equates to around five light brown, medium-sized eggs/ week – not too shabby!

In an industrial setting, they produce more eggs since their lighting and feed are strictly controlled for maximum output.

Depending on the line of Australorps you have, they are generally known to be average to good nest sitters and good mothers to their chicks. Some articles say they aren’t good sitters, but other folks have said they are good sitters and mothers. The ‘yeas’ seem to outnumber the ‘names.

They are average in broodiness, unlike their parent bird, the Orpington.

Health Issues and Special Needs

This is a robust and healthy heritage breed. There are no special considerations for this easy-going hen. The average life expectancy is between 6-10 years.

The usual attention to parasites and other minor issues of chickens is all you need to be diligent about.

Due to the Australorp’s intensely beautiful black feathering, the Australorp needs access to shade 24/7. Even though this chicken is a hardy breed and tolerates the heat well, it is more susceptible to heatstroke than other breeds of chickens.

Is The Australorp Right For You?

Australorp Close Up

If you are looking for a hen that’s easy to care for, will lay an abundance of eggs, and fit in well with your current flock, the Australorp maybe your hen.

Although they can initially be a bit on the shy side, they will warm up to you and be a friendly and loveable barnyard companion. They have a gentle and sweet disposition, not a mean bone in their little bodies, including the roosters.

They are a calm and quiet breed, not pushy. They will likely be in the middle of the pecking order. They can get bullied by more aggressive breeds, so keep an eye on the more ‘pushy’ birds in your flock.

They are a breed that is very easy to handle, and this makes them a perfect candidate for farm programs such as the 4H here in the US.

Once they get used to the noise and fuss, they also make good exhibition birds, frequently winning ribbons for their owners.

They tolerate a wide range of temperatures and types of weather – from hot climates such as Australia to cooler places such as the American mid-West. This bird really is an all-rounder as far as the weather goes.

While the Australorp enjoys foraging, it is a breed that can be a tad aloof when it comes to predators. Their black feathers provide good camouflage in certain situations, but it can also cause them problems in other instances where they might stand out.


The Australorp is a delightful bird to have in your flock.

They are easygoing and friendly, a great bird for beginners since they require little in the way of ‘special care and are easy to deal with as they acclimate to being handled very quickly.

It is a delightful, quiet bird to have in your flock. They aren’t flighty or noisy, are cold hardy, make good flock-mates, and lay an abundance of delicious eggs…

Who could want for more?

If you have Australorps, we would love to hear from you. Please let us know in the comments section below…

Read Chicken Brooders: Everything you Need to Know.

134 thoughts on “Australorp Chickens: Everything You Need To Know

  1. I now have 4 Australorps in my flock
    I find them very friendly nosey and curious .
    I also have 3 RIR and 3 Plymouths and 3 others no one seems to be able to tell me about. I think at the moment I consider my Australorps my favourites . A Beautiful bird

      1. I have 3 Australorps that are 10 weeks old. I have 2 Buff Orpington’s. The babies All want to be lap chickens as I have had them since they were 2 weeks old.

        1. I live in a city which is a better quiet chicken btw Australorop or Buff orpington? Thank you

          1. I live in Northren areas of pakistan. In winters here temprature falls to -22. Will Australorp survive in hard weather.

      1. I have 4 hens, 2 black australorps, and 2 sapphire gems. The top hen in the flock, and the low girl in the pecking order are my black australorps. One is bold, slightly larger and definitely the boss. The sapphire gems just kinda chill in the middle of the order, the smaller australorp is always last out of the coop, last in, and often eats a small distance away from the rest of the flock. I am watching her closely to be sure she doesn’t get bullied.

      2. My australorps are all very noisy and top of the pecking order. I definitely laughed to myself while reading this. I love all my girls though, they’re wonderful.

    1. I have this type. They lay abundant eggs true but they don’t sit on them to hatch. Always take the eggs for hatchery elsewhere. What could be the problem?

      1. Sometimes they are just particular about when it’s time for them to get broody. I would wait it out, she might be picky for some reason that will soon pass. If you can’t wait then an incubator will do the trick.

        1. I just received my very first chicks ever! I have 8 -3 day old Australorp chicks. One I named Mae after the astronaut as she likes to be held and gets on my hand for “flight” up to me. She will peck my hand to be held and falls asleep on me. It’s amazing to me at 3 days old how loving she is.
          All chicks so far are healthy and happy. They are quiet and loving. I make short videos to send to my daughters kindergarten class and they are learning about living things.

        1. I have 2 black australorp said to be over a year old and laying ever day. I have had them 1 month ,no eggs. Any suggestions

    1. I ordered 6 female australorp chicks through my farmers coop.
      At six weeks two are different from the other four.
      On the two, Their combs are bigger and they have the beginnings of wattles. But they have the beetle sheen on feathers.
      The other four are rather a dull black.
      Do i have a couple of roos? Or 4 of another breed?

      1. I’m wondering the same thing with my young birds, may have a rooster! Ah well, supposedly even the roosters are quiet. They better be considering we’re in the city.

      1. I have two Australorps and one Green egger. All three are 12 weeks old. Both Australorps are extremely sweet. And have so much personality

    1. lol, my four astrolorps there is one who is a bit dingy, the others try to help her but she is not the brightest bulb in the box.

  2. I have an australorpe hen. Not sure how old she is as she came to me over a year old, and sick with a chronic repiratory disease. She spent 5 months on my porch in quarantine, but for the past year has been out free ranging as a member of my mixed flock. She is so friendly and talkative. She hatched a clutch of eggs last May, and she is a fantastic mother. Even better than my cochin! She lays 5 – 6 eggs per week. She is pretty near the bottom of the pecking order, but she is fine, gets enough to eat and is always first running to me when I go out into the garden.She has beautiful black feathers with green sheen, large black eyes, gray/blue legs and bright red comb and wattles. And she loves foraging. I think she is my favourite!

  3. When we started, we wanted 3 Rhode Island Reds but the feed store sold the ones I had “on hold” so they gave me 4 black Australorps and what a bargain! We love them, they are our first chickens and they are super easy, great layers! We were getting 4 eggs a day all week long until it got cold, now we average 2 eggs a day from the team. Their names are Eggna, Amelia Egghart, Audrey Henburn, and Princess Lay-a!

    1. I have an Australorp rooster and although he takes food that is extended from my hand, I can’t get close to him. I tried today and he flew away so hard I thought my nose was broken, as he hit it trying to get away. I was very slow and cautious trying to get close to him. He has no problem with me in the hen coop or pen at all. I’ve had my hens for over a year so I’m sure they told him I’m their momma. How do I tame him? I didn’t have this problem with my last rooster which was an Orpington.

      1. I got 4 this week at TSC at least I hope that’s what they are can never tell there. Can’t wait to see them grow up.

        1. Yes, I bought 2 ‘Asia black’ chickens from TSC but ended up with a Plymouth Rock and a black australorp. Love them regardless and my australorp hen is very sweet.

      2. I have 4 australopes I’ve had them since they were small chicks. Never really intending to have chickens even though I have a farm now . My grand children were coming to visit and I thought a farm has to have animals so I walked I. Tractor supply ave said Kurt me have 4 of them and what ever they eat. Boy have I learned a lot since that day. I’ve cured pasty butt and a few other lessons . Well I have 3 now one was loose and I didNt know she got out and the dog found her. Anyway someone was giving away a handsome rooster and I love the sound of the crowing in the morning . So when I went to pick him up he was boxed fairly tightly and owner told me what to do after I asked him if he was at all aggressive . He said you lift him out the gently pinch the back of his neck while holding him down for about a minute . I did that and let go and he still didn’t move. I had to give him A little nudge like go ahead and he did . From then on he never looks at me side ways and knows that I rule the roost . His name is Francis and he’s a character . The hens are too young to mate yet so this nay change snd I may have to pin him down a few seconds again .

    2. how do you tell them apart in order to name them? I just call my lorpie girlies, because I cant tell them apart in order to name them.

        1. You can buy a package of colored plastic leg bands. If you pick the right size, they don’t bother the hens at all, and you can start telling them apart.

          1. LOL…this is a theory you’ll have to keep to yourself. I have 9 of these fantastic fowls and my sister asked me the same thing. Although, I love them all, and Australorps are all I own. i can truly identify 2 of them. White Wing has one white feather on the left wing. Sugar and Spice are my two broody girls. (I feel sorry for them because they’ll never hatch these eggs and enjoy the accomplishment of being a Mother, as they would be fabulous at it. So get this, I will go to the run and call for Susan..and which ever one comes is Susan, then when the others follow, I come up with 5 other common names, like Sunny, Beam, Moonshine, Shadow, and of course Ethel.

          2. I have three Australorp Hens. Five months old and I just got three eggs in the last 24 hours. They love to eat Flock Party Soldier Flies out of the palms of my hands. They are fun to watch. – Ted Vegh

      1. I have Buff Orpingtons and Black Australorps and I tell them apart by the differences in their combs and their sizes. You may need to wait to see how their combs take shape! This is easier to do for me since I only have 8 birds total.

  4. We started our backyard flock 1 1/2 years ago with 8 hens. The grandkids named them after Santa’s reindeer. We were supposed to have two Australorps, Donner and Blitzen, but when Blitzen started growing feathers on her feet, we knew we had an imposter.(we eventually identified her as a Langshan, and we fell in love with her). Last year someone gave us their year old Austrlorp, so we finally had the two we planned on. She was molting when she moved in, so she looked pretty scraggly. She has filled out now, but her comb and wattles are a pale red (almost pink) as compared to the bright red on Donner. In fact, all of our girls have bright red combs (we now have 16 girls, including 4 Ameraucanas, 3 Wyandottes, 2 Langshans, 1 Marans, 3 Wellsummers, and 1 Faverolle). We are concerned that Dasher’s pale red comb may indicate she is not as healthy as our other girls. Is this something we should be worried about? Other than this, she is a sweet girl and a perfect addition to our friendly flock!

    1. Hi Tamara,
      Please send me a photo so I can take a look 🙂
      However, if the comb has always been this way I wouldn’t be too concerned. Its when there has been a sudden change that indicates problems…

  5. I have one old Australorp. She is known as Aunt Penny. She tries to lay but I think she is done. I have 3 young hens that are now laying. I think one of them is a Jersey Giant. How do I tell them apart?

  6. I have six white Australop hens, purchased from Sutherlands Building Supply. They are extremely curious and sometimes get in the way. Egg production has been better but since the weather has turned colder, eggs have dropped off. I will get more of the Australops if I can find them, especially the black variety.Great hen to have around.

  7. I currently have four and I find them to be incredibly sweet, curious and well mannered birds. They each have their own little personalities and one, ms Sassy, follows me around like a lil puppy as she’s happily chatting nonstop about something!?. Love them! They do, however sign loud and proud~ their egg song!… otherwise they’re pretty quiet. ??

  8. We inherited a RIR and an Australorp. The Australorp is a champion! Great temperament (not at all flighty) and lays consistently, 5~6 eggs a week. Meanwhile, the RIR goes broody every 5 weeks or so and creates so much more fuss generally!

  9. Mine is top hen and very vocal. I almost lost her 2 years ago to a blocked crop. I was lucky and found a vet that operated on her and removed the blockade. She is one of my layers . Out of the 9 chickens I have she is one a mine favorite.

  10. I started my flock with a mail order of 10 Rhode Island Red and 5 Buff Orpington hens. I ended up with 2 Rhode Island roosters in the mix but that’s another story.
    I raised them in the brood box and then placed them in a large coop with their own private perimeter fence equipped with solar electric for overnight safety. During the day I have an additional movable mesh fence for safe free roaming.
    All of the hens were laying in approximately 5 months.
    All was going perfect until a stray black Australorp roo showed up and moved himself right in and took total charge of the hens.
    ” He’s the boss”.
    Over the summer a couple of the Buff’s and one Rhode island hens became broody, so I allowed some hatching to go on. The Buff’s make spectacular mother hens and hatched quite a few chicks. I gave away 2 Rhode island/ Australorp mix and 2 Buff/ Australorp mix and I still have a Buff /Australorp which is doing well, I can’t wait to see what kind of a layer she will be.
    Unfortunately neither of my beautiful Rhode Island Roos became a father, maybe next summer.
    All of the hens are great layers and have a great disposition.
    So far so good with 3 roos living together. I guess space is the key.

  11. We are new chicken owners! started our adventure in Sept. of 2017. we have 6 Austras. I love these girls. they are so comical! in fact we named one WRONG WAY because she kept going the wrong way! LOL we have 18 girls altogether. 3 barred, one RIR, 6 Golden Stars, one Black Star, and one Wynodette. plus my australorps.

  12. Never owned chickens before now but these were recommended by supply company as good egg production birds. I have 4 hen Austr. in a backyard setting. Do I need to clip their feathers??

  13. I have had Rhode Island Reds and Golden Comets. The Golden Comets were egg laying machines but had health problems because they’re hybrids. I got 2 Black Astralorps last year and just got 3 more chicks. The black Astralorps are beautiful birds. Very gentile and friendly and lay about 5 eggs per week. I love the Astralorps because they get along so well within the flock and never bully the others. With their temperament and high amount of eggs they lay they have become my favorites. Can’t go wrong with them if you’re wanting egg production.

  14. I hatched 6 of the australorps, From day one they followed me around and even came when called, they were very good birds my 6 lived 7.5 years and they had the best temperament even around the farm geese and dogs we had.

  15. I started with 6 Australorp chicks. I now have 3. They are not the consistant layers described here! In fact, my RIR and Sexlinks are much more reliable.
    1 died unexpectedly and when butchered had no eggs in her! So, a bit disappointed to say the least.
    Has anyone else experienced this? My hens are 10-12 months old and starting to molt, but they were not GOOD layers at any point.

    1. My Black Australorps were disappointing layers as well. Just sold my 2 year old flock, and going back to Rhode Island Reds.

      1. I am not worried about that for my lorpies, because I got them for pets, if they lay alot or just a little no problem, sometimes heavy production of birds for sale can cause some quality to drop off. unfortunantly being popular and profitably can ruin a breed or animal sometimes depending on who is breeding them

      1. About Australorp Roosters.
        Excellent, not pets but very nice temperment and good to the hens. No hen ever had a bare back.
        People can and walk and work next to him no problem.

  16. We just got started with chickens, I decided to get mostly Rhode Island Reds, but we told the boys they could each pick two pullets. My three year old picked out two Australorps, and I’m so glad he did! They were really shy at first but they warmed up to us really quickly and have the best personalities! They’re still a few weeks from laying but they are so friendly, and beautiful! The RIRs are always trying to escape but these birds are so content! Our other son picked two Buff Orpingtons (which are also beautiful but a little more shy) and the four of them tend to stay together.

  17. Iam learning to keep Australorps and I started with 40 chicks which hatched on 21st March 2018. Last week one hen started laying eggs. I have 21 hens and 19 Roasters. The problem is that the roasters are very sexualy active…they are always fighting for hens. Do I need to reduce the number of Roasters, and if so, how many should I leave?

  18. I have 8 black Australorps. Prior to this I’d only had Dutch bantams (for about 8 years). The Australorps are 10 weeks now, and fortunately, I’m pretty sure they’re all pullets! They are just DELIGHTFUL. My bantams were supposed to be friendly, and we handled them a lot, but these girls are much friendlier, and what I love most is that there is so little pecking and bullying behavior. They are calm and gentle, come running for treats, and love each others’ company. Just lovely birds.
    Still working on hubby to get the dog to guard them. 🙂 Baby steps.

  19. We have 3 Australorps and 3 Rhode Island reds I am loving all of them! But I can’t wait for the Australorps to change color!

  20. I brought home 2 Australorp chicks in January of this year. After 8 mos they still have not laid one egg. The Rhode Island Red I bought along with them is laying. Is it normal for Australorps not to lay at 8 mos?

  21. We started with 16 eggs given to us by a friend. 7 hatched, 6 hens and 1 rooster on the 28th of may this year. Should be laying in the next couple of weeks?Not sure what breed they are but they are beautiful hens. Picked up 5 Australorps and 5 Califorina Whites at 3 weeks old from Tractor Supply in Cottonwood on the 23rd of August ’18. We are new to this game, waited until we retired, and are so excited about our flock. I built a coop 144 sq feet and attached a 400 sq foot run. We’re having the time of our life with our new pets!!

  22. I ended up with a few of Australorps when I ordered Jersey Giant Pullets from a company online. Oops! I knew I had imposters when I began getting eggs when they were only 5 and half months old. Jersey Giant or Australorp, they’re both beauties and I love watching them foraging about in the yard. Theyr’e great bug hunters!

  23. I have 3 black Australorps. They are really friendly and chatty but very big and heavy to pick up. They get their feathers below the vent in a right old mess with lumps of poop accumulating so I give them a good clean up when I think they look too messy – I have perfected a way of doing it and I only get the feathers round the vent wet – and I dry em off with a hairdryer. They free range all day. I had to alter my shed so they could have a lower wider perch as they could not fly up onto the perches like the other hens. One was broody last year and raised chicks beautifully – sadly the fox got her. They are quite bossy with the other younger hens but they are the top hens so that is their right. They had very bare bottoms but since that hen went they have refeathered so I think she was pulling their feathers out – they look so nice now.

  24. I had 8 and recently lost one with some sort of respiratory disease if not pneumonia. They are quite talkative if not noisy. These girls lay a lot of large eggs and almost every day. Love the breed.

  25. I have 2 Black Australorps. One Rooster and one hen. “King” George and Wilma. I also have 3 Welsummers; Abby, Eagle and Sassy, in my flock. I will say that while i love to watch George strut around all proud and Wilma was my favorite chick from the start, the Welsummer Eagle is easily the most docile chicken i have ever seen. They are a ton of fun to watch chase each other for their treats and I am quite impressed with how protective but gentle George is for all of them. He does like to bully my 85lb dog though…quite funny to watch actually. if i could add pics up i would gladly share how pretty they all are.

  26. We just lost our wonderful Australorp rooster and need a replacement, He was great at guarding the girls from Hawks during the day. We are picky about where we purchase a bird to bring into our flock, so are hoping to find a good breeder to work with.

  27. I have just purchase an omlet eglu coop.
    I have never had chickens before and would like to know where I can purchase 2 australop layers.
    I live in Oxford county Ontario.
    Any help would be appreciated

    1. They can glide, but not nearly like Wyandottes, you will have to clip their wings regardless. We put 4-5ft fencing as a general rule, but clipping wings is a must for something that low.

    2. mine dont go over my five foot fencing even tho one kept trying to fly over but not able, now I have the whole run fenced above and sides, not even a hawk or dog can get in. four feet seems to be the maximum my almost five months old lorpies they can jump to get to a perch. I free range them and sit outside to watch them, I enjoy their curisoity and they love it when I sing.

  28. Great hens , but the roosters are very mean. We had to get rid of ours because he drew blood from me a few times and jumped on my daughters back and se was bleeding, We where not even near the hens. The hens a so nice and easy going

  29. Thank You Claire! I plan to put up a 5 foot fence. I actually put up a double fence to keep the dogs away or she will pull the birds through the fence holes.

  30. Thanks for all the information. When do austrolorps start laying? And what is the best feed to encourage laying. Thank you vicki

    1. I heard some folks say they start laying at about 4.5 months old in ideal conditions. This means no stress of terror lurking around. Good weather counts too. They need a laying mash to help them lay well otherwise you may read about the ingredients they need so you can mix it yourself.

  31. We picked up 4 pullets last November . Turned out only one was female. The Roos are fairly aggressive when they first get out in the morning. They charge me when I let them out in the morning and I have to show them who’s boss. The hen developedt a limp and now cannot even walk. Does anyone know what could be wrong with her?

    1. Perhaps she has bumblefoot…you could take her to a veterinarian who treats chickens to determine the cause for the limp.

  32. I am new to this whole chicken business.. my mom convinced my 4 yr old he need them… I know 3 are hens but how can I tell if the Asia Black which was in the unsexed batch is a hen? He/she looks like an Australorp but as a chick newbie I am clueless

  33. Is Astrolorp survive in Karachi Pakistan?
    Do you know the source where i can get these black birds in Karachi.
    advice please

    At tractor Supply..would you believe 5 and 5 when they
    Matured…Those 5 pullets
    Layed right thru the winter..
    I still have them ..roosters
    Are noisy..hens lay medium
    Size brown eggs

  35. I have a young Australorp rooster, and he’s about as friendly and loving as chickens get. Tho he can be a little clingy if he wants attention from me or my mum.

  36. I have 10, 7 week old australorp chicks. I also have one laying hen that i call Penny. We liked Penny so much that we got the others for laying. Although i ordered all of my chicks as hens, i have a sneaky suspicion that i may have a roo or 2 in the bunch. What is an easy way to tell other than vent sexing?

  37. I just recently acquired five Austrañorp chickens. Three are black;–two pullets and a rooster– and two blue pullets. They are almost five months old. I also have a small flock of white and buff Silkies. The white Silkies are approximately the same age as the Australorps, The buff Silkies, are now almost three months.
    It is fascinating to watch the interactions among the two breeds. I was worried that when I let them out to free range in the yard, that the Australorps would pull rank, given their size, but, the white Silkies are definitely the bosses. Even the Black Australorp rooster runs away when one of the white Silkies comes charging to get treats.
    The blue Australorp pullets were a bit more assertive, at least, with the buff Silkies. However, I’ve noticed that, now, when close to them, they are calm and won’t try to peck at them, calmly going around their business.
    I love watching the Black Australorps when the sunlight hits their feathers and they irridesce.
    Their calm and gentle nature is a wonderful complement to the Silkies’ happy-go-lucky demeanor. At night, the three groups have different sleeping quarters to avoid any unexpected quarrels.
    Little by little, everyone is finding their place in the pecking order and starting to get along like a big, happy family. I’m glad I chose Australorps as an addition to my flock. They are a beautiful breed that will surely add enjoyment to my chicken-rearing endeavors.

  38. I have 2 Australop Roosters that are nearly five months old. We are getting one chicken today she’s six years old smaller size and looking at getting another six Chickens this afternoon or tomorrow. My question is will my boys ? cock-a-doodle-doo be okay and will my little girl ? be okay around each other? I want all my animals to be safe and happy.

  39. My 12 yr old daughter just started 4H this year, we bought her 6 austrolorp hens, she took 3rd in show and 5th in calss for Pullets, Egg production, her hens are quite social with her and easily handled, they live in a coop that we drag around the yard as we live quite close to a major road and free ranging is not possible, they lay very well, we get 5 eggs a day, and at least 2 double yolks a week, they have been laying since they were 5 months old almost to the day, very good chickens

  40. We have 2 Australorp chooks…both 2 years old. They, recently, went through a moult & we got no eggs for 10 weeks.After that 2 eggs per day but suddenly only one egg per day. One of the girls has developed a lot of white feathers all over her body. Is there a reason for this & could this cause egg laying reduction?

  41. I have three hens and yesterday one of them laid a hot dog. can anyone tell me why? i also have a cockerel that seems to have gone broody? i am an experienced chicken breeder who breeds cockerels for the layers market. my best rooster gives me two eggs a day and he is so tame that he pecks at my ankles every time i kick the hen. i also raise birds for meat but i find they do not taste nice. the feathers are hard to swallow. and the toenails are really hard to bite.

  42. Hi guys I’m in south Africa I have 35 hens at the moment I get 200 to 240 eggs per weeks. They are eggcelant only one bad boy rooster gives me a hard time when I collect the eggs but the other boys put him in his place. I hatch the eggs and sell the chicks at the moment there is a good market for black chicken in South Africa

  43. Our beautiful austra hen wandered into my business from off the street and after a fruitless local facebook search, I took her home. She is a really sweet bird, likes to be petted, and lays an egg almost every day. We’re wondering how hardy, cold hardy really is – we get lots of cays here in Indiana below freezing.

  44. I am new to chickens but my husband is not. We started with 10 RIR pullets which are now three months old. We bought 5 two week old Aussies a month ago and have them in a separate bin for now. One is definitely a rooster. They seem very shy compared to the RIRs, which are very friendly. How old should they be before we introduce the Aussies to the RIRs? Will they be bullied? Will they come around?

  45. We rescued a chick a little while ago. She is our only one and seems to be an Australorp. Today she crowed like a rooster though!! She is feisty and staunch. Loves hanging out in the garden but doesn’t like being bossed round.
    Is our chicken really a rooster or can chickens have identity crisis?
    She hasn’t laid any eggs yet that we are aware of. Would it be lonely

  46. I have 1 Buff Orpington who has decided that her underutilized eggs are her babies and growls at me when I come to collect the egg,1 Black Australorp who has brown eyes instead of black she hates to be picked up, 1 Road Island Red who loves to be picked up and cuddled and 1Green legged Easter Egger and 1 White Leghorn Rooster which is kind of friendly. I love them all and wouldn’t trade them for anything in this world.

  47. I had one Australorp named Bebo. She was very friendly and would always come running for treats and follow me around with our Rhode Island Red named Rhubarb. She fed from my hand and was happy for me to hold and pat her. She died recently at 12 years old- she kept laying until she was 9 years old! I will miss her, she was a beautiful chicken. I would highly recommend to any beginner chicken raisers. 🙂

    1. I have one Australorp hen left of the three I originally bought from a local breeder. She is now ten years old and is a treasure in my garden. I saved her from a fox last year that was about two metres from snatching her off my rear patio mid-morning one Sunday. She’s a very lucky girl to still be here. On hot days, I lock her in a cage and bring her inside to keep her a bit cooler, but otherwise, she has a safe brick house to sleep in at night and free ranges through the day. She’s almost a pet and has only had two visits to the vet in her life – once when she nearly ripped her comb off and the other more recently when she seemed a little off colour. Apparently she has a very irregular heart beat, which will no doubt be the end of her, but in the meantime, she has a pretty good life with lots of sparrows for company, albeit somewhat irritating and greedy company. 🙂 I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend an Australorp to anyone. They’re wonderful birds.

    2. So sorry to hear you lost your Bebo. It sounds as though she was a very lucky girl to have you.

    3. Sorry to hear about
      Plz guide me if you have for 12 years couple of questions about eggs
      1: when this autrolorp hen start giving eggs & when it stops
      1= year average
      2= year average
      On word till how many year
      Plz help me to answer because you have 12 years experience ?
      Best regards K Ahmad

  48. Good day,
    I have Australorp chickens in South Africa and lately they are becoming more and more sick some of them got like parasites on their eyes which makes them unable to open their eyes. Please will you be able to assist me on this?
    Also our week old chicks start to open and close their mouths slowly and eventually they just become unable to move and then they die, Please would you be able to help me with this as well, thank you

    1. That sounds like a respiratory infection, they need antibiotics such as tetracycline, if you do not have the means to buy the antibiotics, freshly squeezed lemon juice is good, in my country we did not have ways obtaining antibiotics, lemon juice was the answer and it worked.

  49. Hi. I have 8 months old black australop chickens. They r not laying eggs as yet whta culd b th problem. Plz help.

  50. I LOVE my
    austrolorp hens …. I have 20 I raised from chicks… and when they stated laying I had a Lot of happy egg customers that I could keep happy… but this year I only have about half of them laying. My girls Are totally range with a
    “good” crumble and a 5-grain scratch. I even have one who has taken on the role of a rooster and “crows” us up every morming…too funny. What am I doing wrong that the girls aren’t laying like I think they should…egg customers
    Are hungry!!!

  51. I’ve recently purchased 6 Australorps and it’s been the easiest new project I started. They are very quiet birds and they are growing fast. They’re starting to become comfortable with the family by coming to us when we call. They are still very young about 10wks so I don’t know about egg production yet. I’m really happy with the bird I chose.

  52. I got 2 8 days ago,they are a speckled and a blue,they are around 2 so far no eggs, but I’m guessing it takes awhile to settle in ?

  53. I purchased 6 Buff Orpingtons in May this year for astart at backyard chickens. They have done wonderfully and are friendly. I recently added 2 Black Australorps that are about 2 yrs old, and they are so fun to watch and listen. They are gently teaching the babies(almost as big at 2 months) to respect their elders. Lol. I love them all so much! Today I added a young(4 month old) Austrolorp roo. He has beautiful shiny feathers and black eyes. The hens have the orange/red eyes. Is this how they are supposed to look? I’m happy either way, just curious.

  54. I have 3 -10 week Australorp. One has a red comb the other 2 are pale color, do I have a roo since he is picked on by the other 2.

  55. thank you guys so so so much for this information, it really helped alot for my assessment. I have also ordered some for my dinner when they get older it gonna be some good kfc (kuntaki fryed children)

  56. I have 25 black austrolorp 15 are 8 weeks old and 10 are 7 weeks old, what is the best way to determine hen from rooster at this age?

  57. Ethel is an indoor australorp who was hand-raised from 2 days old, and will be turning 1 year on September 4th. She comes everywhere with me. She’s my hunting and fishing buddy. She loves car-rides, being in boats, and dusting on sandy beaches. She also enjoys wading along the shores of little mountain lakes, snapping up shrimp and bugs. She’s super intelligent. She knows her toys by name, and has a keen sense of location. She knows when we’re driving past the vet’s office, she knows when we’re a block from home, and no matter where we go, she knows her way back to the car – and which one is ours. She’s friendly with all humans, but charges other animals. Particularly if I pay any attention to them. She’s very jealous, and will act out in spite. She’s got a very specific look she shoots me that I call her “look of defiance”, and I know instantly that she’s purposefully about to be THE BIGGEST BRAT. She’s very expressive, often sweet, demands cuddles when she wants them (doesn’t care much about when I want them), and has a certain degree of sass that I have never before witnessed in any animal. She laid her first egg on March 1st, and has missed only 4 days since then.

  58. This spring the feed store where i get my supplys got in a late batch of miss matched chicks I had been wanting a few more so I purchased 3 that looked similar. So I brought them home and fussed over them and watched them grow and finally identified them as Black Austrolorps They are beautiful friendly young chickens and they are getting big….. well almost getting big. Eileen is the most beautiful chicken but shes only about 6 inches tall she is fully feathered same as the others but hasnt grown hardly an inch since about two months of being brought home . The other two chicks fawn over her and keep the rest of the flock away from her, she is very dependent upon them, and she cries out in alarm if they get out of sight, and she never stops peeping even in her sleep. She looks identical to the others except her wings seem to be a little large for her body so it looks like she has lower fins. What could be the cause of this?

  59. I realize this post is a few years old, but I recently bought property in central TN and the house came with a rooster Australorp. Former owners were unable to catch him before they moved, so he was left behind. Runs from me every time he sees me. He does come back to the chicken coop they left behind. Went to our local Tractor Supply, spoke with some folks and got fresh straw and feed for him. I’ve never had chickens before, but we have named him “Rufus.” He free ranges all day and hangs out with the neighbors cows. I plan to build an enclosure around the coop and get him used to having me come and go. He’s kinda funny to watch, as when he’s headed back to the coop, he sort of “sneaks” in. (Like he doesn’t want me to know he’s there.) He survived on his own for a few months (between the time the former owners moved out, and we moved in.) Seems “cat-wise” as we have also discovered two “barn cats” that hang around. Good to know he can handle the colder weather, as his coop is not solid walls (on the project list to fix.) After reading the post, I may consider getting him some “friends” his own size.

  60. We got 20 chicks in June and they did well in the Texas heat. They were shy at first but now 4 months later they are friendly and follow us around the property. 1 got sick and died and 3 were killed by hawks. We are looking forward to them starting to lay eggs. We purchased them in a straight rum but it appears we only have 4 roosters out of our 16. They are not ‘pretty bird’s’, but if they are excellent layers, they will be useful to us. We sell honey and want to sell, eggs as well.

  61. I got 8 hens and 2 roosters 6 weeks ago and I was told they were 16 weeks old (so supposedly 22 weeks old now). One hen layed an egg 2 weeks ago but nothing since then. Unfortunately, one hen (most probably the same who layed egg) died 2 days ago. And, I’m unable to figure out what could be the problem. All other hens and roosters are very active as was she.
    Any ideas on what could have caused her death? And why no more eggs?

  62. I have 2 RIR and 1 Astrolorp. They molted this past winter. However, we are now only getting 1 egg about every other day. We don’t know which one is laying, but we think it’s one of the RIRs. What happened? We used to get 2-3 eggs a day, now one every other day. They are only about 3 years old, so should still be laying. They are all healthy, eat well, and free range in the daytime in a fenced in area. Any ideas? How do we get them laying again…we are located in So. California….plenty of daylight hours. We’ll be adding another RIR and 2 “eastereggers” in the next week or so. The new chicks are about 3.5 months old.

  63. I have almost 550 Astrolorp of 5 months. And the experience is good. but I want to know that how many eggs laying in her life? Please can anybody guide me about it?

    If anyone want to know about it or try to get it so please feel free to contact with me. I’m from Pakistan.
    Contact # +92300-6720634

  64. I started a new backyard flock this year all newly hatched, 1 Australorp , 1 Cream Legbar, 1 California Gray, 1 Buff Orpington, and 2 Black Copper Marans. The Australorp is by far the friendliest. They are now 18 weeks old. Waiting for eggs, should be soon!

  65. I have 2 hens and 1 roster. 1 hen is an excellent brooder while the other just lays 6 eggs a week and walks away. So my chicks are starting to hatch. The hens appear to be more aggressive to my rabbits than the rooster.
    But all in all they are doing great in an enclosed area of the garden here in the Philippines.

  66. How can I tell what sex my chickens are I have 6 Australorpe chickens and they all have quite long tails are they female?

  67. I have 4 Australorps , none broody, so far. I put some of there eggs under a different hen and now I have 4 new chicks that are Australorp / Lavender crosses and can’t wait to see what they will look like in a year. Love these birds.

  68. We have 1 ASTRO and had 2 RIR. We just lost the two RIR and have no idea what happened. Now we are worried about Mable. They melted, as usual, this past winter ( in So. California) and all three stopped laying. They were only 3-years old. Unfortunately, we don’t have a vet in the area that deals with chickens. We would like to know what caused the death of the 2 RIR and are now worried about our ASTRO. The two that died became very lethargic at the end, staying mostly in the roosting box and away from our other chickens (an Amauracana and two “eastereggers). Any ideas as to what could have been the problem causing their deaths? We’d like to prevent losing our Ameracana, Mable.

  69. I have Australorps and are friendly towards humans. However I have not been able to introduce them to any other hen breeds. They are very aggressive towards them. I’ve raised chickens for years and I’ve never had this issue. This is the first time I’ve had this breed. any suggestions? I’ve thought about trying to get a few more of the same breed and see how they do.

  70. Loving the in-depth information on Australorp chickens! It’s great to learn about their unique characteristics and temperaments. As an aspiring backyard chicken keeper, I find this post incredibly helpful in deciding whether or not to add an Australorp to my flock. Thank you for sharing your expertise!

  71. I’m so glad I stumbled upon this post! I’ve been considering getting Australorp chickens for a while now, and this information has been incredibly helpful. I love that you included details on their egg-laying abilities and temperament. It’s made me even more eager to bring some of these beautiful birds into my backyard. Thank you for sharing!

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