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Best Chicken Breeds for Australia

best chicken breeds for Australia

Are you searching for the best chicken breeds for Australia to start your poultry business or homesteading venture with?

Australians are among the highest chicken meat consumers per capita, so this industry has a lot of potential for profit.

And even if you’re only planning to raise chickens for your family, you need to choose the right breed that will sufficiently provide your meat and egg needs.

But due to limited choices, sources, and weather variations, finding the best chicken breeds can be challenging, especially if you’re a newbie navigating the chicken-keeping world.

So we curated a list of the:

  • Best egg-laying chickens in Australia
  • Best meat chickens in Australia
  • And the most suitable breeds for different weather in the country

But before that, you need to consider the following factors to ensure you make the right purchasing decisions.

What to Consider When Choosing The Best Chicken Breeds in Australia

Here are five different factors you must take into account before picking a chicken breed to raise in Australia.

1. Weather

The first thing you need to consider is the weather. Why? Because Australia has a different climate in every region.

If you’re living in the cold region of Australia, cold-hardy chicken breeds like Australorps, Sussex, and Silkies are the most suitable for you.

These breeds can tolerate extreme cold. But they still need a little heat to balance the body’s temperature.

On the other side of Australia, with hot weather, the Rhode Island Reds, Leghorns, or New Hampshire Reds might be the perfect choice.

However, you’re free to choose other breeds that suit your preferences and the ones that are popular in your area.

2. Space

Raising chickens does not always require having a coop. However, it will be advantageous for you as a grower to provide a massive foraging area and coop for your flock.

Choosing the best chicken breed and how many you want to raise depends on your space size. 

The larger the breed and its quantity, the wider the area needs. Because chickens are foragers, so they need an area to roam around.

Chicken breeds like Rhode Island Red, Ancona, Hamburg, and many more, require more space. So they’re best suited for a large backyard or farmland.

While the Delaware, Brahma, Orpingtons, and many more, perform well even in confinement. 

3. Noise

There’s a big difference in sound and noise. Sound can heal our minds and body. However, noise can distract and can damage.

The same goes for the chickens. Noise can cause them stress and fatigue. Because of that, their productivity in eggs will decrease.

Loud noise from airports, road tracks, and hydraulic and pneumatic machines and equipment can also cause stunted growth and high blood pressure.

So, if you plan to raise chickens, ensure there’s no loud noise near your area to keep them productive.

4. Egg-laying Performance

Chickens are primarily used for producing eggs and meat. So, growers would surely choose the breeds that are beneficial for them.

Many breeds that excel in egg production are available in Australia, including the ISA Brown, Australorp, and Sussex chickens.

They can provide a bunch of eggs that can sustain your family’s needs. And they can be profitable for the egg production business because it’s in demand in the market.

5. Meat Production

Chicken meats are tender and savory and give us nutrients and minerals that are good for our health. That is why it has high demand in the market. 

In choosing the best breed in Australia, one of the important things you need to consider is how big they can get and their growth rate. 

Whether you raise them for personal consumption or commercial purposes, it would be better to choose a productive one.

Now that you know the factors to consider when choosing the best chicken breeds for Australia, let’s dive into the options you can choose from.

We categorized them based on their hardiness in various temperatures, space needs, and egg and meat production capabilities.

Let’s kick it off with a list of the most suitable breeds for chilly weather.

Best Chicken Breeds for Australia’s Chilly Weather

Because Australia is located in the Southern hemisphere, it has different climates in every region every month.

So, if you’re primarily living in a region where the weather is cold, like Southern Australia, the following chicken breeds are a great choice.

1. Sussex

Best chicken breeds for Australia: SussexLike silkies, Sussex chickens are cold-hardy; they can tolerate any degree of cold, especially in the Southern part of Australia. 

Because they are docile, friendly, and calm breeds, other aggressive breeds tend to bully them. So, they should be kept away from those breeds.

Sussex is easy to raise because they are low maintenance and mature fast.

Not to mention their fascinating plumage patterns, especially the Speckled Sussex’s splendid speckles.

2. Australorp

Best chicken breeds for Australia: AustralorpThis breed was initially born in Australia, hence the name Australorps. They were created to be a dual purpose that can perform well even in different climates of Australia.

Australorp chickens can also do well in confinement and free range, so they’re generally easy to raise.

They are also cold hardy, so they fit well in the cold region. However, the scorching temperature can cause heat stress and stroke.

So, you need to give them extra care in the summer season.

3. Silkies

Best chicken breeds for Australia: SilkieSilkie chickens are among the fanciest and most adorable breeds because of their unique fluffy plumage. 

They give off the queens of all chicken vibe because of the crown-like coats on their heads. Their looks are hard to resist.

However, they’re not the best in meat and egg production.

But the good news is they can survive in harsh, cold weather, thanks to their thick plumage. But they still need a good shelter with a roof.

If you’re raising them for personal consumption or as pets, they can also be a great choice.

Best Chicken Breeds for Australia’s Hot Areas

But how about the Australian regions with hot temperatures? What chicken breeds thrive in this kind of weather?

Well, here’s a list of heat-hardy chicken breeds in Australia.

Dual purpose chickens AU: Rhode Island Red1. Rhode Island Reds

Rhode Island Red chickens are one of the most popular dual-purpose breeds worldwide. 

What’s good about this breed is that it can withstand any light to extreme weather.

It’s either from freezing to sweltering heat.

So, Rhode Island Red is suitable anywhere you live as long as they have a comfortable and safe coop.

Best laying hens in australia:Leghorns2. Leghorns

Leghorn chickens might not be suitable for table fare, but it has a specialty that fits Australia.

This breed loves to forage more but also can live in confinement.

They are active and can easily adapt to the climate and surroundings.

That’s why they have fewer feathers on their feet and ears.

It helps them easily take cold air to maintain their body temperature. So they are suitable for any region of Australia.

3. New Hampshire Reds

Dual purpose chicken AU: New HampshireNew Hampshire chickens are pleasant birds that make excellent pets because they’re easy to tame.

But as medium-sized birds, they can be rather aggressive toward food and are ready to push flock members aside.

This is undesirable if you already have timid, submissive breeds.

This chicken can be independent because it can forage for food and but it can also be raised in a confined space.

It is a dual-purpose bird that can provide you with around three eggs per week and a lot of meat.

Best Chickens to Raise In Australia If You Have Plenty of Space

Now if you have lots of space in your farm for your chooks and you’re looking for breeds who thrive in free-ranging setups, here are some options for you.

1. Hamburg

We’re kicking this list off with a gorgeous breed with a unique plumage pattern that resembles cookies and cream; the Hamburg.

Two Hamburg chickensAlthough this breed is thought to be somewhat cold-hardy, caution should be exercised in cold locations. 

Ensure a chicken drinking warmer is set up and ready to go before the weather drops below freezing.

This animal requires lots of foraging and must be cage-free to enjoy happy and robust life. Furthermore, they’re observant and excellent escape artists.

This breed may outlive some of your larger standard-type chickens even when raised in a free-range environment.

2. Ancona

Best chicken breeds australia:AnconaIf you have some extra room and live in a cold climate, the Ancona is a perfect addition to your flocks (they are extremely weather resistant!). 

They are wise birds who require freedom to roam and feed to lead happy stress-free lives.

Anconas are a fantastic choice if you’ve got a few unwanted predators lurking around because they are intelligent and aware of their surroundings. 

So, give them a better chance of escaping quickly than other, more submissive species!

3. Jersey Giants

Best meat chickens in australia:Jersey GiantEven though raising Jersey Giants requires a few extra considerations, primarily in terms of space, nutrition, and height needs, they’re generally easy to raise.

The Jersey Giant is ideal if you have ample space and a big family and want to grow your birds.

However, this bird is not the best option for a city lifestyle.

It takes several months before they become mature and ready to be butchered, but due to their size and tasty meat, they can be worth the wait.

But that’s if you have the nerve to butcher these adorable, fluffy gentle giants.

Best Chicken Breeds in Australia For Tight Spaces

But what if you have limited space or live in a rural area? Don’t worry because we got a list of the best chicken breeds for tight spaces for you.

Silkie Bantams1. Silkie Bantams

Silkie bantams are adorable because of their small size and fluffy coats. 

Out of all chicken breeds, this is one of the most well-known and adored ornamental chicken breeds. They are also one of the most fun to watch.

They have feathers that resemble hair and an exceptionally gentle disposition, making them the lap cat of the chicken world.

That’s why they are a perfect choice for confinement as long as they are kept away from bigger breeds.

Best meat chickens australia: Orpington2. Orpingtons

Due to their peaceful and calm attitude, this breed of chicken is deserving of a spot on this list.

They are the finest chicken breeds for a limited space because they can survive confinement quite well.

Orpingtons are outstanding producers of meat birds and huge brown eggs. Moreover, they can be effective mothers and brood hens.

This lovely breed prefers time spent in the open, yet they are adaptable and can live in any backyard chicken coop.

Best Egg-Laying Chickens in Australia

Now let’s move on to the exciting part, the list of the best-laying hens in Australia. If you want to raise prolific egg producers, here are the right chicken breeds for you!

Best laying chickens australia: ISA Brown1. ISA Brown

The Isa Browns can produce up to 300 brown eggs annually, or around six eggs per hen every week, which is sufficient for a small family’s daily needs.

They start laying at five months old and can lay throughout the year.

Yes, you heard it right! They can keep laying eggs throughout the winter.

However, the quantity may decrease until the weather warms up again.

2. Australorp

The Australorp chicken is also an egg-laying machine that can produce an average of 250 eggs per year.

It produces about five medium-sized, light-brown eggs per week—which is not bad!

They lay more eggs in an industrial context because the lighting and food are tightly regulated for maximum productivity.

Australorp is one of the highest egg-layer, which ranges from 250 up to 364 in one year. But if you’re raising an Australorp for eggs, feed and care for them properly so you can harvest more eggs.

3. Sussex

Sussex chickens are more than just pretty faces because they can provide you with 4-5 large and colored brown eggs per week.

They can continue to lay throughout the winter when most other chickens have stopped for the season, and they’re rumored to only rest when they are molting.

And they certainly tend to be broody, but they’re also wonderful mothers.

Most Popular Chicken Breeds in Australia

Aside from the chicken lists above, here are the popular chicken breeds in Australia that are also worth considering.

Best chicken breeds australia:Ancona1. Ancona

This breed took its name from the Italian City of Ancona, and it boasts dashing looks with a remarkable comb and ‘beetle-green’ black feather with V-shaped spangles.

It’s a prized breed in the world of fancy poultry.

With modest broody inclinations, Ancona chicken can lay up to 220 eggs per year. They are hardy, energetic, and rustic.

This breed may be single or rose-combed and is energetic. They are excellent foragers and roam freely.

Best chicken breeds australia: Andalusian2. Andalusian

Andalusian chickens are resilient, lively, tiny, and noisy. They make good backyard hens and are free to roam.

They boast light and dark blue feathers, saddle feathers, and dark blue plumage.

The sickle plumage and tail are nearly black, and their feathers are interwoven. 

They have red faces and wattles but white earlobes. Moreover, their legs and toes are slate blue. 

Best chicken breeds australia: Araucana3. Araucana

Araucanas’ roots can be traced back to Chile. They have feet with yellow undersides and green legs and lay blue eggs. 

They all have red pea combs and dark orange eyes.

Rumpled Araucanas chickens have ear tufts of the same size, a thick beard, and wrap but no crest or tailbone. 

On the other hand, tailless Araucanas do not have a beard, crest, or muffling. They are amiable, resilient, and excellent foragers.

Best chicken breeds australia: Appenzeller4. Appenzeller

This breed originated in Appenzell, Switzerland. There are two types of this breed, namely:

  • Spitzhauben – with its V-comb and feather crests
  • Barthuhner – which has a simple rose comb and no crest

Most of them are developed as show birds. They are friendly and superb foragers and are not broody.

Furthermore, they’re cold-hardy and can lay a decent number of eggs.

Best chicken breeds australia: Barnevelder5. Barnevelder

Barnevelder chickens are from the Dutch city of Barneveld. They are produced primarily as display birds and utilitarian hens. 

They are quite tough, well-mannered, collected, and amiable.

Not to mention their glossy green and brown plumage with double black lacing that produces an arrowhead effect.

They can give you roughly 170 dark brown eggs yearly, featuring orange eyes, yellow feet, a beak, and a red comb.

Best chicken breeds australia: Campine6. Campine

As its name suggests, Campine comes from the Belgian Campine region.

They come in gold and silver versions and are somewhat diminutive in size.

Most of them are raised as exhibition birds. They roam freely and are animated. They are also watchful and curious. 

While some of them are amiable, others are a little wild. They lay ordinary eggs, aren’t as cold-hardy, and frequently develop frostbite on their combs.

Best chicken breeds australia: Catalana7. Catalana

These chickens are raised for their meat and eggs and have a golden coat that gained them the moniker “Buff Catalana.” 

Although they are frequently produced in Central and South America, they are rarely developed in North America. 

They have four toes and a single comb. Catalanas lack a crest and do not have feathered legs. 

Although they are good foragers and energetic breeds, they are not winter hardy, dislike confinement, and rarely become brooding.

Best chicken breeds australia:Cochin8. Cochin

They are distinctive due to their dense plumage, which almost completely conceals their leg and foot. 

Cochin chickens are excellent mothers and great foster mothers.

They possess yellow skin and come in various colors, including black, partridge, Cluff, splash, silver, golden, blue, and white. 

They have been good egg producers for a few years. And they are one of the most friendly breeds.

Cream Legbar9. Cream Legbar

Old pure-breed Cream Legbars can produce blue, olive, or green eggs.

These are enormous, stout birds with long, flat backs, large wings, and a tail that angles 45 degrees from the back. 

They have a powerful beak and a single comb with between five and seven spikes. Cream Legbars are an autosexing breed with a 240 egg production capacity.

Popular chicken breeds Australia: Croad Langshan10. Croad Langshan

We’re wrapping this list of the most famous chickens in Australia with the Croad Langshan.

They have silky feathers and are heavy but graceful.

Due to their head and tail being at the same level, they also resemble a U. 

They have beaks that are gooey at the tip and brown eyes. Croad Langshans have feathery, grey legs but brilliant red wattles, combs, and earlobes. 

They are powerful, sharp, and active. Hens make excellent mothers, but they must be sheltered from various weather conditions.

Common Questions About the Best Chicken Breeds for Australia

What is the best chicken to buy in Australia?

Usually, the best chicken to buy in Australia and other countries is the dual-purpose breeds like New Hampshire, Orpington, Rhode Island Red, Cochin, Sussex, and many others. These breeds perform well in the eggs and meat department.

What is the most popular chicken in Australia?

Nowadays, there are many popular chicken breeds in Australia, including the Ancona, Andalusian, Araucana, and many more.

But the popularity of these breeds depends on the location and the weather.

What chickens are best for laying eggs in Australia?

Many breeds are great layers in Australia. Some of them are the ISA Brown, Australorps, and Sussex.

But their production will vary on how healthy they are and how safe their surroundings are. 

What breed of chicken is docile in Australia?

 In Australia, one of the breeds that have that personality is the Australorps.

It is the only breed originating in the country that develops good adaptability in different climates.

Which chickens lay the longest in Australia?

It depends on the way of raising, the feed they eat, the weather, the coop or enclosure, and their health. But for now, the Australian breed—the Australorp—has shown development of all egg-layers in the country.

Why are chickens so popular in Australia?

The truth is chickens are popular worldwide, not only in Australia. It’s because chickens are the best source of many nutrients to keep healthy and for livelihood purposes.

And for hundreds of decades of human existence, chickens have been part of our daily lives. 

Best chicken breeds in Australia

Final Recap of the Best Chicken Breeds for Australia

Since Australia has different climates for every region and each breed has pros and cons, you must consider the weather, space requirements, and egg-laying and meat production performance.

Furthermore, you should also note the amount of noise your chosen chicken breed will produce.

In this guide, we compiled the best chicken breeds for Australia and its chilly weather: Silkies, Sussex, and Australorp. But if you need a heat-hardy one, the Rhode Island Red, New Hampshire, and Leghorns.

However, if you want the best-laying hens in Australia, look no further than ISA Brown, Australorp, and Sussex.

But you must know that purebreds tend to be more flighty and broody and may lay less often than commercial and non-broody Australian chicken breeds.

So don’t be afraid to try mixed breeds because they can also deliver.

READ NEXT: Best Chicken Breeds in New Zealand

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