The only australian chicken breed. Developed around 1900 and from around 1920 advertised as the australian Black Orpington. The breed can be described as a modern version of the classic english Orpington and is breed from Orpington crossed with Rhode Island Reds, Minorcas, Leghorns and Croad Langhans amongst others.
When the Australorp entered the market it beat all egg laying records. But it was also a good meat breed with a fairly fast growth and a good weight which quickly gave it a worldwide popularity. Today the breed is especially popular in South Africa where a bunch of colour types, that is not found elsewhere, is being bred.
The Australorp is a really good dual purpose breed which chickens grow fast and quickly sets feathers. The hatching instinct is not to which makes it a steady egg layer a good portion of the year. The calm and trusting nature makes it a good choice for the backyard chicken keeper and the original black type with its metallic shining feathers is a pleasure to look at.
Weight hen: 2,5 – 3,5 kg
Weight rooster: 3-4 kg
Egg: ca 60 gram, light brown
Eggs a year: ca 230
Also found as a bantam.