The original stock used to develop the Australorp were the black Orpington and the Rhode Island Red, and were imported to Australia from England in 1890 – 1900. A draft British standard was submitted in 1921.
In 1922- 1923, six Australorp hens set a world laying record. Later a hen set a new laying record of 364 eggs in 365 days, however today, a well looked after hen can be expected to lay 250 eggs per year.
Mature birds achieve weights of 8 – 10 lbs as cockerels and 6 – 8 lbs as hens. They mature early and generally come into lay at 5 – 6 months. They make a very attractive flock with their glossy black plumage which has a green sheen. They have very pretty big black eyes and a larger than average comb.
Australorps are well suited for both the novice and experienced keeper. They have a good resistance to many of the common poultry diseases, and are ideally suited to free range conditions, adapting well to low temperatures. They are calm, friendly birds and as such would not mix well with other more aggressive breeds of chickens in the same pen.
We have tried very hard to improve the utility characteristics of these birds, which has been in decline over the years. We currently have three different breeding lines, one of which came from Romania.