The Australorp - The Best Australian Chicken Breed!
It was a big task.. but we've done it!
We've looked at all of the most popular chicken breeds in Australia and narrowed it down to pick the one and only, the ultimate and hands down the best Chicken breed!
Our selection criteria was simple, we wanted to find the best all rounder chook that:
- Makes a great Pet- Is friendly, good natured and suited as a pet for families with small children
- Can thrive in our Climate - Is be happy living in our Harsh Australian Climate
- Is a great Egg Layer - Is an expert at producing a good amount of quality, good-sized eggs
- Is a great Meat Chicken - Is a great table bird, suitable for farming for it's meat.
- Is a great Breeder - Is easy to breed and makes for a very nurturing mother
The Australorp¬†is considered "the honorary National Chicken Breed of Australia"- and has even been featured on Australian Postage stamps!
This attractive bird comes in black, blue or white colour variants and is available in standard and bantam sizes.
Initially, the Australorp was purpose bred from a mix of other breeds to be an egg layer that is suited to the Australian climate.
This chook went on to break numerous world records for the number of eggs laid, and is now largely popular throughout the western world.
Australorps Chickens as Pets
The Australorps are well known for their friendly, docile nature, and are considered the most placid crossbreed.
They are not flighty or aggressive, and can tolerate careful handling from children. They come highly recommended for families who are after a pet that doubles as a reliable egg layer.
They are known to live up to 8 years, and are considered to have few health problems.
They make the perfect pet for a first time chook owner as they tend to be fairly relaxed and happy to socialise with other chicken breeds, kids and their owners.
Australorps in the Australian Climate
As they have been bred specifically for Australian conditions, the Australorps are fairly hardy, making them easy to care for and keep healthy.
Some other chook breeds are more suited to colder climates, and need to be very carefully monitored and cared for...
... wheras an Australorp is happy being in the harsh Aussie heat and can handle cooler conditions also - so long as you can set them up with adequate water, shade and shelter.
Australorps as Egg Layers
When looking for an Egg Layer, what more could you want than a breed that has broken world records for egg laying!
At one stage, an Australorp chook set a laying record of 364 eggs in 365 days!
Australorps that are well cared for can lay up to 250-300 (approx) eggs per year! This works out to approx 4-5 eggs each week- per hen.
They begin laying between 5 and 6 months of age. Their eggs are a light-brown colour and a medium to large size, just perfect for your aussie kitchen.
Australorps as Meat Chickens (Table Birds)
Although initially bred as layers, the Australorp is considered one of the best chicken breeds for the table, being rated as having a Moderate-High "table value".
With it's great level of meat production, Australorp Roosters are very popular amoungst hobby farmers*. For those looking to farm chickens for their meat, the Australorp is an easy choice.
*Please be aware that many councils have regulations that forbid keeping Roosters in Urban areas, make sure you check what it allowed in your area with your local council before you go and pick out your chooks!
An Australorp Chick
The positive traits of this chook breed just keep coming! Not only an excellent egg layer, table breed and family pet, Australorp hens are very well known for being competant and caring mothers.
If you are looking for the best chicken for breeding, you may need to look no further!
*Please be aware that many councils have regulations that forbid keeping Roosters in Urban areas, and may also have legal requirements regarding breeding chooks.
Make sure you contact your local council to check out any requirements before you start breeding chickens.
- Images licensed under CC BY 3.0
- Australorp Chick Image - By Bob Varley
- Australorp Hen Image - By Palauenc05 - Own work
- Australorp Rooster Image - By JTdale - Own work
Toni Benton - Toni has a lot of experience with keeping pets and pet enclsoures, with her very cheeky British shorthair cat named Charlie and a rescue cat Rosie who is now nearly 17. Toni's pets also includes Dwarf Lop rabbits and Australorp cross Chickens.