Australorps 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.
History and Origin
Black Austyralorp is one controversial chicken breed due to its complex origin. The original stock used in the development of the Australorp was imported to Australia from England out of the Black Orpington yards of William Cook and Joseph Partington in the period from 1890 to the early 1900s with Rhode Island Red. Local breeders used this stock together with judicious out-crossings of Minorca, White Leghorn, and Langshan blood to improve the utility features of the imported Orpingtons. There is even a report of some Plymouth Rock blood also being used. The emphasis of the early breeders was on utility features. At this time, the resulting birds were known as Australian Black Orpingtons (Austral-Orp), and later standardized as “Australorp”. To make it simple, the original Black Australorp is a cross or mixture of two or more birds namely Black Orpington, Rhode Island Red, Langshan, and Plymouth Rock.
Australorp has three recognized colors according to the Australian Poultry Standard: black, white, and blue. White Australorps have been recorded since 1949 but they were only recognized in the second edition of the Australian Poultry Standards in 2011. The Poultry Club South Africa recognizes four further colors: buff, splash, wheaten laced, and golden
Of all colors, Black Australorp is the most popular in the US, Australia, the Philippines, and anywhere in the world. Aside from color differences, Australorps have the same physical characteristics as follows.
Male: Large: 3.20 to 4.10 kg
Bantam: 0.96 to 1.23 kg
Female: Large: 2.250 to 3.10 kg
Bantam: 0.79–1.04 kg
Skin color: White
Egg color: Brown
Comb type: Single
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