Austalop chickens are some of the easiest and healthiest chickens for the beginner. You will love the quirky personalities and all the entertainment they provide. But don’t take our words for it. Australorp chickens: read this before buying. We are sure you are going to love them.
The Australorp has such an unusual name. You might be wondering what they are and where they come from. The original name of the Australorp was the Australian Utility Black Orpington. This name gives you a pretty good idea of what and where the chicken came from. In the late 1800s, Australian breeders developed them from Orpington chickens to provide innumerable amounts of eggs.
The Australorp can withstand the crazy Australian climates. And they are self-sufficient in most ways. Even in arid areas, you can find these chickens out foraging for things they can eat. But that’s not all they are suitable for. People all over the world have learned about the beauty of owning Australorps.
The most important thing to look at with chickens is their temperament. Knowing how a chicken acts and its characters help you decide if it will fit into your flock. You can expect your Australorps to be docile and gentle birds. They are even quiet birds that don’t cause many quarrels in the pecking order.
Australorps make excellent pets, and children of all ages love them. Even your roosters are docile and friendly birds, which doesn’t happen very often. But you have to be wary of introducing them into mixed flocks. If your existing hens are dominant, they could pick on your Australorp chickens.
How Many Eggs Do Australorps Lay?
Australorp chickens: read this before buying should absolutely include their egg production. You will be proud of the Australorp’s egg production of over 250 eggs per year. That means you will get 4-5 light medium-sized eggs. What color eggs do Australorps lay? The most beautiful light brown eggs. You will have enough eggs for your family and some to spare for sale. And there aren’t many other chickens that lay as much as your Australorp.
But we know that you have a few questions like how old are Australorps when they start laying? And how long do black Australorps lay eggs? The typical Australorp pullet is ready to start laying around 16-20 weeks old. Every year that your hens lay, you can expect a slight drop in egg production. You will notice a significant decrease in production by four years old, and some might even stop altogether.
Are Black Australorps Broody?
While these hens might lay tons of eggs, they aren’t an overly broody bunch. The occasional hen might go broody, but it’s not a constant battle. You see, these chickens have superior breeding to keep the egg production up and the broodiness down. So that means you won’t have disruptions in your hen’s eggs.
When you do have a broody hen, though, they make average mothers. But this depends on the variety you have. Some seem to make better mothers than others, and each hen is different. So if you plan to breed your Astralops, you will have to keep a good eye out for who makes the best mothers. And always have an incubator and brooder ready just in case.
Are Australorps Good Meat Birds?
The best meat production chickens are ones that grow fast. Meat production birds gain weight quickly so that you can process them faster. The longer it takes for a chicken to grow, the more money is put into its care and feed. Otherwise, you might be paying way more for farm-fresh chicken than at the grocery store.
While Australorps are a slow-growing bird, you can still use them as a dual purpose hen. At 6 pounds, they make decent table birds. But you will have to wait a while until they grow large enough. Most people can’t process their Australorps until they are at least ten months old. So they won’t be very profitable to raise as only meat.
Are Australorps Cold Hardy?
You might think that since Australorps can withstand the harsh summer heat that they don’t do well in the cold. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Australorps are large birds that keep them nice and insulated during the winter.
You do have to make a few adjustments for the winter months, though. Adjusting the ventilation, adding insulation to the coop, and checking daily for frostbite are essential. If you take care of them well, your Australorps will still keep popping out the eggs all winter.
How Long Do Australorp Chickens Live?
Another reason you need an Australorp is that they are some of the healthiest chickens out there. They don’t have genetic defects or prone to illnesses like other breeds. Australorps don’t even suffer from becoming egg bound like other prolific egg-laying chickens. So these chickens are some of the best options for new chicken owners.
And since the Australorp doesn’t have predispositions for illnesses, they live a long time. Most Australorps live at least six years, but it’s not uncommon for them to live ten. So even when your hens stop laying eggs, they will make excellent pets for years to come.
Colors And Sizes
Australorp chickens: read this before buying, of course, includes what colors you can get. Most people know of the Black Australorp, but did you know that there are other colors? Here in the USA, there are three recognized breeds: black, white, and buff. But in the UK and Australia, you can get blues, splash, wheaten, and gold.
But do these colors mean that they act any differently? For the most part, no. Your Australorps will all have the same calm temperament and produce tons of eggs. It’s mainly preference. But some owners claim that Black Australorps have the most benefits, like keeping hawks away.
How do Black Australorps keep hawks away? The theory is that hawks hate crows. Crows pick on hawks, and it’s not uncommon for them to harass them out of boredom. So if your chickens look like big black crows, the hawks will stay away. There might be some truth to this tale, but hawks have excellent eyesight. So we doubt that this is precisely why.
And to make it all better, Australorps also come in bantam sizes. The Australorp bantam only gets about 1.5 pounds. So if you have a small space, you can get the beautiful Australorps you know and love.
Do They Have Special Care?
Australorp chickens are some of the easiest birds to care for. If you know the basics of chicken care, then you know Australorps. They tame easily, don’t get sick often, and stay within their yards well. And since most Australorp chickens are excellent foragers, you won’t even spend much on layer feed.
You might be wondering, can Australorp chickens fly? Due to the plumpness of your Australorp chickens, they can fly. But not as well as you might think. This can be a good or a bad thing, depending on how you look at it. The good part is that they can’t get out of their run. The bad part is that your Australorps might find it challenging to get away from predators. You couldn’t ask for an easier chicken to raise.
Where To Buy Your Chicks
Finding Australorp chicks are hard to do in some areas. Black Australorps are the most common, but finding a reputable breeder for any of the other colors can be impossible at times. Most hatcheries will carry Australorps between $2-$5, but you will pay more for rare colors.
So once you find your hatchery, you will have a choice between straight runs, females or males. Straight runs are cheaper, but they contain a combination of males and females. So how do you tell if an Australorp chick is a rooster?
At younger ages, it is almost impossible to tell. After about 5-6 weeks, your chicks will start to enter their teenage phase. Roosters will start to grow longer wattles and combs. Their wattles and combs will also begin to turn a bright red color. Females will keep small wattles and combs that stay a pale pink.
Another sign of a rooster is a long saddle and hackle heathers around the neck, shoulders, and tail. Hens have short, broad, and rounded feathers. But these signs might not become more prevalent right before hens are ready to lay eggs.
A Pros And Cons Summary
Finally, Australorp chickens: read this before buying will end with quick pros and cons. Listed below are all the reasons you should go out and buy a few Australorps for your flock today.
- Perfect docile temperaments
- Winter hardy and steady eggs
- 250-300 eggs per year
- Not overly broody
- Effective immune systems and healthy chickens
- Long lifespans
- Beautiful color varieties
- And the easiest to take care of
- Not the best broilers
- Hard to get some colors
As you can see, the pros outweigh the cons tenfold. We don’t see any reason why Australorp chickens aren’t perfect for anyone. As long as you don’t have an overly dominant flock, Australorps will get along just fine.
Below is a Pinterest friendly photo…. so you can pin it to your Backyard Chicken Board!!