The Chicken Profiler-Black Australorps

For part three of my Chicken Profiler Series, I am going to talk about the Australorp.

We had two of these black beauties in our original flock of 8, and we named them Astrid and Na (short for Not Astrid).

Australorp chickens come in one recognized color in America,  black- but it is a deep black with blue, purple and green tints to it in the sun. In their home country, there are three recognized colors, white blue and black. In South Africa, they also recognize buff, splash, wheaten laced and golden.  Their feathers are sleek and relatively close fitting to their bodies.

They have a single comb, that varies in size as you can tell from pictures of Astrid and Na.

The history of the Australorp is kinda crazy. They were bred from the chicken yards of William Cook, from the orpington line. So heavily, in fact, that for years they were referred to as “Black Laying Australian Orpingtons” or “Australian Utility Black Orpingtons” although they had Minorca, White Leghorn, Rhode Island Red, Langshan and (rumored) Plymouth Rock cross bred into them. They crossed these lines to help increase egg production and get rid of the broodiness that orpingtons seem prone to.

The name they settled on “Austral – Orp” clearly signifies the two main components of their breeding and was officially settled on in 1925. The Australorp was recognized by the American Poultry Association and the American Standard of Perfection in 1929.

These girls were amazing chickens – they laid large, beautiful tinted eggs, dealt well with both heat and cold and were friendly to boot. They were also good foragers, always finding worms that the other jealous girls would chase after them for. They were good sized chickens, weighing in at under 7lbs each at maturity.

We lost Astrid to acute liver failure when she was 3 and a half – the assumption was genetics as she wasn’t over weight. 

Na we lost with 9 other girls during the bobcat attack of 2017

Well, I’d say that’s enough reminiscing today….

Until next time, have a wicked good day.




The Livestock Conservancy

Mother Earth News


Published by gillisgardensllc

This is the official website for Gillis Gardens, LLC. Gillis Gardens is a farm, run by myself and my wonderful husband. We believe in biodiversity, organic growing methods and doing things ourselves. I knit, crochet, make jewelry and sew. MrGillis builds, doing everything from our plumbing to our mechanical to our renovations. We are both active members of our little community. We both take care of the plants and animals. He weeds, I harvest. He spreads manure, I plant. We raise multiple breeds of chickens for eggs and meat. We have a herd of Alpacas that we shear every year for their beautiful fiber, which we then have milled into ultra luxurious yarn. We make our own maple syrup, preserves and pickles. We raise bees for honey and herbs for medicine. We also raise pigs for meat and fun. We are the parents of two young children, and consider that our most important job. Follow our adventures here and also on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.

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