Australorp Hen - Origin and Characteristics

Australorp hen: find out what this animal is like, its physical characteristics, character, behavior, etc. Birds have a variety of characteristics of great interest, wh...

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Birds have a variety of valuable characteristics that allow them to thrive in different types of habitats. For this reason, many species have been domesticated, one of them being what we generally call hens and roosters. These domestic birds have considerable phenotypic diversity. In fact, chickens are even considered to be one of the most varied species. There are many types of these birds, and one of them is the Australorp hen, which we are going to tell you about in this AnimalPlanet article.


  • Oceania
  • Australia

Origin of the Australorp hen

The origin of the Australorp hen breed dates back to the late 1800s and early 1900s when birds of the breed known as the Black Orpington were brought from England to Australia . Later, in Australia, several crosses of these birds were made with varieties such as the Menorcan Hen, the White Leghorns and the Langshans, which resulted in the birth of the Australorp breed.

Or, its name is a combination of Australia and Orpington, that is to say that we combined the names of the country where the crosses were made and of the first variety of which it is from. On the other hand, according to studies, only one variety of the breed is native to Australia, in fact, the rest of the varieties that have other colors, were created in South Africa.

Characteristics of the Australorp hen

Some of the characteristics of the Australian purebred hen are:

  • It's a big bird: sturdy and heavy.
  • They show sexual dimorphism: the mass reached by males varies between 3.8 and 4.5 kg, while that of females is 2.9 to 3.6 kg. If you want to know more about sexual dimorphism, its definition, curiosities and examples, do not hesitate to click on the previous link.
  • Portrait: it is erect, and the tail is held high.
  • Chest: it is rounded and protrudes forward, but without being excessively protruding.
  • Crest, barbel, earlobes: red in color.
  • It has a comb: straight and it has up to about six points or less.
  • Eyes: deep black and the beak is also dark.
  • It has thighs: covered with feathers, but the tarsi are devoid of feathers, on which we can see a greyish, black or bluish coloring. As for the toes, this hen has four toes.
  • Plumage: soft, snug to the body. In Australia, the black, white and blue varieties are recognized, but in the United States only the original color, which is black, is accepted. In South Africa, however, other variations such as golden, hazel or tan and spotted are also accepted. Another aspect is that black birds, when exposed to sunlight, have a metallic green tint to various parts of their bodies, which undoubtedly makes them very beautiful birds.
  • It has wings: they are relatively large and folded over the body.

General information about the Australorp hen

Here are some of the generalities of the Aussie hen:

  • They are considered one of the best layers: they lay up to 300 eggs per year.
  • They are brown or cream in color and weigh between 56 and 58 grams on average.
  • These birds are considered protective mothers: they start laying eggs at around 5 months of age.
  • They are very docile: In fact, it is also for this reason that they are sought after as pets, insofar as they attach themselves to their guardians, in the same way as other pets. On the other hand, they can coexist perfectly with other birds or animals without this causing any problems. In the case of coexistence with more territorial or dominant birds, care must be taken with the Australorp, as it will be very shy. You may be interested in this article about the hen as a pet.
  • It is an active bird: although it has a good adaptability both to closed enclosures and to open spaces, the latter are recommended and necessary, since it rarely performs short flights. They like to move around, especially in search of insects and worms, which they easily consume.
  • They tend to adapt well to the climate: both warm and temperate temperatures, although it is always better to avoid sudden variations in order to protect their he alth.
  • It requires a complete diet: since mixed foods, whether commercial or prepared, must always contain all the protein, carbohydrates, fats and minerals needed, they are a good option in this regard. You have to be careful, because as they grow quickly, they can put on a little more weight than recommended, so you also have to give them space to move.What do chickens eat, find out the answer in this post that we offer you.
  • The Australian hen has a long lifespan: its autonomy is 6 to 10 years, but it can even be longer if it is given ideal conditions of space and food.

Curiosities about the Australorp hen

Between 1922 and 1923, a competition was set up to assess how many eggs different breeds of chickens were able to lay in that year. The result was that six females of the Australorp breed broke the world record, as they laid a total of 1,857 eggs, which undoubtedly put this animal in the sights of producers worldwide, and then spread as a mainly laying hen.

At PlanèteAnimal, we always recommend that pets receive excellent treatment and are in appropriate conditions to guarantee their he alth and good condition.All animals, whether wild or domestic, have the right to a decent life.

Australorp Hen Pictures

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