Australorps are the Australian-made boomerang breed. They were developed from
the original 'Black Orpingtons' imported from the English yards of William
Cook and Joseph Partington at the turn of the century. It should be noted
that the Partington strain were looser in feather and resembled closer to the
present day Orpington whereas many believe Australorps are a direct descendant
of the Cook strain.
This was the start of their evolution as Australian breeders perfected their
utility qualities from careful selection and outcrosses with other breeds.
Australorps were launched internationally in the 1920's when they attracted
world attention by setting a world egg record. Demands flooded in from all
around the world which saw large numbers exported back to the shores of
With such a good past, its not surprising that Australorp fanciers still take
out major awards at shows all around Australia. They are also popular amongst
'backyard' breeders for the 'home flock' being a true utility breed. They
supply an abundance of brown eggs even in the Winter months, white fleshed
meat, and will successfully go broody. Above all they have a wonderful
temperament with their docile nature and uniform appearance. Who could ask
Australia's standard for Australorps is very similar to that of the British
Poultry Standard (BPS) although the BPS pictures does little for the breeds
they represent. I much prefer 'idealistic pictures' as below so that it can
be firmly imprinted in ones mind of the goal breeders strive to attain to
It would be easy to assume that a bird with clean black legs, eye, beak and
feather would be easy to perfect, but little is from the truth. A top
Australorp Demands a tight feathered fowl, fine in texture and large in size
with near perfect head points and a nice outline. It should be in top health
and condition with a glossy beetle green sheen to its plumage. You also have
to watch out for problems of purple sheen, slate legs, light eyes. loose
feathering, excessively heavy boned, feather stubs and signs of gypsy face
which is often seen in the bantams. We could all pick out the 'glossiest'
Australorp in a class, but it may be prove to be the worst one in the line.
It could be out of 'balance' or coarse in bone with poor head points.
Remember no matter what breed, always judge the bird as a whole and not on
exaggerated 'fancy' points.
There are some very good Australorp bantams in Australia that have been in
appearance for many years but I am not familiar with their history or
development. Colours other than black have never really taken off in Australia but
there have been white 'sports' recorded and its interesting to note that Blue
bantams are standardised but seldem seen.