The Australorp was developed in Australia in 1890 by breeding Rhode Island Reds with Orpingtons. There was a lot of controversy created in naming this bird as some suggested it be called Australs and others Australian Utility Orpingtons. Eventually they settled on the name Australorps being short for Australian Orpingtons.
They come in both standard size, with the hen weighing an average of 7.3-9.2 lbs and cock 8.6-10.3 lbs, and Bantam weighing 1.7 lbs for hen and 3.7 lbs for cocks. Black is the most popular color due to its luscious black coat of feathers featuring a greenish tint or sheen along its back made visible through sunlight. It also comes in white, blue or splash.
Australorps are utility birds good for meat and strong egg production, generally producing 5 light brown medium eggs per week. In 1922 they broke a record for laying 310 eggs in a single 365 day calendar year and later broke that record by laying 365 eggs in a full single calendar year. Do to these records they became a popular choice with orders flooding in from USA, England, Canada, Mexico, and South Africa. They were admitted as a breed by the standard of perfection in 1984. They have since declined in popularity due to development of bigger birds or those laying bigger eggs.
I would recommend adding Australorps to any flock whether you are a beginner or seasoned pro at chicken handling. They are extremely docile with great temperament. They are easily handled and welcome all other birds to their flock no matter what breed they are. As you can see in the pictures I have included I have had my black Australorp penned with Ameraucanas, Barred Rocks, and Rhode Island Reds.