This breed originated in Australia. It was developed from Black Orpingtons imported from England; and the goal of the breeding program was to increase egg production without sacrificing too much in size and meat quality. Some of the major results were made in the Australian program, one was a hen set a laying record of 364 eggs in 365 days. Introduced into the United States in the 1920's, they have become very popular and are one of the best layers of light brown eggs. A Black Australorp has glossy black plumage which has a greenish-purple sheen and a larger than average bright red comb make it a very handsome bird. They are big birds, the males weigh 6 to 8 pounds at maturity and females 5 to 7. They have a pinkish white skin and fat, round bodies which make them look very nice once the bird is full grown. The females mature early and many will start to lay between 5 and 6 months of age. The males make excellent show birds with their beautiful colors and huge size.
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