Australorp vs ISA Brown – What is the Difference?

It is not always accurate to compare and contrast hybrid and purebred chickens like Australorp and ISA Brown. A hybrid chicken is crossbred selectively from two or several pure varieties. The process started way back in the 50s to satisfy a growing demand for meat and eggs.

On the other hand, a pure breed chicken is an offspring of two pure birds. Pure breeds are genetically predisposed to specific attributes, which makes them prone to diseases and physical weakness. That explains why breeders use hybrid chickens to overcome some of these drawbacks.

When comparing Australorp and ISA Brown chickens, it is pretty apparent that the two varieties differ but also have similar characteristics. This piece aims to give a detailed insight into the two breeds plus their differences and interesting similarities.

Australorp vs ISA Brown – Appearance & Color

Australorp is a beautiful, heavily built bird with close-fitting feathers. It has a noticeable upright stance with the tail standing high. Generally, healthy Australorps have solid full bodies and large breasts excellent for table birds. The black or blue legs are free from feathers and a sight to behold. In addition, they have white soles and four toes on every foot.

ISA Brown is also an attractive medium-sized bird with its distinct yellow to red eyes. Similar to Australorps, the tail remains upright with white feathers at the end. Also, like almost all chicken breeds, both birds have red earlobes, comb, and wattles.

When it comes to plumage color, there is a noticeable disparity between the birds. In short, ISA Brown hens have a beautiful chest brown to copper color. Surprisingly, ISA Brown cocks are white, which simplifies the sexing process at birth. Conversely, both rooster and hen Australorps chickens come in blue, white, and black.

Australorp vs ISA Brown – Size & Weight

The size and weight of the two chicken breeds vary tremendously. On average, an Australorp is a large breed hen weighing up to 6 lbs or 3 kgs. An ISA brown can weigh anything between 1 and 2kg. Both birds’ shoulder height varies from 39 cm (15 inches) for an Australorp and 32cm (12 inches) for an ISA Brown.

Additionally, an Australorp has a large body frame, giving it plenty of space to grow its massive weight. Inversely, ISA Brown chickens are short and sturdy birds.

Australorp vs ISA Brown – Temperament

The temperament of both varieties is mainly similar, and this explains their easy crossbreeding capabilities. Both chicken breeds are docile and friendly towards humans, making them great backyard birds.

They enjoy the company of people and other domesticated animals like dogs, cats, poultry, etc. If looked after well, they can get along with each other without any signs of aggression. This is a perfect trait to see in backyard free-range birds.

Though, Australorps are not the most docile chicken breeds in the world. They are fierce when they have to be and can behave aggressively towards strangers. Contrary to this, ISA Browns are very tame chickens preferred by many backyard poultry keepers due to their docile behavior.

Australorp vs ISA Brown – Which Lay More Eggs?

Both birds are pretty good egg layers. Nevertheless, experts refer to Australorp as laying machines with a peak of more than 300 eggs annually. In an ordinary coop, you can expect your hens to give approximately four or five eggs weekly. The medium-sized eggs have a tint or light brown color.

If you make a comparison between Australorp and ISA Brown egg production, the latter takes the lead with an impressive figure of roughly 350 eggs per year. Unfortunately, such high egg production affects the bird’s well-being and sometimes shortens their lifespan. All in all, their large egg varies in color from chocolate to light brown.

Australorp vs ISA Brown – Which is Better for Meat?

Australorps and ISA Brown are table fowl, meaning that they are suitable for meat production. However, the Australorps are way more popular in this area due to their larger size. This attribute makes them more cost-effective because a larger bird generally produces more meat. If you want to pursue Australorp farming, you may end up spending less for a similar-sized flock.

In contrast, ISA Brown is not that much in demand. This is because they grow in a smaller size and at a slower rate when compared to Australorps. Nonetheless, you will still get your money’s worth in the long run, thanks to ISA Brown’s high egg production capabilities.

Australorp vs ISA Brown – Care & Requirements

Regardless of their different body size, both chicken breeds are relatively easy to manage. When choosing a breed, the main factors to look for include the climate, temperature, humidity levels, housing designs, and facilities. In general, both chickens are cold-weather birds meaning that they do well within temperatures between 0-25 degrees C.

The right coop size for both birds is approximately 2m x 1.5 m or 7 feet x 5 feet per bird or chicken, respectively. Given that both birds are flightless, the enclosure must have adequate ventilation to allow enough airflow within. If you live in a warm region, make sure to research the proper coop temperatures for each breed.

Remember that both chickens are hardy and resilient to most poultry ailments when it comes to health requirements. Still, it would help to keep them vaccinated against common poultry diseases like typhoid. Both birds also need a healthy diet that focuses on good grain and protein levels. In addition, freshwater supply must be available at all times.


Indisputably, Australorps and ISA Browns are a perfect choice for beginner chicken farmers because they are pretty easy to care for and very hardy. The only significant difference lies in egg production and weight. If you want a hardy backyard chicken that produces plenty of eggs, Australorps are the way to go.

All the same, ISA Browns will give you an equal supply of eggs and table meat, depending on their size. If you want a calm bird that is great for smaller children, go with ISA Brown. They are also better suited for indoor raising if you live in a small backyard. Based on the information mentioned above, the final choice is all yours.

avatar James
Hey, I'm James, a hardworking homesteader for more than 30 years. I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment that comes from tending my flock. I've raised chickens and ducks for eggs and meat for many years. I also have experience with other poultry too. Learn more

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