The Ameraucana breed was formulated and standardized, primarily in the north central U.S., to provide a colored egg fowl possessing practical and true-breeding characteristics.
Ameraucanas were recognized as a separate and distinct breed in the early 1980's
The Australorp was developed, not surprizingly, in Australia from Orpington stock. It is noted for its egg production, and although smaller than the Orpingtons (Australorp cocks weigh about 8 1/2 pounds compared to an Orpington's 10 pounds) they still carry a fair amount of meat. Their skin is white. They are active birds that lay tinted eggs. With a greenish sheen to their black plumage, a flock of 'Lorps looks quite lovely on the lawn on sunny days.
Cuckoo Marans are a very rare breed of chicken that has black and white banded feathers similar in appearance to a barred rock. The breed originated in Marans, a town on the Atlantic coast, near La Rochelle (France). In the 12th century, with the marriage of Henri of Plantagenet, Duke of Anjou, who became Henri II of England, to Aleanor of Aquitaine a part of the south west of France was brought under English rule as part of her dowry The English domination lasted two centuries. So, English ships often stopped over at La Rochelle (near Marans) and unloaded fighting cocks which were crossbred to local hens, ultimately resulting in this unique breed.
The males are lighter colored than females. The Maran's eggs are a distinctive dark chocolate brown color.