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Black Australorp

Black Australorp roosterWe've now played with seven varieties of chickens, and Black Australorps are currently in first or second place.

Egg-laying abilities
As the name suggests, Black Australorps were developed Down Under from Orpington chickens at the turn of the twentieth century.  In the 1920s, Australorps became famous for laying an average of 309.5 eggs per hen per year, a figure that compares favorably with current modern hybrids.  One Australorp hen laid 364 eggs in another year.  However, most Australorps clock in closer to an average of 250 eggs per year.

So far, I haven't been as impressed by the egg-laying abilities of our Australorps as I'd hoped.  Compared to our Golden Comets (a hybrid egg-laying breed), Australorp eggs seem small and not as numerous.  Our pullets stopped laying when stressed this winter, but, to be fair, I started the pullets late in the spring and they weren't in full lay.  Black Australorp pulletI'll report more on how the Australorps do in the egg department next year.

Behavior
In every other way, our Australorps have been pros.  They've foraged better than any other breed, coming in first among this year's breeds in feed to meat ratio.  They're on the shy side, which turns out to be a positive point since it tempts them to hunt in the woods rather than in my garden.  And the rooster is always on watch for predators but has yet to act aggressively toward me.

Some sources suggest that Australorps even make good mothers.  We added the Cuckoo Marans to our flock for that purpose, but would be thrilled if an Australorp hen or two decided to set this spring.

Our chicken waterer never spills on uneven terrain or when faced with rowdy chickens.


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The Black Australorp is one of the breeds we are seriously considering. Your post validates the other info that I've read. Everything so far indicates they would be a good fit for us, especially the foraging.
Comment by Jonathan late Wednesday evening, January 30th, 2013
Jonathan --- They're definitely one of our favorites! The only negative I'd add as followup is that they're not the best winter layers. We're thinking of adding a couple of modern hybrids to the flock to boost winter egg production.
Comment by anna Thursday afternoon, January 31st, 2013






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