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Tell me about the Black Australorp

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I am about to place an order from Meyer Hatchery for what will become my replacement hens. I had planned on getting some Barred Rocks & RIR (and eventually some Leghorns to thrown in a few white eggs now and again). I noticed they had Black Australorp available for immediate shipment. According to their description, they lay 5+ eggs per week, even better than their claim for the RIR (4+).

 

This coming year we are trying to increase egg production, as my youngest is becoming quite the egg entrepreneur. But, I want a true breed. Also, the bird has to be something that I would let hatch out on their own (pullets=future hens, cockerels=future dinner).

 

Anyone familiar with this breed? Downsides? Is the egg production really that good?

My "farm" includes 1 Border Collie, 9 heritage breed hens, 1 Barred Rock rooster, 4 Dark Cornish, and 3 Pilgrim Geese. I'm blessed by a loving Lord with 3 great children and a beautiful wife--who is my greatest friend and love, next to Christ.

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My "farm" includes 1 Border Collie, 9 heritage breed hens, 1 Barred Rock rooster, 4 Dark Cornish, and 3 Pilgrim Geese. I'm blessed by a loving Lord with 3 great children and a beautiful wife--who is my greatest friend and love, next to Christ.

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post #2 of 10

I have had in the past and now have BA's. (There was about 10 years between flocks since I moved to town.)

IMO they are one of the most even tempered birds you can find.

The photos never do them true justice since the green sheen is hard to capture on film.

Yes they lay that well. I have never found any that compare with the BA's ability to cope with weather changes and still lay large perfect eggs. No drop off in the winter with the old flock I had.

I had them for 5 years and never noticed a decline in the production.

 

I say get them. But that is just me lol.

I looked at Meyer and the pic of the eggs is a good one. Mine look just like those.

The hen is a nice example, you just cannot see her green.

 

Mine have all been calm and fairly easily handled. My old flock was much larger than my now flock.

I had 28 BA's and some assorted others for color. I found the RIR I had made a ruckus picking on the BA's so I found them a different home. I never had a problem bringing in a single hen with my BA's. They were all very calm about things.

 

Well I was going to add a pic but alas the method eludes me at this time.


Edited by citychickx6 - 1/21/12 at 4:27pm
Life is to short to fuss and argue over the small things.
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Life is to short to fuss and argue over the small things.
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post #3 of 10

I have only been raising chickens for 8 months or so and only have 4 birds, 2 which ar BA's.  I love um.  They are great.  My 2 favorites, easy going and well mannored..Seem to be pretty good layers as well

1 Delaware, 2 Black Australorps and 1 EE

Adapt, engineer and overcome
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1 Delaware, 2 Black Australorps and 1 EE

Adapt, engineer and overcome
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post #4 of 10

I've had BAs for about six years.

Egg production is quite good, and the breed has proven hardy to my weather conditions (bracing winters, strong winds, hot, humid summers).

The are about the sweetest birds out there. The only possibly gentler birds that I have encountered were a couple Turkens, but the BAs are so well-tempered. I've not had one bite me when gathering eggs, even when they're broody. And I have several BAs that go consistently broody.

The ones that go broody make excellent chick mothers. I don't have a dedicated broody box yet to separate the brooding hen, so when I have one start sitting, I mark the eggs, and order chicks to arrive three weeks from the start of "incubation." My BAs have always adopted every chick that I gave them (one that we dubbed "Big Momma" adopted 25 at one time) with zero chick rejections. One non-broody BA even chick-napped one of the little ones to raise herself, which is a rather unusual phenomenon. 

Our BAs are getting on in years (we run a mixed flock), so the first order this year I plan to get another two dozen BAs to make sure that we are never lacking a hen that is willing to rear the future flock.

Mommy to one daughter, 33 hens, 2 roosters, a cat, a dog, a useless horse.

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Mommy to one daughter, 33 hens, 2 roosters, a cat, a dog, a useless horse.

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post #5 of 10

There is something really pretty about an all black chicken.  It makes their combs and wattles look extra nice.  Australorps also have dark peaceful eyes and a pretty green sheen in the sunlight.  Our Australorp is the best egg layer in our flock.  My only complaint is that her eggs are so large they barely fit in our cartons.  Delicious but it is actually kind of irritating.

 

 

post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
I've never tried letting my girls hatch out and/or raise their young while keeping them in an established flock. I've always seperated. How well does it work keeping the mother/chicks in with the rest of rhe chikens?

My "farm" includes 1 Border Collie, 9 heritage breed hens, 1 Barred Rock rooster, 4 Dark Cornish, and 3 Pilgrim Geese. I'm blessed by a loving Lord with 3 great children and a beautiful wife--who is my greatest friend and love, next to Christ.

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My "farm" includes 1 Border Collie, 9 heritage breed hens, 1 Barred Rock rooster, 4 Dark Cornish, and 3 Pilgrim Geese. I'm blessed by a loving Lord with 3 great children and a beautiful wife--who is my greatest friend and love, next to Christ.

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post #7 of 10

In CO, I had a flock of black aussies and bared rocks. I averaged 15-16 eggs a day from 18-20 hens, even in cold weather

post #8 of 10

I have barred rocks, white rocks, slw, buff and black orpingtons and aussies. The aussies are my best layers and mine go broody more than the orps do and are good mothers, in fact one of my girls will steal chicks from other hens if she can. I think you will like them.


Edited by DanEP - 1/22/12 at 7:11pm
If  you ain't the lead dog the view never changes!
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If  you ain't the lead dog the view never changes!
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post #9 of 10

We recently switched our mixed flock to 100% Australorp.  After trying Brahmas, Delawares, and Plymouth Rocks, we found the Australorp best met our needs for a breed that is friendly and mellow, good laying, good broodiness, decent carcass - and they're not too hard to look at.  Especially contrasting with our Midget White turkeys.

 

I have six pullets from Meyer stock.  They definitely have "squirrel tails" (sticking nearly straight up) instead of the lower angle required by the show standard - but of course hatchery quality is hatchery quality.  They are noticeably larger and friendlier than those I've hatched here.

 

Bryan

 

Hi!  I'm Bryan, and Smiles-N-Sunshine is my hobby farm.

 

Smiles-N-Sunshine Farm (Palominas, Arizona):  Black Australorp chickens, Khaki Campbell ducks, New Zealand White rabbits, Midget White turkeys, redworms, and mealworms.
 

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Hi!  I'm Bryan, and Smiles-N-Sunshine is my hobby farm.

 

Smiles-N-Sunshine Farm (Palominas, Arizona):  Black Australorp chickens, Khaki Campbell ducks, New Zealand White rabbits, Midget White turkeys, redworms, and mealworms.
 

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post #10 of 10

Agree with other posters.   The BA is a great egg layer, nice size and very sweet personality.   I also love their "soft" dark eyes unlike the bay eyes on so many chickens.   I loved these chickens.  The only caveat I would add is that our local fox loved these chickens too.  Next to the polish the BA's were always the first taken.  If you confine your chickens they should be fine, but if they free range I wouldn't get the BA.  They don't seem to have as strong of a survival instinct as say a leghorn.

~ Tru

 

Raising these Fantastic 5 LF breeds - Basque, Black Langshan, Cream Legbar, Mottled Houdan & Rhode Island Red (RC)

Adding White Dorkings in 2014

 

NPIP-AI Certified

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~ Tru

 

Raising these Fantastic 5 LF breeds - Basque, Black Langshan, Cream Legbar, Mottled Houdan & Rhode Island Red (RC)

Adding White Dorkings in 2014

 

NPIP-AI Certified

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