Kurt, my first name is Cheryl. Nice to know that you have some that do go broody. I've heard that while rare, a few can, and do go broody. When, and if I get to the point that I'm set up, and ready for a second line, I will contact you.
I pulled this from Wikipedia: It was the egg laying performance of Australorps that attracted world attention when in 1922-23 a team of six hens set a world record by laying 1,857 eggs for an average of 309.5 eggs per hen during a 365 consecutive day trial. It must be remembered that these figures were achieved without the lighting regimes of the modern intensive shed. Such performances had importation orders flooding in from England, United States of America, South Africa, Canada and Mexico. Well looked after Australorps lay approximately 250 light-brown eggs per year. A new record was set when a hen laid 364 eggs in 365 days.They are also known to be good nest sitters and mothers, making them one of the most exceptional large, heritage utility breeds of chicken.
Matt, I agree that being bred for higher production would preclude them from being overly broody, however, it seems unlikely that the breed has been able to survive extinction, especially from the 20's to the 50's without being able to hatch out their own offspring. I'm not sure how reliable the information is in Wikipedia, and some of the other older publications, but if they are to be believed, other than the exceptional one or two that set the laying records, they laid an average of 250 eggs a year, which left time for them to be good broodies, and mothers.
It's my understanding that back in the day, many farmers would grab the best representation of their flock right out of their yard, and take them to show them. Yes, I know things have changed since then, but it still seems less likely that the best lines of the breed will survive the next 100 years if they can't hatch out their own offspring.
The reason I started thinking about this, is that it would be nice that my children, grandchildren, and possibly my great grandchildren could be able to continue successfully with what I've started, which would be a lot easier to do without them having to resort to incubators, or having to keep another breed of hens to hatch out the eggs, yet still be able to maintain the standards.
Cheryl, I understand but I believe throughout their existence people have had the capability of incubating the eggs so there is really no reason for them to have to hatch their own offspring. There are many breeds of chickens in the show world that are not only not broody but completely incapable of breeding successfully. I am talking to the point that every one produced is from artificial insemination. These breeds have been this way for a long time and continue to flourish due to interest of exhibitors. Not being a traditionalist I feel like it is not really necessary for them to hatch their own as we have incubators to do it for us. I actually discourage broodiness in all my breeds of birds and will get rid of a line that consistently goes broody.