Australorps maturity

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Resi, Feb 6, 2017.

  1. Resi

    Resi Just Hatched

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    Dec 10, 2016
    Hello chook-peeps! hope you are all well.

    I have 2 black Australorp that were born on 18 September. They are a cockerel and a hen, siblings.
    my questions are:

    1. At what age should I expect for the hen to start laying? it's been 4 months and 21 day (not that I am counting!)

    2. The cockerel is a right bugger, friendly with us humans, but keeps the other hens from reaching food, peck and pushes them of the top roost and generally has a go at them. Is this ok behaviour and therefore to ignore? I have another Silver Speckled Hamburg cockerel and he has already lost the battle with the Australorp...
    As he's the brother of the other Australorp, he will be sent to the oven-heaven. What is the best age to 'dispatch' him? he seems rather small underneath all those feathers!

    thank as always for your help!

    ttfn, Resi
     
  2. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    Wonderful breed those Black Australorps!! They are the main focus in my flock and I will never keep a flock of chickens with at least a few Aussies in them! :)

    Aussies generally start laying after 24 weeks of age. But this is not written in stone and some hold off till their 28th or so week.

    No this is not good behavior for a rooster or cockeral and I think you need to pull this one out of the flock. Roosters usually let the hens eat first, for going all food until they are done, so if he is preventing them from eating, something is amiss with this boy. Birds should never be pushed away from food at any time and this can cause health problems and even death. This could be the reason they are not laying yet, not enough sustenance.

    The proper ratio of rooster to hen is 1 roo to 7 to 10 hens. Any less and they can mate the hens to death, especially if there are 2 roos.

    12 to 14 weeks is a good time to butcher up extra cockerels. The meat can get stringy and tough if they get too old.

    Good luck with your Aussies! You don't need a rooster to get eggs. The hens much prefer the absence of a rooster and live healthier lives without them, but there is nothing better than the sound of a rooster crowing each morning! Your choice. [​IMG]
     
  3. Molpet

    Molpet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 7, 2015
    N. Illinois
    X2 above post
    young cockerels make good fryers [​IMG] just a little small
    but I find the cockerels to be meatiest at around 6 months...if they don't drive the hens nuts before then....I separate them from the main flock... I rest them in the refrigerator for 3 days after processing and then freeze or cook at a low temp with some liquid until falling off the bone.. the older they are the lower temp and longer you have to cook .. but they have more flavor.
     

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