Brown tinted feathers on purebred Australorps?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by lvalley, Mar 18, 2012.

  1. lvalley

    lvalley New Egg

    Hi there - I am new to the chicken world and recently purchased 6 birds for my backyard flock. I have 2 Hy-lines, an Australorp pullet about 4 months old, 2 Australorp hens about 12 months old, and an Australorp rooster who is 6 months old. All the Australorps are supposed to be pure bred and are from reputable local breeders.

    The pullet and the rooster are a lovely solid black colour with a green sheen and even the soft feathers around the top of their legs / undercarriage / fluffy backsides are solid black.

    However on my two hens I have some dark brown colour tint which is a dark chocolate brown - almost black but not quite. One hen has this colour in the odd feather on her back, while the other has it on her fluffy backside feathers on her undercarriage. You don't really notice it until you compare them with the rooster and other pullet. Both hens are unrelated and are from different breeders.

    They are currently molting a bit so I'm wondering if this brown tint is normal and will go, or whether its a colour fault.

    One of the Australorp hens went broody a week after I got her and she is currently sitting on 8 eggs due later this week - eggs are a mix of both Australorp hens.

    Any advice about this brown colour issue would be appreciated!
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2012
  2. stefzbiz

    stefzbiz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 3, 2011
    Jacksonville, Fl
    Bump.. curious to see what someone might answer
  3. ChicKat

    ChicKat Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Hi Ivalley,

    Regarding the feathering of your Australorps---I do have a theory.

    You are coming off summer and going into winter down there right? Is there any possibility that your chickens feathers are sun-bleached?

    I have two barred plymouth rocks-- they fade from black and white to a mahogany brown-ish color and white from the sun bleaching their feathers. It seems that they darken in winter--but they haven't done a hard molt as yet--- they are just about 18 months old right now---so will probably do their first molt in November.

    It's just a guess, but I know that the sun can be pretty intense in there's a theory for consideration.

    BTW Welcome to the BYC forum.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2012
  4. lvalley

    lvalley New Egg

    Hi all - just to close off this thread, all my girls have now fully moulted (it's beginning of winter here in Australia) and all the old brown coloured feathers have been replaced by glossy black ones and the girls are back looking their best.

    The brown tint must have been from the sun and old worn out feathers - not helped by the fact hat both hens were broody at the time and not eating much.
  5. ChicKat

    ChicKat Chicken Obsessed Premium Member


    Thanks so much for posting back. I think that the sun really does bleach their feathers. It's nice to know your chooks are all back to normal.
  6. ltl momma

    ltl momma New Egg

    Sep 18, 2012
    We live in Arizona and began building our flock March of this year. Have 10 hens total, two of which are BLACK Australorps and one Chocolate Brown & Black (named "Roxy"). We don't know Roxy's hatch date - we bought her from a different hatchery than the others. She began laying last month, and started brooding this week which we will stop since we don't own a rooster. We've yet to go through a molt with any of our girls. Will Roxy loose her chocolate-brown feathers when she malts? I hope not. She is beautiful and stands out among the rest. I know she is not sun-bleached being that our girls free-range in Arizona's hot sun all day long and no one has changed in color. Could it have something to with brooding and malting? Is there an order for malting and brooding? Roxy is our first brooder.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by