RIR VS Black Australorp

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by nfd3099, Nov 21, 2014.

  1. nfd3099

    nfd3099 New Egg

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    Nov 21, 2014
    Hello!

    This is my very first time posting, so please go easy in me :). I currently have a flock of barred rocks that I absolutely love. Thinking about starting about 50 more layers but I can't decide which variety I want. RIR or the australorp. I like the reds for their ability to forage and free range well which is important because my operation is free range, organic and GMO free. And it is my understanding that the BA has the same characteristics. I have no experience with either, I will want roosters and I have a five year old child. I want excellent egg production and good free range and foraging while also being docile and not too agressive. The too I have now pays my little one no attention. So far he has been great. Any suggestions between the two is appreciated :)
     
  2. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    I've had both RIRs and BAs over the years (still have BAs), and while both are good, dependable breeds, I personally prefer the Black Australorps (obviously not everyone is going to agree with me). Both breeds are very hardy, especially cold hardy, but the BAs take high heat better than the RIRs. When the temperatures reach a high enough point that RIRs begin panting and raising their wings, BAs are still going about their business uninterrupted. Also, BAs are the more calm and gentle breed. RIRs are sometimes aggressive (especially the roosters), but I have never had an aggressive BA (of course there can always be a exception to any breed). My children made lap pets out of our BAs, something they were never very successful in doing with our RIRs. Both RIRs and BAs are excellent layers, but my best BAs have outlayed my best RIRs. I have done meticulous egg counts on the various breeds I've raised over the years, and I've had a few BAs exceed 300 eggs in a year. I never had an RIR reach that level of production (about 280 tops). Both are excellent breeds, but at least as far as my personal criteria is concerned, the Black Australorp is the slightly superior breed of the two. Whichever breed you decide to go with, good luck with your flock.
     
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Get some of each [​IMG]. Seriously, with that number of birds, why limit yourself? Honestly, from a hatchery they're all going to be about the same, production wise. Hatchery Reds have some reputation for bad temperament, but it's always a roll of the dice. If you're really looking for production, I'd toss in some red sex links.
     
  4. nfd3099

    nfd3099 New Egg

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    Nov 21, 2014
    I have heard red sex links have some pretty bad health problems? I have considered them just do not know that much about them.
     
  5. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    X2 on that. Or else some Black Sex Links. Any of the sex links are egg laying machines. I've had both Black and Red Sex Links over the years (still have Blacks), and the sex links have been my best layers, consistently churning out more than 300 eggs per hen per year.
     
  6. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    I've never had any health problems with either Red or Black Sex Links, although their laying life is typically shorter than that of BAs and RIRs. Sex Links put so much energy into their abnormal lay rate that they usually burn out after a couple of years. I have had a few of the Black Sex Links still laying decently at 3 years or so.
     
  7. nfd3099

    nfd3099 New Egg

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    How are they at foraging and free ranging? And how is their temperament?
     
  8. Highcotton

    Highcotton Southern Chickens

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    My Red Sex Links lay the largest eggs of any of my chickens. They are also are the friendliest. I also have Black Australorps. You said that you want roosters. That is where the problem lies. The RSlL is a cross. You would have to have roosters of one breed and hens of another breed to produce Red Sex Links.
     
  9. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    Sex Links forage as well as RIRs and BAs do. As are as temperament, mine have been friendly (more so than my RIRs), particularly my Black Sex Links, but they have not been quite the lap pets that my BAs have.
     
  10. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    X2 on that (including my Black Sex Links as well), and double yolks are not uncommon, particularly with my Black Sex Links. Hagar3 is right though about sex links being hybrids. Red Sex Links are produced by crossing a red gene rooster with a silver gene hen, and Black Sex Links are produced by crossing a red gene rooster with a barred gene hen. The resulting offspring can not only be sexed by color at hatching, but they are egg laying machines, outlaying either parent breed. It's one of the interesting quirks of hybridization. Therein lies the rub though; because they are hybrids and will not breed true, you will have to order them from hatcheries to replenish your stock. With BAs or RIRs, which are true breeds, you can breed identical offspring yourself.
     

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