RIR's vs Australorps


7 Years
Jul 20, 2013
Got my first chicks (RIR) in April of 2015 - 3 of them. These girls have been great - laying well, get along fine with each other - are very "cocky" and take care of themselves around my 4 dogs! I would like to add 2 more girls to my flock and was considering getting Australorps

My question - will the Australorps be a good match with the RIR's? I understand they can be very passive so was wondering if I should consider another breed? Also is 2 OK or should I get 3 so they are more evenly matched? My coop is only large enough for 6 maximum. I like the large heavier breeds as we have multiple predators in our area (coyotes, hawks, etc)

So enjoying my girls - if I'd known chickens could be so much fun, I would have gotten them a long time ago!

Thanks for your help


Chicken Girl1

Queen of the Coop
6 Years
Mar 3, 2015

I have both RIRs and Black Australorps and they are both great breeds. I would recommend them definitely!


7 Years
Jul 20, 2013
Yes I've heard Australorps are great layers and very sweet. However the RIR's that I have are fairly aggressive so I was concerned about getting a breed like Australorps. I would get them as chicks but of course introduce them when they are older (couple months?)

Thanks for your help



10 Years
Oct 16, 2010
Exactly. 4 months is about right with Production Reds (hatchery RIR) in a flock. They are relentless on new birds. The birds need to be of very good size to withstand the beating and integration took 2 weeks when I had Production Reds in the flock. Great birds and great with people but hate new flock mates. Once they all flock together there is no issue what so ever. It's that integration period that will be hard and believe it would be that way with any breed of bird introduced. They beat on Leghorn and they beat on Plymouth Rocks and they beat on Orpington. Didn't matter what it was, integration was hard. Provide cover area for new birds to retreat to and extra feeder so new bids wont be pushed off feeder and don't intervene unless there is injury or you just have to start all over again. I paint a picture of horror and don't mean to bash a bird. I did really enjoy the Production Reds but they are jerks to non flock animals and take a bit longer to accept new flock mates.


In the Brooder
Aug 29, 2015
I've been building my flock for the past year. I have a mix. My one RIR is the top hen. When I added this last batch (2 Australorps and 3 Orpingtons), I had one Black Lorp immediately start trying to take over. Mind you, this is after quarantine and 3 weeks see, no touch. After 2 months in the flock, that one is now totally separated because she killed one of my Orpingtons. They are absolutely the most docile hens I've seen, run from a shadow, so she was no threat to her position at all. She just decided to bully the Orphs for some reason and before I could catch on, had killed one. Still debating if she's going to live or go in the pot. She's got to convince me her egg production is worth keeping her for. I haven't found either of the Lorps to be great layers yet. They are 10 months old. The Orphs are 8 months and substantially bigger birds. The one that was killed was about 12 pounds. There wasn't enough physical damage to cause death, but her back end was torn up. I think the stress of being attacked and chased around the pen killed her. My other Black Australorp is still in the group, after I figured out who the bully was, I put her back. She's intergrated well at the moment. She's in the middle. Not aggressive but not passive either. We'll see how it goes. She's not laying yet either so I'm not impressed with their so called prolific laying status. Sorry I can't help here, but just wanted to say that in my limited experience, the Black Australorps are not docile birds and have no trouble with RIR.


8 Years
Apr 12, 2011
Op, as you might surmise, choosing the breed is not the tough part, integration regardless of breed, is. Study up and be ready.


11 Years
Mar 29, 2009
Coastal Southern California
I just got three new day-old chicks - a BO, an Australorp and a RIR. Within ten minutes, literally on the way home from the farm, the RIR was ferociously pecking at the other two, who, true to their breeds, just stood there, not reacting.

It got worse once we were home and they were in their brooder. She was just murderous! Pecking at their feet, pecking at their eyes. Would not stop! And the sweet little BO and Australorp just took it. We were horrified. My husband wanted to dispatch Miss RIR on the spot but I couldn't have that on my conscience, so he added a divider to the cardboard brooder and let her sit the night out by herself.

Day Two we put her in with the others again and the first several times she ran right over to them and began pecking again. I immediately removed her each time. By late afternoon, she either got the message or moved to a new phase or divine intervention or something. She settled down and the three of them have been thick as thieves ever since. I still see her give the occasional peck but nothing like that first day.

After that little adventure, I suspect she is going to become a favorite. And when it's time to move this trio in with my adult hens, I suspect she will be the trailblazer. Kind of looking forward to putting her up against my bullying EE...

Happily ever after: Miss RIR on the right, looking perfectly innocent (and plotting her next move)


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