Tell me about the Black Australorp

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Country Parson, Jan 21, 2012.

  1. Country Parson

    Country Parson Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am about to place an order from Meyer Hatchery for what will become my replacement hens. I had planned on getting some Barred Rocks & RIR (and eventually some Leghorns to thrown in a few white eggs now and again). I noticed they had Black Australorp available for immediate shipment. According to their description, they lay 5+ eggs per week, even better than their claim for the RIR (4+).

    This coming year we are trying to increase egg production, as my youngest is becoming quite the egg entrepreneur. But, I want a true breed. Also, the bird has to be something that I would let hatch out on their own (pullets=future hens, cockerels=future dinner).

    Anyone familiar with this breed? Downsides? Is the egg production really that good?
     
  2. citychickx6

    citychickx6 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have had in the past and now have BA's. (There was about 10 years between flocks since I moved to town.)
    IMO they are one of the most even tempered birds you can find.
    The photos never do them true justice since the green sheen is hard to capture on film.
    Yes they lay that well. I have never found any that compare with the BA's ability to cope with weather changes and still lay large perfect eggs. No drop off in the winter with the old flock I had.
    I had them for 5 years and never noticed a decline in the production.

    I say get them. But that is just me lol.
    I looked at Meyer and the pic of the eggs is a good one. Mine look just like those.
    The hen is a nice example, you just cannot see her green.

    Mine have all been calm and fairly easily handled. My old flock was much larger than my now flock.
    I had 28 BA's and some assorted others for color. I found the RIR I had made a ruckus picking on the BA's so I found them a different home. I never had a problem bringing in a single hen with my BA's. They were all very calm about things.

    Well I was going to add a pic but alas the method eludes me at this time.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2012
  3. bleith

    bleith Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have only been raising chickens for 8 months or so and only have 4 birds, 2 which ar BA's. I love um. They are great. My 2 favorites, easy going and well mannored..Seem to be pretty good layers as well
     
  4. ralleia

    ralleia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Omaha, NE
    I've had BAs for about six years.

    Egg production is quite good, and the breed has proven hardy to my weather conditions (bracing winters, strong winds, hot, humid summers).

    The are about the sweetest birds out there. The only possibly gentler birds that I have encountered were a couple Turkens, but the BAs are so well-tempered. I've not had one bite me when gathering eggs, even when they're broody. And I have several BAs that go consistently broody.

    The ones that go broody make excellent chick mothers. I don't have a dedicated broody box yet to separate the brooding hen, so when I have one start sitting, I mark the eggs, and order chicks to arrive three weeks from the start of "incubation." My BAs have always adopted every chick that I gave them (one that we dubbed "Big Momma" adopted 25 at one time) with zero chick rejections. One non-broody BA even chick-napped one of the little ones to raise herself, which is a rather unusual phenomenon.

    Our BAs are getting on in years (we run a mixed flock), so the first order this year I plan to get another two dozen BAs to make sure that we are never lacking a hen that is willing to rear the future flock.
     
  5. gordonburrito

    gordonburrito Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There is something really pretty about an all black chicken. It makes their combs and wattles look extra nice. Australorps also have dark peaceful eyes and a pretty green sheen in the sunlight. Our Australorp is the best egg layer in our flock. My only complaint is that her eggs are so large they barely fit in our cartons. Delicious but it is actually kind of irritating.
     
  6. Country Parson

    Country Parson Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've never tried letting my girls hatch out and/or raise their young while keeping them in an established flock. I've always seperated. How well does it work keeping the mother/chicks in with the rest of rhe chikens?
     
  7. Piffin

    Piffin New Egg

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    In CO, I had a flock of black aussies and bared rocks. I averaged 15-16 eggs a day from 18-20 hens, even in cold weather
     
  8. DanEP

    DanEP Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have barred rocks, white rocks, slw, buff and black orpingtons and aussies. The aussies are my best layers and mine go broody more than the orps do and are good mothers, in fact one of my girls will steal chicks from other hens if she can. I think you will like them.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2012
  9. Smiles-N-Sunshine

    Smiles-N-Sunshine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Palominas, Arizona
    We recently switched our mixed flock to 100% Australorp. After trying Brahmas, Delawares, and Plymouth Rocks, we found the Australorp best met our needs for a breed that is friendly and mellow, good laying, good broodiness, decent carcass - and they're not too hard to look at. Especially contrasting with our Midget White turkeys.

    I have six pullets from Meyer stock. They definitely have "squirrel tails" (sticking nearly straight up) instead of the lower angle required by the show standard - but of course hatchery quality is hatchery quality. They are noticeably larger and friendlier than those I've hatched here.

    Bryan
     
  10. Laingcroft

    Laingcroft Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Agree with other posters. The BA is a great egg layer, nice size and very sweet personality. I also love their "soft" dark eyes unlike the bay eyes on so many chickens. I loved these chickens. The only caveat I would add is that our local fox loved these chickens too. Next to the polish the BA's were always the first taken. If you confine your chickens they should be fine, but if they free range I wouldn't get the BA. They don't seem to have as strong of a survival instinct as say a leghorn.
     

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