From the moment I moved out of my parents home, I knew I wanted to get chickens. I don’t know what made me want them, I had never known anybody with chickens.
Off handedly let my mother know that I was thinking about getting chickens, and within 24 hours she had signed me up to get some 3 day olds chick from the school she worked at. She had done it before I even got time to come up with a reason why not.
A few days later my Cheeky Chickens adventure had begun. Four little chicks chirping away in the bottom of an outdoor shower. I trawled the internet in search for anything to help me with the unknown task ahead.
I ended up with a mix of chickens 2 Leghorns, 1 Rhode Island Red and 1 Australorp, they grew big and their personalities shone through and it was very obvious which was the breed of choice and why I am Australorp Crazy.
Australorps. Why I think they are the best full stop no returns and everything else!
They are like a graceful mature lady, scraping the ground with sweeping focus. You pick them up and they will sit there and except a cuddle until they decide its time to get off, gracefully bouncing off your lap without a fuss, and walk to their next destination without running or fighting to get out of your clutches.
Friendly to their feathered companions
They are Lovely to their feathered mates. I recently added a new female to two young roosters, I had hand raised. They all arrived at their new home in boxes. I opened the boxes, the two young lads jumped out and started looking around. The new young lady sat in the box for about two minutes watching before hopping gracefully out of the box to join them. To my amazement they all happy walk around their new home with no tension.
I have found my Australorps to be fantastic layers, producing 250-300 eggs a year. Recently a new egg laying record of 364 eggs in 365 days was made by an Australorp. Their eggs are large and brown perfect to have with toasted bread dippers. They seem to have the ability to lay all the way through a Canberra winter. My chickens seem to lay even when they are molting.
Australorps are dual purpose birds which mean they not only great eggs layers, but they are also good meat birds, I am yet to eat one of my birds but I’m not crossing it off my list.
None of my Australorps are great flyers due to their large bodies. They happily jump up to perches but as for flying, they are hopeless. After having leghorns in my first flock one of my number one chicken chores was the constant building of higher fences. When it comes to Australorps a 1.5m fence is perfectly fine they have very little drive to escape so long as you provide them with clean water. yummy food and a safe place to sleep and lay.
Australorps can go broody, and are great at raising their own young. However, I prefer to raise them all by hand to create a more tactile bird. You can buy fertilized eggs or day-old chicks to pop under your caring mother to take advantage of the situation.
Australorps aren’t just black and white, Australorps now come in a range of colors Lavender, White, Splash, Blue and of course Black with its beautiful shimmer of beetle green. I also love their dark brown/black eyes with their contrasting Red faces. NOTE: As for showing your bird the standards only recognize the black, blue and white birds so if you are planning on showing focus only on the black or white.
They may be big and weighty in design but Australorps are light scratches, which makes them great free-rangers on bush blocks. If they do make it into your veggie patch they won’t uproot all your plants straightaway as other breeds will.
Hardy in Extreme Weather
They are good in warm and cold climates. I have been told that the Bedouins wear black in the desert for centuries. This may seem like a poor fashion choice but when teamed with a white undergarment they can survive 40+ degree temperature in the unforgiving desert with an evaporative cooling effect. Apply this to our graceful hen, she has dark breathable feathers and white flesh. So long as you give your lovely ladies somewhere shady to hang out, your chickens should survive summer days. They are also large birds and given somewhere sheltered to roost at night they can withstand the minus temperatures without a fuss. just don’t put them on metal perches.
Due to their beautiful nature and endless attributes they make a great bird for beginner chicken ladies and lads.
Read about what to look for when your choosing your next Austalorp