by Jennifer Burcke
Photos by author
It’s no accident that we have more Australorps than any other heritage breed. In fact, we’ve gone to great lengths to arrive at that point. When we placed the order for our original batch of chicks in 2010, we ordered two Australorps. Of the eight day old chicks that we received, one of them failed to thrive and didn’t survive the first week in the brooder. I found myself playing undertaker on a rainy September morning.
Hedwig has long been one of the favorite hens in our flock. She has a fantastic temperament and is a dependable egg layer. Her black plumage has a lovely green undertone that is beautiful to look at, especially when she is outside enjoying the sunshine.
The Australorp is a member of the English class of chickens. They are a heavy bird, weighing between seven and ten pounds when fully grown. Australorps exhibit a single, crestless comb. They are clean legged, or without feathered feet, and have four toes on each foot.
The Australorp is categorized as a recovering breed by the Livestock Conservancy. The ALBC works to educate the public about the status of the Australorp and over 180 other breeds of livestock and poultry. If you’re interested in breed history, the LC is a great place to learn about the breeds in your flock.
Australorps also have a gentle demeanor. They are friendly and docile. Both our adult hen and her younger coop mates have exhibited the fantastic personality that is characteristic of their breed. All three of them are agreeable with the other members of the flock. I enjoy keeping Australorps for their beauty, friendly personality, and incredibly egg laying ability. I am eager to see if the younger Australorps in our flock continue to exhibit the best traits of their breed as Hedwig has during her two years here on our family farm. I can only imagine that when our next batch of day old baby chicks arrives at 1840 Farm that there will be a few adorable Australorp chicks peeking out of the shipping box at me.