by Jennifer BurckeAs a person who proudly defines herself as a chicken keeper, I find myself answering a lot of questions regarding our flock. The first question is usually in regard to how many chickens we keep. The second question almost always involves what breeds of chickens live at 1840 Farm.
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 American Livestock Breeds 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 ALBC is a great place to learn about the breeds in your flock.