Black Australorp is a fantastic chicken breed and most of the backyard poultry keepers like to raise them. They are also an ideal breed for the novice domestic keepers. Generally Black Australorps are good looking, hardy, easygoing and highly prolific layers. Their name Black Australorp, is a combination of Orpington and Australian. During the early 1900s they were developed from English Black Orpingtons by Australian breeders. The American Poultry Association recognize Black Australorp as a standard breed in 1929 although they were imported to America in 1920s. Now it is one of the best prolific layer breeds. However, the Black Australorp characteristics are described below.
Black Australorp Characteristics
Every chicken breed have some specific characteristics. The characteristics of Black Australorp chicken breed are listed below.
Black Australorps are large, heavy and very beautiful. They have close fitting feathers. They are soft feathered chicken with an upright stance. They have well rounded breasts and deep bodies. Black Australorps are broad across the saddles and shoulders. Both hens and roosters hold their compact tails high. Their bright red faces and black feathers with a beetle green sheen give them a striking look, which has make them different from other breeds. They have red colored wattles and single combs. Their combs have not more than seven serrations and they always keep it upright. The faces of Black Australorp chickens are totally feather free and smooth. Legs are black or slate-blue grey colored. Their eyes are preferably black, beaks are dark. The underside of the feet of Black Australorp chickens are white. A large sized Black Australorp rooster weights about 8.5 to 10 pounds and a large sized hen weights about 6.5 to 8 pounds.
Black Australorps are dual purpose chickens, they are good layers and also suitable for meat production. Their meat is very tasty and they are well fleshed with white skin. Black Australorp hens lay medium sized and light brown colored eggs. Hens can lay for a couple of years. Generally a healthy hen can lay about 200 eggs in a season. But most of the people who raise backyard chickens, keep some Black Australorps in their flock mainly for their beauty and gentle nature.
Health & Growth
Usually Black Australorp chickens become very hardy and they are long lived. They have a good resistance to the most common poultry diseases. All types of physical deformities such as bent toes or twisted beaks are less in well bred Black Australorp chickens. They can also adopt themselves well with low temperatures and cold weather. You can feed them the foods that you feed to your other chicken breeds. Don’t overfeed the laying hens. By overfeeding your laying hens, they will be fatty which will reduce their egg production rate. This happens much for Black Australorp chickens.
As I have told before, Black Australorps are very gentle and well behaved. I think this is the main reason of why most of the backyard poultry keepers like them. Both hens and roosters are calm, quiet, friendly and it’s very easy to handle them. They are very suitable for both confined and free range chicken keeping methods. But ensure that your flock is not overcrowded in confined system. Don’t keep Black Australorps and other aggressive chicken breeds in the same coop. Because they can be injured by the other aggressive breeds. Instead make a separate coop or room inside the coop for them.
Black Australorp chickens are beautiful, calm and friendly breeds and very suitable for raising in your backyard as pets or for meat and egg production purpose. If you don’t have some Black Australorps in your flock, try to have some. And I am sure that, you will love them and they will definitely make you happy.