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Monday, February 7, 2011

Chook Tales - In Praise of Australorps

I love these girls!
These are our Australorps now twelve months old. They are such a friendly personable bunch.
You may remember we got 21 day olds and raised them to find we had only 6 hens. The cocks went to the freezer. That's why we chose this breed as they are good laying birds and also good meat birds.
They are very comfortable with being handled and come willingly when called.
Sometimes when I weed out in the front yard, I scoop up an Australorp and take her with me.
She will happily scratch companionably with me in the general area lending me a hand.
Craig had them out in a temporary fenced area while he worked a bit more on some fencing.
They soon found a gap and we watched them from the kitchen pop out one by one and waddle across the back lawn as fast as their legs would go, making a bee line for a random strawberry plant underneath the tap. As Craig was pulling them from the garden bed they still had tight hold of bright red strawberries in their beaks.

This afternoon Craig was indulging the girls with some one on one time, taking them into the main veggie garden area lifting brick borders for them to have a bountiful forage for slaters, worms and slugs without competition from the others. As one finished gorging he would take her back to the yard and another would step up to be taken to the insect buffet. Gosh they make me laugh.
None of them have names, they all look the same. It's also interesting that while they all live together in their own particular pecking order, generally the Australorps will flock together and the other Leghorn/Orpington crosses will stick together.


  1. I think I'm going to call my hens chooks from now on. It just sounds so much cooler.
    My one australorp is in my bad graces right now, as she's become quite vicious to all the other gals--I mean chooks.
    We built a chicken tractor this weekend to give them a bit of respite from their pen. This morning a large bald eagle was circling overhead eyeballing our handiwork...

  2. Those are beautiful birds! Love how full their feathers seem!

  3. i'd love to have chickens, but i believe there is a city ordinance against them. of course, our ferrel cat population is out of hand, too. know any "chooks" that will take on a cat?

  4. What is it with more chicks turning out to be cockerels than hens? I've had the same problem but on a smaller scale; five out of six.

  5. Please note the soft focus on a couple...that is to indicate my louuurve.
    LBMouse, artificial incubation tends to produce more males that females but we had hoped for a better ratio. The next lot of day olds (due within the next month) will be sexed.
    Paige, you've enabled email so we've conversed about this x
    Zoo Keeper, they really are quite beautiful, the camera doesn't pick up the beautiful purple and green sheen that the black feather shine throws at the hen moves.
    Kat I reckon your girls are definitely getting a bit tetchy and narky. Hope the tractor works out. I'm looking forward to the photos.
    Chooky love to you all x

  6. Chickens are such fun and forms of entertainment. During the spring and summer when I am growing strawberries, I will throw some into their run. It is the funniest thing to watch, like a game of soccer with all the chicks trying to get the strawberry.


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