Almost every chicken keeper concur that Australorps are prolific dual-purpose birds. Beyond any doubt, raising them guarantees not only a steady supply of eggs but also sizable chunks of delicious meat. Most impressive is that they also make ideal family pets because of their pleasant temperament.
Records indicate that the breed was first created in the 1890s by a famous breeding expert known as William Cook. Probable first ancestors were the Black Orpingtons, who were later interbred with other productive breeds like the Langshans, Rhode Island Reds, White Leghorns and Minorcas. As a result, the Aussies are now classified among the best egg-laying species worldwide.
In addition, they are overwhelmingly loving and easy to maintain. Join us as we uncover the laying capability of these versatile chicken breeds.
Australorp Eggs – Size, Color and Taste
Often, most Australorp hens produce light brown, medium-sized eggs steadily. Sometimes you may notice a pink twinge on the eggs. There is usually a misconception that different colored Aussies produce varied eggs.
However, that is entirely not true because all Austalorps species give similar colored eggs. However, you may notice a sudden egg production decline when the hens reach four years. Like other chicken breeds, Australorps stop laying eggs during the molting period.
Mainly, this happens around autumn for birds approximately six to twelve weeks old. In the process, they shed their old feathers and sprout healthy new ones. Given the intensity of this development, chickens use all nutrients consumed and are unable to produce eggs. The decline may proceed till winter and only return to normalcy when the weather warms up in summer.
Altogether, Australorp eggs are tasty with a rich yellow yolk. The brighter side is that you can use them in almost any recipe that requires heavy eggs presence.
Are Australorp Chickens Good Egg Layers?
Some experts refer to Aussies as egg-laying machines. We can confirm this in a 1922 egg-laying contest when an Australorp hen broke the world record by laying 309 eggs in one year. In a similar match in 1923, one hen made history for laying 347 eggs within 365 days. The latest record stands at about 364 eggs annually, which was an astounding achievement because experts did not use extra lighting for the winning hen.
One impressive conclusion about these birds is that they do not require any extra coercing to produce a remarkable quantity of eggs. Still, after the introduction of other chicken species, the bird’s popularity waned down in the 1930s.
Nonetheless, an intercrossing of Aussies with a White Leghorn in the 1940s produced a more productive hen referred to as the Austra White. Consequently, Australorps went into a slow decline until a couple of years ago, when experts made drastic steps to revive it.
Most imposing is that Aussies are making a remarkable comeback and take a leading position among excellent egg layers worldwide. As a matter of fact, their egg-laying prowess is one main reason why they are a favorite with most poultry keepers. It is not unrealistic to anticipate more than 300 eggs from your birds per annum. In fact, all you need to do is offer a nutritious diet and place them in a suitable environment to achieve more than that.
How Many Eggs do Australorps Lay Per Week?
On average, an adult Australorp hen kept on the free range can lay 260 to 300 eggs annually. This translates to roughly four to five eggs weekly. Nonetheless, there are several factors capable of affecting your hen’s egg production.
Some of them include stress, overcrowding, poor diet, parasites, ailments, change of environment and removal of roosters from the coop. When it comes to commercial keepers, these factors can be the basis for a downfall. Below are imperative solutions that you should consider before the issue escalates.
– Install Artificial Lighting
A steady supply of light plays a significant role in egg production. It would help if you exposed your birds to proper lighting for at least 14 hours daily. This is critical during winter because of inadequate light and warmth. Note that LED bulbs are excellent heat sources and efficient energy savers compared to fluorescent and incandescent bulbs.
– Food and Water
Strive to give your birds a balanced diet of minerals, proteins, vitamins and carbohydrates if you want to maintain proper body functioning. This helps in strengthening the chicken bones and egg shells too. Even if it might feel tempting to cut chicken feed costs, bear in mind that a substandard diet can drastically affect egg production.
Most importantly, provide a constant supply of clean freshwater. After all, a considerable percentage of chicken eggs and bodies consist of water. Thus, failure to provide sufficient water may influence the quantity and size of your eggs.
– Suitable Habitat
When raising egg-laying birds, it is vital to keep them in an environment that meets minimal required limits. For instance, check on overcrowding and try to keep the coop clean always. Investing in an automatic cleaning system can go a long way in minimizing ailments and parasites.
Another remedy is placing disinfectant dips at the entrance of the coop. Also, keep new birds or those who have recently traveled in separate enclosures to prevent spreading diseases. If you notice any unusual signs with some birds, segregate and seek medical attention right away.
– Provide Quality Nest Boxes
Egg eating is common amongst hungry fowls or those on an inadequate diet. For this reason, invest in upgraded nest boxes which keep the eggs out of the chicken’s reach. Moreover, buying automatic egg collectors comes in handy in minimizing breakages and pecking.
When do Australorp Chickens Start Laying Eggs?
Most Australorp pullets start laying eggs when they hit 16 to 22 weeks. The frequency may not be stable in the beginning but even out after some time. At first, the eggs are slightly small in size and have a non-uniform shape.
It might be confusing for novice farmers to find out when pullets are ready for the first egg. The first development change is that the chicks appear larger and assume a mature form. You can also notice a more profound color change on their red wattles and combs.
Furthermore, the pelvic bones may start to separate. One easy way to confirm this is by feeling the three bones at the backside. If the bones feel tight and closed up, your feathered friend is most likely not ready for her first egg.
Nonetheless, wide separation indicates that an egg is on its way before long. When ready to pop the egg, some hens appear restless and may produce a cackling or crowing sound. Healthy hens make a new egg approximately within 24-27 hours. Bear in mind that these depend on the diet and habitat provided.
Black or White Australorps are Better for Eggs?
Way before the development of Australorps, chickens farmers struggled to find a breed resilient for the harsh Australian cold weather. As mentioned above, cold and insufficient light affect egg production intensely.
Australia would take decades of trial and error to take pride in an outstanding egg and meat production breed. Thanks to its extraordinary laying ability, Aussies were exported to several parts of the world as early as the 1920s. Currently, the American Poultry Association only recognizes the black-colored Australorp chicken.
On the other hand, the Australian Poultry Society list down different varieties likes white, black and blue. Most interesting is that South Africa has new additions like the golden, wheaten laced, splash and buff.
Apart from their color disparities, all Austalorps birds have an almost similar pleasant personality. Additionally, they are all excellent layers and produce similar colored eggs. In other terms, whether you have a black or white
Australorp, the egg production depends on how you meet their basic requirements. The bottom line is that White Austalorps are fewer and may have a lower cumulative egg production in the market compared to the black ones.
Do Australorps Eat Their Eggs?
Eating eggs was an expected norm with non-domesticated birds in the wild. Experts managed to minimize this trait through selective breeding. Unfortunately, some factors still trigger it. Given that fowls are omnivores, ensure that your hen meets daily nutrients intake. Remember that laying flocks require at least 16-18% protein in their diet.
Additionally, do not forget to add about 3% calcium to the food daily. This is because the inadequacy of calcium in the body may prompt the chicken to seek it from the eggshells. On rare occasions, some birds accidentally discover if the egg has a crack or weak shell.
Whether accidentally or through a bad habit, there is a higher chance that an egg-eating chicken might continue with the tendency unless proper measures are put into place. We have already captured vital steps to take to play down this frustrating peculiarity. Nevertheless, if the problem worsens, contact verified experts on proper diet and supplementation.
In a nutshell, you can never go wrong by investing in an Australorp chicken. This works perfectly for individuals eager to make good returns on egg and meat production. Australorps are also active foragers with an impressively docile and likable temperament. Above all, they are friendly around humans and other chicken breeds as well.Chickens