The poultry industry undeniably remains one integral component in meat production worldwide. Thanks to this significant role, the market value stood at approximately $310 billion by 2020. Further analysis indicates that the figures might rise to more than $422 billion in 2020.
With such impressive growth, it is vital to pinpoint leading chicken species that contribute to the success. At the top of the list, we cannot fail to mention the famous Austalorps chicken.
Originally from Australia, the bird was developed in the 1900s by scientist William Cook through autosexing Black Orpingtons, Langshan, White Leghorns, and Rhode Island Reds. As a result, Australorps takes a leading position among the most prolific dual-purpose fowls worldwide.
Most impressive is that they have a likable personality and hardy nature against most poultry ailments. Currently, the American Poultry Association only approves the original black-colored Australorp. However, there are other imposing Australorps varieties below that you should consider rearing.
A black Australorp would unquestionably capture your attention from first sight. Apart from their pure black plumage with a green sheen, Black Aussies are outstanding chicken breeds and a favorite with most backyard farmers. The most distinctive feature about Black Aussies is that they are excellent layers and sumptuous table birds.
Fowls raised on a proper diet and in a suitable environment would likely give you 290 to 300 eggs annually. If possible, feed your ‘blackies’ with commercial or readymade feeds. Then, throw in fresh veggies and fruits to supplement their diet.
Nonetheless, be wary of offering avocados, junk food, raw beans, green potatoes, apricot pit, and apple seeds because they can be toxic to your feathered friends. It is worth noting that overfeeding and minimal exercise can easily make Australorps obese.
The good thing is that Black Austalorps are excellent scavengers who would appreciate a chance to roam around the yard. The experience not only complements their nutrition but also enables them to lose a few pounds walking around. Beyond anything else, Black Australorps are easy-going with a pleasant personality that makes them ideal even with novice keepers.
Compared to other birds, they are bulky with broad shoulders and soft close-fitting plumage. One fantastic feature you may notice about these birds is their erect posture and how they hold their tails high. The bright red colored wattles and combs also add up to their imposing appeal. Black Australorps have featherless slate blue or black legs with dark eyes and beaks.
Contrarily, the under feet is usually white. A healthy adult Black Australorp rooster often weighs approximately eight to ten pounds. The hens follow closely at about six to eight pounds.
Thankfully, they are resilient against most poultry ailments and physical defects like twisted beaks or bent toes. Most impressive, they adapt well to cold weather and low temperatures. Still avoid keeping them in crowded enclosures or with aggressive fowl breeds in the same pen.
White Australorps are not as popular as the black ones but are steadily catching up. They first achieved international fame in the 1920s after breaking several egg-laying world records.
Even if the breed was recorded in the 1940s, it would take a couple of decades for the Australian Poultry Standards to recognize it in 2011. Since then, it has been a preference for farmers eager to fill their egg baskets.
Similar to the Black Australorps, white Aussies are resilient and quite intelligent. They also have an upright stance with an erect tail. In addition, they have red wattles and combs plus white beaks. Like other Aussies birds, White Austalorps have black eyes and featherless legs. Full-grown roosters on a proper diet can weigh eight to ten pounds.
On the other hand, healthy hens can successfully gain six to eight pounds. The birds are perfect layers capable of producing up to 300 eggs annually. Most pullets lay their first egg from 16 weeks; however, others may delay until they hit 18 weeks.
All in all, white Australorps are favored because of their sweet temperament around human beings and other birds. For this reason, they are ideal dual-purpose birds for beginners or in a homestead with young kids.
Regardless of its size, any Australorp bird is beneficial in all aspects. Therefore, there is no significant difference between a regular-sized chicken and bantams. Most Bantams weigh about a third of normal-sized varieties.
The first Australorp bantam was developed in England slightly before World War II. The good thing is that they do not require any special diet rather than what you feed other varieties. Sometimes, you can even mix them with other breeds in your flock without significant hiccups.
Nonetheless, ensure that the regular-sized chickens are docile and friendly. Surprisingly, bantam Aussies do not always end up in the lowest pecking order because of their size. Instead, the hardy birds manage successfully to coexist amongst other chickens with little effort.
Thanks to their petite size, they make loving pet birds who are also excellent egg layers. Bantam Australorps vary from one bird to another but have an average weight of one to three pounds. Like other birds, they are helpful in insect control, meat, eggs, and garden manure.
Apart from the color disparity, Brown Australorps are just like any other Aussies. As the name suggests, they have stunning brown plumage. When exposed to direct sunlight, you might notice a striking black or green sheen on the feathers.
Often, the green beetle sheen is more concentrated around the back and tail. Not only is Brown Australorp classified as a brilliant dual bird, but also they go broody real fast. Their dark eyes, red wattles/comb, and featherless brown legs are these birds’ most striking features.
Overall, the bird is classified as a good egg layer with a fairly meaty body. The estimated dead weight for an Australorp is roughly six to ten pounds.
Lavender Australorps are very uncommon that a considerable percentage of people have never laid their eyes on them. Thus, the market value for these rare birds is slightly higher compared to the rest. Some individuals classify Lavender Australorp as designer chickens because of their unique color and elegance associated with it.
Furthermore, they are a favorite with collection agencies and ornamental breeders. If you want to breed the birds at home, consider mating pure 100% lavender parents for similar offspring.
Remember that mixing one parent lavender with another bird can only give you a 50% lav. In short, lavender is a recessive trait in chickens. By recessive, we mean that the trait may not be manifested in the offspring unless both parents have identical copies of the particular gene.
Nevertheless, consider buying your Lavender Aussies from reliable breeders or hatchery to get a pure variety. You may have to pay slightly more for them. Regardless, investing in such exceptional beautiful egg layers is worth the effort. Often, the birds produce four to five light brown eggs weekly, which translates to about 280 to 290 eggs annually.
Depending on the diet and habitat settings, lavender pullets may give their first egg from as early as 16 weeks. The initial eggs may be smaller and uneven in size. Also, the frequency may be irregular at first before stabilizing to the normal limits.
Although Grey Australorps are pretty rare, they are famed for their prolific egg production in all climates. The dual-purpose breed has striking silver-gray feathers. Sometimes you can notice a combination of black and light silver.
They have an erect posture with a dark beak and eyes. Akin to other Australorps, they have red wattles and combs. It might come as a shock that most Australorps with a grey plumage are actually blue or lavender birds.
In most cases, these birds have dominant black and lavender genes. After mixing, the lav gene dilutes the black one to give a grey appeal. It can be challenging for a novice chicken keeper to tell apart a true Grey Aussie from others.
Sometimes, it may require an expert eye to guide them on significant disparities. The brighter side is that any Australorp bird will give satisfactory results on eggs and meat production regardless of its color.
There is something catchy about a golden chicken roaming around your yard. After all, the sight of alluring golden birds depicts optimism and positivity. Whether you want to raise your chicks for eggs or meat, you can never go wrong with a Golden Austalorps.
The beauty of it all is that their pleasant personality adds up to the allure. In fact, some individuals keep Golden Aussies as ornamental birds or pets. Still, when fed on a nutritious diet, your golden beauties can produce up to 300 eggs annually.
Golden Australorps have brownish beaks and legs plus dark eyes. Additionally, they have red wattles and head combs. Often, adult chickens weigh five to nine pounds when placed on the proper diet.
Who would not want a yard full of diversified Australorps birds? True to their reputation, keeping any Aussie chicken is never a bad idea.
Even with several color differences, these amazing birds will still offer a steady supply of meat and eggs. Above all, they live peacefully with other species and are quite a stimulating sight.Chickens