Colorado, United States
Posted Oct 29, 2013
We chose Australorps chickens because they are both good layers, and decent sized meat birds. It has always been our intention to grow our flock naturally so we wanted to have a rooster or two plus the layers, culling other roosters out at twenty or so weeks to go to the dinner table.
We have not been disappointed with the Australorps. They have been great layers, and the roosters have been pretty tasty. Our second generation began laying around sixteen weeks, as expected. Their egg production did diminish considerably when the days got shorter.
I live in Colorado, and this breed has been great in the winter, where we get as cold as -20, and in the summer, when we get as hot as 98.
Our first generation Australorps have been great mothers, although we did see some pecking deaths of our mixed chicks (we also have Americaunas and Barred Rocks, and keep them together), so in the future we will isolate the broody hens with clutches of eggs for the safety of the newborns.
I do caution anyone with children or who is even mildly afraid of birds against keeping Australorp roosters. While my hens have been very mild mannered and easy to care for, my Australorp rooster was aggressive and mean. He would charge me when I entered the coop for chores, and even charged the kids if they went in. He was the first chicken to go to the dinner table.