|Tilly from chick to hen
People often ask me how I decided on my chicken breeds. Well, I needed to get breeds that were cold hardy, docile and good egg layers. My Pet Chicken was incredibly helpful both on the telephone and also on the internet in helping me chose the right breeds for my family. The other great thing is that you can mix and match breeds when you order from My Pet Chicken. This allowed me to purchase only six chicks and get the flock that I wanted.
The first breed that I chose was the Australorp. Tilly, our head hen, is an Australorp. Black Orpingtons were imported from England to Australia in the late 1800s to early 1900s. At that time, the Black Orpingtons were crossed with Rhode Island Reds and possibly Plymouth Rocks. They called their result of cross breeding Australian Black Orpingtons or Australorp for short. The breed was launched internationally in 1929.
Australorps first captured the world’s attention in 1922 when six Australorp hens laid a combined total of 1857 eggs in a 365 consecutive day period without any added artificial lighting. That is approximately 305 eggs per hen per year! They also make excellent broody hens and great mothers. All of these attributes lead to global popularity of the breed.
Tilly has always been very curious and docile. She has beautiful black feathers with a green sheen and flecks of gray. She has a comb with 5 distinct tips. She is happy to please and eager to meet new company. She lays beautiful golden brown eggs and enjoys conversation. Even though she is considered a large heritage breed, she weighs about 5 pounds. She is very sweet and enjoys being held. She makes a wonderful pet. I love the way we have conversations between one another. I like to pretend that I know what she is saying and vice versa.
Australorps are a fantastic breed and I would highly recommend them to anyone interested in starting or adding to a backyard flock.
Photo credits: Tilly’s Nest