*** Spring is fully underway, and we have babies everywhere!!! ***
First, the chickens... because this year I found chicks were available of the breed my Mom had in the 60's!!! :)
We thought the breed was lost, and for the past 20 years, I have been trying to 'maintain' and 'regain' traits typical of the breed. I would keep hens and roosters that displayed desirable traits, and I think we were doing as well as can be expected.... considering that both Mom and I had brought in other breeds of chickens in the years since the originals!!!
I think it would be most accurate to say my chickens LOOK close to the original Austra White breed, but probably the genetics is quite mixed!!!
The original breed is Austra White... and here are some photos of the 'purebred' chicks I ordered. They went under a setting hen, who was expecting to hatch eggs, and all are happy! The photo was taken yesterday, and the chicks are 6 weeks old. The hen is black and just above the waterer... hard to see. Notice the chick on the left of the waterer has greyish legs, and the chick on the right has yellow legs.
Here is a pair of my chickens... showing typical traits of the breed. Note the hen has grey legs and feet and the rooster has yellow legs and feet. I also have saved black hens. The original Austra White breed is a cross between a Black Austrolorp hen and a White Leghorn rooster. So I also saved black pullets that demonstrated traits of that breed, as well as a few solid white roosters with large combs that looked like White Leghorns.
This spring I have hatched some of my own eggs... and here is a photo of two chicks.. one is white with a few black specks, and the other will grow up black.
I also ordered chicks of the Black Austrolorp breed... and put them under another broody hen.
I left two of her chicks... which will be black chickens from my eggs. This will be a great opportunity to compare how 'my black chicks' compare to the purebred Black Austrolorp chicks!! In the photo below, my two chicks are slightly lighter in color, and are the two on the far right. The other 11 are Black Austrolorp chicks I purchased.
This hen has 11 chicks:
Currently, I have 58 chicks .... plus an incubator set with eggs, three more 'setting hens' to set on eggs, and I have ordered 25 more Austra White chicks!!!
Anyone want to come visit for homegrown fried chicken this fall???? :)
Home grown chicken tastes so different than 'town' chicken...
I suppose it could have something to do with the breeds used, as well as the diet the birds receives, but whatever it is... it is very much worth the work!!!