July 27, 2009

Black Australorp -- 7/09

(Chicken posts are sorted by breed name and date in the subject.)

I ordered 5 Golden Phoenix pullet chicks in May. Out of the five, I have two that appear to be Golden Phoenix, and two that may be Silver Phoenix.
Here are two of the Black Australorp pullets at 11 weeks:

Here they are as five day old chicks, with a hen and two of my 'handed-down' grey chicks (the two on the lower right).

NOTES: The Black Australorp chicks were weak and seemed dull and slow-minded for the first week. I had pre-ordered 10 straight run from the local feed store... then learned the store had cancelled the order... then a week later, another order came. I am not sure if these chicks were the best the hatchery had to offer, or if they sent poor quality chicks just to fill a last minute order???!!! At any rate, I ened up loosing one within 12 hours. Then at 7 weeks of age, I lost three due to gnats/no see 'ums... I have had insects irritate my chickens, but have never before actually lost any due to insects! The Black Australorps are all pullets I think, unless the cockerels are very, very slow to mature!!!

The funny thing about the Black Australorp pullets is they 'hang together'. Growing chicks will usually run in 'groups' or 'families'... where chicks that were raised in the same pen or under the same hen will spend most of their days together. But as they reach the 2 to 2 1/2 month age, they seem less inclined to go where everyone else goes... they do what they want. But these Black Australorp pullets go everywhere together!!! They usually crowd onto the same narrow roost bar at night... upon which they all fit, when they were younger! Now that they are nearly grown, they don't all fit so well!

Attitude is average... they are neither friendly or spooky. They seem to be early to bed and late to rise. The one negative I have noted is that they were spooky as chicks. I am not sure if that had something to do with their physical condition when I brought them home??!! The hen I put them under was partly to blame, as she would cluck and warn them to sit still everytime I went near to feed them. BUT, I put two chicks hatched from my 'handed-d0wn' greys under her with the Black Australorps, and they were not so cautious or flighty!!! My two chicks would come out to eat what I put in their pans, while the hen and the black chicks would huddle in the corner!
Neutral rating so far!!!

No comments: