July 29, 2010

Austra White --2nd generation hatching -- Summer 2010

Since the Austra White is a hybrid, as opposed to a breed, crossing a Black Australorp rooster and a White Leghorn hen, I wasn't sure just what I would get hatching their eggs.  I had AW hens and an AW rooster.  My mom had kept the same flock for many years, gradually noticing a change in leg color, etc. but still the same good qualities.  Eventually, their size diminished to a typical Leghorn size, and the occassional black feather disappeared. But we are talking 35 years!!!
I found I got approx. 1/4 chicks that looked exactly like the original cross:  with moderate black feathering, black legs, and a bright red, rounded comb and wattle. 
Approx. 1/4 look typical White Leghorn, with narrow, high combs, and yellow legs.
Approx. 1/2 are like the original cross, body shape and size, but with smaller comb and wattle, and white/pink legs.
Here is a photo of a hen like the 1/2:

They are great.  They began laying at 3 1/2 months of age and have the same easy-to-get-along attitude as the parents.

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