New Chickens

Reader Contribution by April Freeman

One new addition to the farm has been my baby chicks. Well, actually they are not babies any more. I got them eight weeks ago, back in April.

We keep chickens for eggs, mostly for our family. As a family of six that cooks from scratch almost daily, we can use a lot of eggs. Our small flock provides for our egg needs and helps reduce insects here on the farm. They also scratch out the manure piles in the field so that we will have fewer flies hatching in the manure.

This year, I tried a new type of chicken.

Black Austrolorps.

I love getting brown eggs, and I wanted to try Austrolorps because they are one of the more prolific brown-egg-laying breeds.

Austrolorps are the Australian take on Orpingtons. These birds are large and heavy, with plenteous glossy black feathers and bright red combs. I am excited by the way these birds look, and I am extremely impressed by how fast they have grown. I’ve never had chicks fully feathered and grown large enough to be turned in with the adult flock as quickly as these Austrolorps. Thankfully, they are starting to look more like small chickens. For awhile, they were at an awkward stage where they just looked like turkey buzzards!

In another three months, I may be getting eggs from these hens. Additionally, I’ve kept all 10 original chicks alive. No casualties so far.

In the adult flock, I have a Buff Orpington rooster, a Golden-Laced Wyandotte, two Rhode Island Reds, a couple Domineckers and a crossbred Orpington-Wyandotte hen. I like having a variety of hens in the flock. It definitely makes things interesting.

  • Published on Jun 19, 2014
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