After butchering our four roosters, our yard was very quiet for a week. I really like the sound of a rooster crowing every now and then, and it just felt like something was missing.
Meanwhile, I’d been trying to track down a purebred Australorp rooster to breed with our 6 Australorp hens. I put a post on the Backyard Poultry noticeboard, and within a day or so someone contacted me with a rooster to sell.
It turned out the bloke selling the rooster lives just the other side of Jamberoo to me, and was actually the son of one of my father-in-law’s mates. He breeds Australorps, and had just obtained some show-quality blue Australorps from Queensland so needed to get rid of some of his older stock.
We’ve named the new guy Big Oz. He’s huge (about twice the size of the hens!), very placid, and looks after his ladies very well. He’s only about 8 months old, which is perfect for breeding from.
I’m hoping that one of our hens will go broody once the weather warms up a bit, and then I’ll set some eggs under her. I’ll be breeding and carefully selecting these chooks as a good backyard utility line. I want them to lay well (without stopping too long during winter), grow large (for meat), and be good foragers (to reduce feed costs).
The Australorp breed is already a long way down that path; I think they’re a perfect breed for homesteaders and backyarders!
What’s your favourite breed of chicken, and why?