From the ALBC website:
They were amazed by the activity of the Buckeye as well and seemed fairly tolerant of their "uppity" attitude. The chicks grew fast and were very healthy, we had few losses of them. They were a lot leggier than the Buckeyes though and grow considerably faster.
They tended to follow the lead of the Buckeyes when it came to new foods but it never seemed to take them long to dig in. As they got older we did have some problems with pecking, crowding was an issue but after observation we felt it was the Buckeyes more bold nature that seemed to cause the Australorps to pick on them. Only two of the Australorps had to be separated because they were getting pecked. As I mentioned in the Buckeye evaluation, we would not house these two breeds together if we get another batch of them.
The Australorp are taller and leggier than Ralph remembered, he thought they would be stockier, more old style farm chicken. As they grow we really like the look of the pullets, they are three months old now and we can tell the roosters from the hens easily.
They are more nervous than we expected, although they were calmer as chicks, as maturing birds they are not wild but not calm either. They are a dual purpose breed but look more refined and less meaty than the Buckeyes. They are much taller than the Buckeyes but do not weigh as much when you pick them up. They do not mind being held as much as the Buckeyes. The Australorp roosters were the first to try to crow...not good sounding but giving it the old college try! As a breed they still hang together more than the other chickens and they do not forage out into the pasture as much as the Buckeye or Buff's.
A three month old Australorpe Cockerel.
Now as with the other chickens we are waiting until the taste tests of the first Roosters. I suspect the Australorps will be the first to make it to the table as they are maturing quicker. Then the laying and broodiness evaluations start, we think that should begin in February/March. We have to admit despite the extra cost of feeding in winter we are glad we got the chicks this fall as we will have laying hens as the grass gets good. It is also good to see how they handle the weather.
Now off to treat the chickens to some scraps of apple!
God Bless you all and keep well.