Black Australorp or Minorca?

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Black Australorp or Minorca?

Postby tootalk » Fri Jan 03, 2014 9:20 pm

Hello, a week before Christmas I bought home four pullets (all around 14 - 16 weeks old). I'd specifically selected breeds that were good with kids. The Barred Rock and Light Sussex are turning out to be real stars in terms of handling, the GL Wyandotte is fairly good too but the Black Australorp has been really stand-offish. Tonight my husband managed to take a photo of her as I'm sure she's getting white earlobes and looking more Minorca than Australorp (more rangy whereas the other ladies are filling out). Can anyone help me identify which she is likely to be? The breeder had both breeds and I'm wondering if I got the wrong one by accident. She'll never be a cuddler that's for sure (unlike the Light Sussex who, despite being lowest on the pecking order, sits on my knee listening to the kids do their reading books!). Thanks for any light anyone can shed.

http://images.trademe.co.nz/photoserver ... 631710.jpg
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Re: Black Australorp or Minorca?

Postby Marina » Fri Jan 03, 2014 9:42 pm

Both her eye colour and the colour of her ear lobes point toward Minorca. Also her comb would be a bit big for her age if she was an Australorp but I guess the colour of her eggs will make it clear what she is.
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Re: Black Australorp or Minorca?

Postby finkies1 » Fri Jan 03, 2014 10:31 pm

I have Minorcas here at approx the same age, she looks identical to mine.
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Oxford OEG
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Re: Black Australorp or Minorca?

Postby ChickyMum » Sat Jan 04, 2014 6:44 am

I have a black Australorp and sorry but your girls is nothing like mine
I'll try and post a pic later this afternoon
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Re: Black Australorp or Minorca?

Postby tootalk » Sat Jan 04, 2014 7:41 am

Thanks everyone, I knew when I saw those earlobes that something was amiss. I can understand how the mix up happened as the breeder has a pile of pullets free ranging and had poorly people at home so was managing a lot. It's a shame as I really wanted kid friendly breeds as the kids 'own' two birds each. I don't think the Minorca will be hand tame unfortunately. I've had a bit of a read on Minorca's in between various things last night but most of the stuff is from overseas websites. Are they good birds to keep? They'll be getting some free range time a day but otherwise will be in their large tractor when I am out (and until the dogs are trust worthy with them, at the moment one dog is fascinated but wary and determined to eat the chicken food and poop :roll: ).
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Re: Black Australorp or Minorca?

Postby Marina » Sat Jan 04, 2014 8:41 am

Minorcas can be lovely birds, excellent layers of large white eggs, and while they are very scatty when young they'll calm down a bit.

Not all heavy breed birds are calm and docile - it depends a bit on the individual, so your Light Sussex and Barred Rock are winners I'd say. There are scatty strains of Barred Rocks around and I'm pretty sure your children will appreciate the variation in egg colours once they start to lay.

If you tried to swap the Minorca for an Australorp you'd have problems integrating the new bird as the ones you have will defend THEIR territory against the intruder and the newcomer will always be wary and be very unlikely to become really tame.

Although this mistake may well be annoying at the moment I'd leave it as it is - no point in upsetting your little group for the sake of a possibly calmer bird.
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Re: Black Australorp or Minorca?

Postby tootalk » Sat Jan 04, 2014 9:00 am

Oh I wouldn't swap her out, she's one of the girls. They all sleep in a feathery heap during the day on the ground, so are obviously comfortable in each other's company! Cagney is also the one who's the least wary of the dopey dog, she stands right up and stares at him until he shuffles off embarrassed by being stared out by a pullet. I was concerned she'd try and roost in the trees instead of her tractor, there's 174 hectare of native bush behind the house and I don't fancy climbing up hills trying to get her home (hopefully she'll see the farm fencing as an end to her boundary). I sold my son on the fact he'd have eggs from white through to mid brown with all the chickens we have now and he wouldn't have that without Cagney.

I have the possibility of getting a same aged L. Araucana from the breeder too once he's sure of sex. My little boy absolutely is enthralled by this breed and is desperate for one. Now I'm wondering if the pullet would assimilate into the flock or it would be picked on and unhappy?

After a decade of cockatiel dramas (and they do have little mini sagas), we've now switched to hen politics. I've had to tell the other son he's not having a 'boy chicken' as I don't particularly want a rooster waking me up at 5AM on the odd morning the wild cockatoos don't. :lol:
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Re: Black Australorp or Minorca?

Postby sewren » Sat Jan 04, 2014 11:16 am

Such a shame that you ended up with the wrong breed, but there was a section on the farming programme on National radio about heritage chooks this morning and the guy they were interviewing said his Minorcas were his favourite of all the birds he's had (and have been for something like 70 years!!) I'll see if I can find the link...

Your Sussex sounds lovely - mine is definitely not that keen on cuddles!!
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Re: Black Australorp or Minorca?

Postby sewren » Sat Jan 04, 2014 11:17 am

Here it is, click on 'Chicken Champion' http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/progr ... ountrylife
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Re: Black Australorp or Minorca?

Postby buzzard » Sat Jan 04, 2014 2:20 pm

thanks for the link Sewren.
Ken's a lovely chap, he;s told me a couple of the very same stories!

his blue sweedish are tremendous, has a fantastic old drake there and the eggs his ducks lay are monstrous!
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Re: Black Australorp or Minorca?

Postby RussellBenington » Sat Jan 04, 2014 5:32 pm

your araucana will probably behave quite similar to the minorca...their will be a bit of pecking at the start, to reestablish the pecking order and so on...but itll settle down quite quick with just the little number of chooks you have :D

if you do get her, then youll be adding green/blue eggs to the menu, which im sure your kids will love :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Black Australorp or Minorca?

Postby tootalk » Sat Jan 04, 2014 5:52 pm

Thank you Sewren for the link, I listened at lunchtime. Okay I made my husband and my MIL listen too and happily replayed bits to the kids.

The Fids (feathered kids) had boiled veges for supper tonight. The Minorca came right to me and grabbed a tasty scrap. The rest took chase and tried to get her scrap off her. There was a pile of nice vege there to eat and they all wanted the same bit. Worse than my six year olds!

Yes RussellBennington - one boy is egg obsessed. He'd eat three a day scrambled for his breakfast if we let him. His limit is four times a week as I don't want him egg bound! :lol: Blue eggs would make his week.

Now I just have to work out why the Light Sussex insists on sleeping on the floor of the roost below three other bottoms every night. I've tried sitting her on the perch but she likes being below the other girls at the business end. :roll:
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Re: Black Australorp or Minorca?

Postby RussellBenington » Sat Jan 04, 2014 10:44 pm

is there enough room...if there all side by side by side then she might be getting too warm in this weather....or getting pushed off
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Re: Black Australorp or Minorca?

Postby tootalk » Sat Jan 04, 2014 11:05 pm

RussellBenington wrote:is there enough room...if there all side by side by side then she might be getting too warm in this weather....or getting pushed off


There's plenty of room in the roost but I think my husband cut the entry hole too large and nobody wants to sit above it as the draft comes in. Half the perch line is unused (the bit near the door) and the other three are fluffed up happily with plenty of space between them on the other half (always in the same order with the central one facing backwards). We've got an air vent at the top of the roosting room so the warm air can get out and it's a coloursteel roof, with all the rain and lower temps I think it may be girls not liking the more drafty spot near the exit. Working out the perch and bird space needs it should house six across with absolute comfort but I only want five girls maximum and have four at the moment. My husband is going to remake the panel with a smaller door, so less drafty. I hope remaking the front panel will sort the problem out, otherwise could it be that she's the lowest in the pecking order and is just subservient? Or else she's just an odd bird and will always be odd (one of my cockatiels has a few odd habits like sucking his back toenail with his head curled under the perch to reach it).
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Re: Black Australorp or Minorca?

Postby sewren » Sun Jan 05, 2014 10:04 am

tootalk wrote:The Minorca came right to me and grabbed a tasty scrap. The rest took chase and tried to get her scrap off her. There was a pile of nice vege there to eat and they all wanted the same bit. Worse than my six year olds!

Yeah, it's hilaroius how they do that - they always seem to think the other chooks have the best bits, even if there is a pile of yummy stuff to chow into. Strange things, but entertaining!

tootalk wrote:I don't want him egg bound! :lol:

Ha ha - classic! :lol:
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