June 10, 2008 at 1:55 pm #243656
Hi there, I hope you can help me with my q’s..
1. We’re looking to get Australorps, are they a breed suitable for Brisbane?
2. How much do pullets cost roughly?
3. Do they have to have specially purchased pellets or mash? We’re aiming for sustainability so if we can do it ourselves, that’s our preference.
TIA!June 10, 2008 at 8:38 pm #349673SonyaMember
We have lorps on the Sunshine Coast and they are fine. Hardy, friendly, quiet, hard workers.
We paid $15 bucks for bantam ones and the standard ones cost $20 each. Probably a bit too much, but we had to take what we could get at the time.
You can get blue varieties too. If you go to the Ekka you’ll see all the varieties and you might find a breeder there too. We found them a little hard to get – they are popular.
We feed our certified organic grain – but of course that isn’t sustainable into the future and we will have to get some type of grain growing on our own property to feed them.
We also feed them a lot of organic greens (kale in particular) from our garden.
They’re lovely birds – we also have Pekin bantams with them – they might be good for your children to pick up and have as pets. The lorps are a bit too big and don’t like being picked up very much.
SonyaJune 11, 2008 at 12:01 am #349674
Oh thanks for the info! The time frame of the Ekka is right about when we’d be ready for them so thanks for the suggestion 🙂June 11, 2008 at 2:16 am #349675
the Australop is a good all round breed, however they will go broody and while broody will not lay eggs, expect them to do this twice a year – early spring and mid- late summer.
they lay between 150-220 eggs per year depending if they have been bred for utillity or exhabition.
day olds cost between $5-$10 each unsexed.
6 weeks old off heat $8-$15 each and these should come sexed
up to point of lay – utility $20-35 each
exhabition Birds depends on quality but from $50.00 onwards. unless someone is off loading stock
older hens past their fist year of lay, you may be able to get for $10-15 each.
These prices arn’t expensive and would barley cover the cost of feedig the pullets to point of lay – they are a big breed and eat lots.
If you can get healthy pure breed birds for less than these prices you are doing rearly well, snap them up and walk away with a grin:clap:
You can sometimes pick up cheaper birds at auctions but you have to be really careful and take someone who knows chooks well.
Blue are extremily rare and I would be suprised in you could get a point of lay hen under $50.00.
what you feed them depends on age and your set up and if you want to feed organic or not.
day old to 6 weeks- need an external heat source- and need to be feed chick starter or crumbles
6 week to 18 week need to be feed a pullet grower mix
18 week ( point of lay ) and beyond layer mix
if you want to breed the chooks you will need to feed them a breeder diet as you cant expect good fertility on layer pellets.
hope this helps.
I breed a few rare breeds down the bottom end of Vic.
mostly large breeds, and usually have 50 odd breeding birds and 20-30 chicks at any given time, (except when they wont lay, damn winter:uhoh:) the birds have access to free range under supervision usually for an hour a day.
The individual breeding pens cant be let out at the same time, becuase the roosters fight and will mate with any hen that crouches and god knows what i’ll end up with:p
the feed cost me about $250.00-$300.00 per month this dosen’t include the cost of elec – running the incubator or heat lamps, bedding and straw, medications and losses from preditors – four footed and two footed.
breeding pure breeds is usually a matter of passion, not profit.
Sorry for the rant… but work is slow at the moment 😀
RoogzJune 11, 2008 at 2:44 am #349676ShantillyLaceMember
Ayla I have also bred large chickens. The feeding per month can be cut quite a lot it depends on how you “farm” them.
When we had breeding birds (also around the 50 mark) we fed the equivalent of 1/2 cup of pellets for each bird.
BUT this is the important bit they were out of their pen most of the day. They were fed heaps of kitchen scraps, weeds from our vege patch, lawn clippings and lots of stuff (including things we don’t want to think about). They were free range as we lived on a property and only locked in at night. Often the pellets weren’t touched really.
How many are you aiming to have?
Are they going to be free range, in a chook tractor or in a pen?
We at present have 6 layers that cost me more then when I had the others because I can’t let them out (one dog we have really really likes them :p ). Pellets give them nutrients that they won’t get locked in a pen.June 11, 2008 at 3:48 am #349677
Sad that you had to cut down your flock sounds like you really loved them.
We chose not to feed our breeders pellets, as the breeder pellets cost to much. and the lable does not list ingrediants or grain sources.
We get a local feed supplier to mix to our specifications, this is a mix of up to 10 types of crushed grains, pollard, calcium and meat meal, costs about $15.00 per bag compared to $19.95 for breeder pellets.
we also feed from the garden, we have a “vegie” patch specifically for the chooks.:uhoh:
I’m not saying this is best for everyone-
In answer to Alya’s question, it’s really hard to be self sufficent in chook food unless you have a lot of grain storage, they do eat a surprising amount.
Even a fully free ranging flock will require some sort of supplimentry feeding otherwise egg production will drop.
I would love to let the guys free range all day, but for most people it’s usually not praticle – the chooks will destroy the garden as soon as your back is turned :@ –
The hawks and eagles down our way also have a habit of taking the best exhabition pullet or rooster, they have great taste: one breed I keep is down to less than an estimated 300 breeding Hens, Australia wide, so you really cant afford to loose any.
We keep different breeds, and I would hate to see what a Malay Game x Plymouth Rock looks like. actually – probly wouldnt be a bad table bird. ugly as all get out though:p
I suppose the line I was taking in the above post was that a $20.00 pure breed point of lay pullet is a bargin
roogzJune 11, 2008 at 4:11 am #349678
Thanks for your replies! A bit more info:
We’re beginning our urban homesteading journey (we live on 663sqm inc house), so we’re looking to get 2-3 good layers (we don’t intend to breed at all). We’re going to build a chook tractor that they can get put away in at night, otherwise I’m happy for them to roam around the yard during the day. We want good temperament birds as we have a baby who will be toddling soon. So with all that in mind we thought the Australorp looked like the way to go. So they can’t live off kitchen scraps, grass, bugs, and weeds alone? What kind of grain would they need, how much and what would it cost do you think? I just want to get a fair idea of the commitment 🙂June 11, 2008 at 6:43 am #349679
sounds like they are going to have a good life,
there are a couple of options for you:
layer pellets, goldern yolk are a reasonable brand cost between 12-18 per bag down here, should last 3 chooks with free range about 3-4 weeks.
one of the commercial mix’s with both pellets and grain, something like red hen (organic?) cost between $22-26 down here
my feed store to a whole grain mix no pellets for $26.50
my wholesale ( farmer) feed supply do a crushed grain mix – as described above for $15.00,
all of these are 20 kg bags.
you will also need shell grit – go for medium grade down here costs between $10-13 per 25 kg bag last my lot around 6 months
Shop around as you can see prices do vary, things to look out for – make sure the feed is fresh, protein levels drop especially in pellets if stored for along time. there are no weavels or mould in the grain. the cheapest supplier isnt always the best.
as a rule of thumb work on each chook need 1 cup of grain or pellets per day, then adjust downwards depending on how much they eat during freerange. you may be able to get away with 1/2 cup per day.
They will also eat more pellets or grain during winter as they are using a lot of energy to keep warm.
Cheers.June 11, 2008 at 8:29 am #349680ShantillyLaceMember
yeah when we left NSW we couldn’t bring the birds up. Buying up here at the time also meant we couldn’t get “land” so we have some little crossbreds at present but will start replacing them with true breeds in the next year.
We mixed our own as well generally. But we found the pellets lasted them ages.
We used to exhibit light sussex, plymouth rock, buff orpingtons, langshangs (bantam), gold lace wyandottes and a few others.
I remember watching out the backyard as a wedge tail eagle bounced up and down on the chook pen roof trying to get in. We ended up putting electric fencing along them to discourage that.
We also had turkeys. Big bronze ones and a buff. We did really well in our shows. I do miss it. Ah well I can dream of the future when I have all my chooks around again. What breed is down to 300?
And Ayla ditto roogz on feeding. :tup:June 11, 2008 at 10:52 am #349681creekerMember
And you’ll a metal bin and lid to store grains in. Rats can chew through plastic.June 11, 2008 at 11:45 pm #349682
The Large Malay Game is down to 300, Aseel is less than that and the Campine is getting really close. (pitty the campine is a realy god layer and very pretty to). When the gene pool gets that low its really hard to find unrelated quality stock.
Its an unfortunate fact that a lot of the rare poultry breeders are getting older and can’t or wont pass on alot of the accumulated knowledge that they have, I have met a few golden nuggets though and treasure all the info that I can squeeze out of them.
My god glad the Wegies here havent resorted to that yet, I know theve got to eat – but they could eat the damn rabbits instead:pJune 12, 2008 at 12:13 am #349683jaydatooMember
roogz, what area are you in? I’m thinking of getting pullets now seeing as my chooks are older. I found it very difficult to get suitable birds last spring to replace them.
Not too fussy about the breed. Most chooks seem nice 🙂 Not too flighty would have to be the only stipulation. Or can you recommend a breeder that is north of Melbourne? I’m about an hour out of Melbourne.June 12, 2008 at 3:35 am #349684
I’m just out of Geelong, I dont have much at the moment just sold a few Bantams and the last of the ISA’s that I raise from day old to pay for the chooks food:uhoh:
We usually start incubating in July when the chooks start laying. then most have been sold by Feb-March except for a few hangers on that I havent quite made up my mind about 😐
Of the breeds that I have that would be considered non flighty would be the Barnies (average) and the Rocks ( really laid back birds)
The Malay are also really laid back but i’ve been told that you may only get 30 eggs out of a hen per year, but god would they make a big roast.
Ive been warned that the Campines are flighty, but I must have got lucky with mine, but I dont have a lot of experience with this paticular breed as this will be my first laying season with them.
Next door has Rodies and Sussex and Bantam OEG a friend has top quality Fav’s. and we are currently fighting about who has the best Barnies:mad:
There is a big auction comming up in Euro on the 13/7 lots and lots of birds, I’d be happy to offer my opinion to any ALSers that what one -if anyone will be there……… My opinion comes with no garentee, and sometimes its not worth the paper its written on :D;)
if any of that dosent help. Backyard poultry is a good chook website with a for sale section and also notice board, they may have someone up you way.
I also log on as Roogz on that site as well:lol:
CheersJune 14, 2008 at 1:15 am #349685jaydatooMember
Thanks Roogz, I appreciate all the info!June 18, 2008 at 11:34 pm #349686
Thanks Roogz :tup:
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