Mister Big Shot is a Black Australorp Rooster. We hadn’t planned on him. That is to say when we got him and a bunch of other chickens as day-olds… he was supposed to be a hen. Imagine our surprise when one of the pullets started crowing at three months old. We thought “she” was just asserting her authority as hens often do when establishing their place in the pecking order. But not much longer a beautiful, big, red comb and wattles appeared. It was at that point we knew we had a rooster on our hands.
When Mister Big Shot started strutting his stuff, we had to move the rescue rooster “Elliot” down to the coop in the hangar barn to avoid the inevitable altercation between the two.
Notice in this video his shiny black plumage and bright red comb and wattle. What a pretty boy! The Black Australorp, is an egg-laying breed from Australia. The breed originated in the UK when the Black Orpington and the Rhode Island Red were cross-bred. The hens of this breed are well-known for producing 300 or more eggs each year. In fact, the world record was established in 1857 when an average of 309.5 per hen was counted during a trial period. There are also white and blue versions of the Australorp that are recognized by the Australian Poultry Standard. There are other colors recognized elsewhere including golden and buff.
You may wonder how we can get a big, showy rooster to calm down long enough to be cradled in our arms. Well, it’s a matter of holding on tight at first so they don’t flap their wings crazily. Second, while cradling them, you roll them on to their back and stroke their neck. That’s the perfect formula for lulling them to sleep. Here, Mister Big Shot is not exactly asleep but he’s being a good boy as I talk to him about being our little “baby.”