Paula the Purring Pullet
Immature hens (pullets) are such a joy to raise. Depending on the species, they can be downright cuddly and affectionate. Such is the case with the two-month-old Black Australorps here at the sanctuary. Who comes running to see us when we go in to the aviary? The little black pullets. Not the Olive Eggers. Not the Anconas. Not the Barred Rocks or Blue Stars. Nope, it’s the little Black Australorps that come running up for attention.
Here, Paula lets out a series of quiet vocalizations we call “pullet purring.” Very quiet, very calm. She’s just relaxing at breakfast time and taking a ride in my arms. While the others are gobbling chunks of cantaloupe, shredded cabbage, scratch grains and crumble, little miss Paula is content to serenade me.
We will be fortunate for her to start laying in another four months or so. Her first eggs will be really small. But by wintertime they will be regular size. No matter, our friends and neighbors have no problem eating “pullet eggs.” Despite being small, they are very tasty!
When mature, a Black Australorp will lay between 250 and 300 large, brown-colored eggs each year, so they are big producers. They originated from England based on the Black Orpington breed and then imported to Australia where they were further refined and got their “Aussie-Like” name.