Marcus, you are a gracious person, that is clear, thank you for your kind words.
The Australorpes are beautiful and wonderful birds, I have heard that they are quite a friendly breed. Brian Bray, the other forum member that lives near your neck of the woods has some of the most beautiful birds, and they include the Australorpe breed. You MUST get a rooster to go along with the girls. The rooster takes care of his clan of ladies, very well, in every way. I would never have chickens without a rooster or two to help to look after them.
The rooster is a powerful and important dude. I watch my roosters out there in my chicken yards (which are huge and several, with lots of bush and hills and trees). They take 100% and complete care of their ladies. They find food for them, they call these girls over to eat the stuff that they unearth for them, even a seed, a nice little bug or whatever. It bewilders me as I watch these dudes looking after their girls. The roosters will make a very specific sound when they have found something yummy that they think their girls should eat, all the girls come running, because they know for surely that their rooster has found something worth calling them to get. The rooster will not eat the yummy little thing that he has found, he will even pick it up with his beak to show them, and drop it so they notice.
The rooster will watch the skies as the ladies are munching and digging, he alerts them to every little thing that he thinks could possibly be a threat. I kid you not. When the girls hear him making certain calls, depending on what it means, they listen. When it is a sound of peril, they run for the trees, him quick on their tales, but only before he knows that they are going safe first.
The rooster will be the first one at the beginning of the twilight time to head into the house, the girls watch him, he is their leader, and they know that the day is done, they follow him like he was king.....and that he is...king of the roost.
Marcus, just wait until you get your girls and their dude, you will love every minute of it....once keeping chickens....it is like the bees, you will be addicted. And once your dear Wife gets that fever, especially after she has cooked with some wonderful home grown eggs, she will become an addict too, she may even take over your chickenyard, hee, hee. Enjoy the birds that you will get, I know that you will. I do.
Go to this thread, you will see the beautiful birds that Brian has at his house, I put on some pictures when some of us forum members were down to his house for a barbeque. You may even want to think about getting some Light Brahama breeds too, and others, they are absolutely beautiful. Here is the thread.... http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php/topic,17877.msg132437.html#msg132437
Have that most wonderful and awesome day, love life. Cindi