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When it was normal practise for families to keep hens in the backyard for household eggs, back in the 1950's and 60's, the Australorp was one of the top three breeds, the others being White Leghorn and Rhode Island Red. The Australorp were placid natured, excellent layers and made a clean chicken soup when their productive days were over. We are privileged to have access to the same genetics today that produced these earlier utility birds. Barter & Sons Hatchery have maintained the historical lines of laying fowl, an act of surprising foresight as they were not to know that other breeders would relinquish the old utility lines in favour of commercial hybrids. The Barter traditional laying breeds are akin to the unimproved varieties of vegies that are being preserved by Diggers Seeds and the Seed Saver Network and the heritage fruit cultivars. These are a link to the tried and tested tasty food our forebears produced. I commend the hatchery for maintaining the unique heritage breeding lines of Australorp, Rhode Island Red and White Leghorn and for introducing them to the individuals and families who are committed to real food and the breeds that have a role in producing it. (Webmaster's Note: Meg Miller is regarded as a leader in her field. She is recognised as an industry professional and very knowledgeable in the poultry sector.)
Testimonial By: Meg Miller, Editor -   Grass Roots Magazine & Australasian Poultry Magazine