July 12, 2012

Meet the Chickens: Bellatrix the Black Australorp

All of us in the family are huge fans of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books, so it was only natural to go with a Harry Potter naming theme for our chickens when we got them as day-old chicks in April of 2011. This is Bellatrix, our Black Australorp.

Bellatrix the Black Australorp

And this is Bellatrix, evil witch of the Harry Potter world. She's nasty, but still one of our favorite characters in the series.

Bellatrix the Witch (photo courtesy)

We love Bellatrix the chicken, but she can in fact be mean, just like her namesake. She used to love to be snuggled as a chick, but recently she started giving me a hard peck when I tried to pick her up. Mr. English has no problem picking her up, though--maybe she's just decided I'm underneath her in the pecking order. That will have to change!

Snuggling with me as a little chick

Happy to be held by Mr. English

Bellatrix is a very striking chicken, with feathers that have a beautiful iridescence when she's standing in the sun. She's big, too. In the early days I worried she might be a rooster, since she was so much taller than the other chicks.

Baby Bellatrix towered above her same-age sisters

Australorps are considered to be a dual-purpose heritage breed and are known to be good layers. It was a Black Australorp that set the world record for laying in an official test in Australia when she laid 364 eggs in 365 consecutive days. She was a bit of an overachiever; generally Australorps lay more like 250 eggs a year. Bellatrix lays pretty, bullet-shaped, dark eggs reliably, but not on that kind of record-breaking pace.

Bellatrix has been the easiest of our chickens to care for, with the fewest issues in terms of temperament or laying. When we add more chickens to the flock someday, we'll definitely consider adding another Black Australorp.


  1. Art of San DiegoJuly 12, 2012 at 1:32 PM

    So does Bellatrix eat gorp by any chance?

    1. No, Art, the Australorp does not eat gorp (but I'm sure she would if we gave her some!)

  2. She's a beauty -- and you have given me hope as we have a lovely adolescent chicken who(like Bellatrix)is just towering over two other young chickens we brought home at the same time. Maybe Bootsy isn't a rooster after all...