".....The original stock used in the development of the Australorp was imported to Australia from England out of the Black Orpington yards of William Cook and Joseph Partington in the period from 1890 to the early 1900s with Rhode Island Red. Local breeders used this stock together with judicious out-crossings of Minorca, White Leghorn and Langshan blood to improve the utility features of the imported Orpingtons. There is even a report of some Plymouth Rock blood also being used. The emphasis of the early breeders was on utility features. At this time, the resulting birds were known as Australian Black Orpingtons (Austral-orp)....."
Based on that data; why not
Joined: Aug 28, 2012
Location: Highland, MD
Joined: Mar 11, 2012
Location: Western Kentucky-Climate Unpredictable Zone 6b
What can go wrong ? Try it. I would like to hear more on permies trying to foster breeds appropriate for free range and movable pen / paddock systems. In the old , old days folks just grew chickens and kept the ones that did best. Through regional isolation we had our first breeds suited to that climate and sphere. Later came more controlled breeding to produce "lines". I have not tried hatchings yet but once and cats and hawks got most. But when I next embark on that venture it will be by throwing the lots together and keeping the best performers. The breed naming could be fun - The Permie Polkadotte , Free Range Foghorn ,
or one after Pauls Paddock System -The Purple Coned Wheaton.
Joined: Feb 20, 2011
Location: Moving to: NE Washington USDA zone 5 Western steppes to the Rockies
Both the RIR and Australorp are well known egg layer/dual purpose breeds.
The mix should produce some fine, productive chicks.
Personally, I like the interbreeding of two breeds that each have the traits one wants. I believe that it improves the genetic diversity of the stock, thereby helping to minimize the weaknesses that are bound to show up as one breed begins to become inbred too closely.