The black hybrid are a Australorp cross which produces a very good layer. These birds are distinguished from the pure Australorps by their medium size, some red feathering around the neck and a red (not black) eye. Most pure Australorps these days are kept for showing and their egg laying has suffered. The hybrids however should lay around 290 eggs per year. They are available all year round as sexed day old chicks for $13.50 and Point of lay pullets for $26.