With its hardy disposition and fantastic egg laying abilities, the Black Star chicken is a great choice! This dual purpose all rounder is not only a reliable layer but is also a super friendly breed that will get on well with other chickens.
Developed into the breed they are today originally in the United States the Black Star chicken is a cross between two heritage breeds. This breed came about from the crossing of the Rhode Island Red and Barred Plymouth Rock. Not only are these birds great layers but they also love a good forage.
Our comprehensive and detailed overview of this breed will inform you of the characteristics of the Black Star chicken (also known as the black sex link) and enable you to decide whether they are the perfect addition to your flock.
What this article covers
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Black Star Chickens For Sale
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Overview of Black Star Chicken Characteristics
|Weight||6-8 pounds or 3.6 kg|
|Color||Black with brown flecks around their neck|
|Egg Production||300 large eggs per year|
|Suitable for hot environments||Yes|
|Suitable for cold environments||Yes|
|Suitable for wet environments||Yes|
|Cost of Chicken||Check Latest Price here|
Pros and Cons of keeping Black Star Chickens
|Pros 👍||Cons 👎|
|✔ Friendly||❌ Become less productive after 2 years and egg laying slows down|
|✔ Suitable for families with children|
|✔ Gets on with other breeds|
|✔ Dual purpose for eggs and meat|
|✔ Resilient and hardy|
|✔ Prolific egg layers|
|✔ Not overly broody|
History of Black Star Chickens
Black star chickens originated in the United States after World War II by crossing two heritage breeds of chickens. Post war there was a disrupted supply of food and to help remedy this, breeders started experimenting to create a hybrid breed that would supply both meat and eggs to meet demands.
One of the most promising combinations was that of the New Hampshire or Rhode Island chicken with a Barred Plymouth Rock hen. The result was the Black Star Chicken, also known as the Black Sex-Link chicken. The combination of these breeds together made a chicken that could consistently lay eggs all year long and would also provide meat if required. The added bonus with this hybrid combination meant that you could immediately tell apart males and females as soon as they hatched due to their coloring.
Up to the 1950s, Black Star chickens were the popular choice for egg production birds. Now Black Star chickens are a popular choice amongst homesteaders and backyard chicken keepers. This hybrid breed continues to give a generous amount of eggs cementing its popularity as a chicken that earns its keep.
The Appearance and Personality of a Black Star Chicken
It is usually easy to identify male and female chicks by the color of their feathers shortly after they hatch, thanks to the sex-linking characteristics of the breed. Males will have a white patch on their heads where as the females do not.
Females are black with gold feathering around their neck and breast feathers. Hens are also egg-laying machines! Males are black with white barring on their feathers — they will not retain the same characteristics in future generations.
Both sexes have yellow skin on their legs and four toes on their feet. They walk upright, and they hold their tails at an angle. They have reddish-orange eyes that seem to match the golden feathers on their breasts.
These chickens are perfect for beginners due to their friendly and easy-going temperaments. They are a hardy and resilient breed which make them suitable for all types of climates. They are keen foragers and love to free range about. They are not generally noisy birds so are a neighbour friendly breed.
With their calm and docile nature, they are great pets for children and are usually accommodating in their cooperation to be held and hugged. They have one of the best chicken breed temperaments overall.
Cooping Black Star Chickens
Black Star chickens are very resilient and hardy and will tolerate a wide variety of weather conditions – from freezing cold to 100F heat.
Just make sure they have the necessary dry, draft-proof shelter and other considerations such as shade, food and water to keep them comfortable.
Inside the Link” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener”>coop they will need a minimum of 4 square feet per bird.
An average of 8 inches of perch space is enough. In the summer months they will like to spread out a bit more but in winter they will cuddle up together to keep warm.
Nesting boxes should be a 12×12 inch cube or similar. If you give them too much space you will find them nesting together which can lead to broken eggs.
As for roaming space, the Black Star chicken requires a minimum of 15 square feet per hen is needed for their wellbeing.
Black Star Chicken Nutrition
You should feed Black Star chickens high quality feed.
Chicks should be fed a 20% crumble until they are 16 weeks old. Then they can be fed a 16% layer feed of crumbles or pellets when they mature. We like this crumble feed for our chickens.
Always provide a bowl of high quality grit to aid our chickens digestion.
Always provide a waterer with clean water they can drink and easily access.
Egg Laying Characteristics of Black Star Chickens
Black Star chickens generally lay around five eggs a week (<300 per year).
Egg coloring is brown.
They generally mature around 5 to 6 months old and will start laying around this time.
Health Considerations for Black Star Chickens
The Black star chicken is a very hardy breed and are not subject to any particular genetic ailments or health conditions. Black Star chickens are resilient to cold or hot weather conditions and will cope well given adequate shelter. Overall this breed is very robust and healthy.
Like with all chicken breeds, make sure you are providing them with plenty of exercise and a nutritious diet. Treat them for worms, parasites and lice periodically, as you would for any other chicken breed.
Having some space for them to roam and forage will contribute positively to their overall health and wellbeing and keep them at a comfortable weight.
Another important consideration when buying this breed is the source or breeder where you buy them. Ensure you do your research on breeders and ensure you go to a reputable one with healthy stock.
Overall this is a very healthy and hardy chicken.