Black Star chickens trace their origins back in the 1950s at the end of the Second World War. At this time, large numbers of soldiers from war and refugees seeking asylum in the United States led to a steady increase in population.
Some kinds of food like eggs became scarce pushing researchers to develop this breed. A good job was surely done as they came up with this laying machine.
History of the Black Star Chickens
The black star chicken breed is a relatively new breed that was developed after the end of the Second World War.
Researchers needed to come up with a breed that could lay many eggs to meet the high demand at the time. High population in the US meant a steady supply of eggs to the Americans.
After crossing the New Hampshire rooster or the Rhode Island Red with the Barred Plymouth Rock hen, the Black star chicken was developed.
These chickens quickly became a favorite among many chicken enthusiasts as they were prolific egg layers with cases of double and triple yorked reported.
Black star chickens are somewhere between large to medium chicken breeds. They are black in color with rust to golden flecks on the hackle running all the way to the breast.
They are not very heavy but some of the missing weight is harnessed into egg laying. The girls weigh 5lbs while the gents weigh in between 7lbs to 8lbs.
Their plumage is tightly packed on their bodies making these birds a cold hardy breed. They have a robust and strong appearance making them not easily intimidated by other assertive breeds.
When it comes to sexing, this breed is one of the few sex link chickens because the chicks have a notable difference. Some people actually refer these chickens as sex links.
Female chicks are completely black in color while the males are black with a white spot on their heads. This characteristic makes sexing easier at hatching.
When you breed two Black star chickens, the resulting offspring will not be a black star chick. They are developed after crossing the Barred Plymouth Rock hens with Rhode Island Red or New Hampshire roosters.
Their combs, wattles and earlobes are deep red in color. They have dark greyish legs that are featherless with four toes on each foot.
Black star chickens have a calm and docile reputation. They are the friendliest chicken breeds and will be happy when held and sat on your lap.
If you want a breed that enjoys cuddling, this is the precise breed for you. They get along easily with kids as they are calm and friendly. This feature makes these chickens a good option as pets.
They are very gentle when integrated with other chickens as they are not aggressive at all. These birds have some good interpersonal skills and will accept any other breed among them without any bullying.
Although these birds are popular, they are yet to be recognized by the American Poultry Association as they are categorized as a hybrid breed. The APA only recognizes heritage breeds.
These chickens are quiet just as they are calm. Keeping them in an urban setting will not be an issue as they will not be a nuisance to your neighbors who love calm environments.
Black star chickens are very good at maintaining silence and will only sing their melody when reporting the arrival of an egg.
Black star chickens Lifespan
These chickens are a member of the jungle fowl family. These subspecies originated from parts of Asia and they have a lifespan of 5 to 8 years.
There are cases where chicken have lived for 13 to 20 years but this depends with the kind of care you give them.
Male chickens are called cocks or roosters while a mature female is called a hen. Males less than a year old are cockerels while castrated males are capons.
A pullet is a female hen less than a year old while a baby hen is called a chick.
However, because of the large number of eggs black star chickens lay, they do not make it to old age and suffer from reproductive tract issues just like Golden comet chicken.
They are some of the birds rescued and sold but do not lay well because they are already exhausted due to continuous laying.
These chickens are super hardy birds. Their feathers are tightly packed on their bodies making them withstand cold weather just like Orloff chicken.
Those living in hot regions, these birds are heat tolerant chickens as they easily adapt and do well even in such climates.
When raised in confinement, they will do well. Raising them out on the backyard they will equally do better as they love to forage a lot.
Giving them a chance to venture out will allow them have an opportunity to supplement their diet with worms and insects. This will also offer some relief to you as they will act as a biological pest control mechanism.
Black Star chickens are both cold hardy and heat tolerant chickens. If they are properly fed, these birds will not suffer from malnutrition and other diet related illnesses.
However, common parasites like mites and chicken lice are a common problem and they need to be checked often. Use of diatomaceous earth in the chicken dust bath can help prevent the spread and further multiplication of these parasites.
Another health threat that face black star chicken is infestation by internal parasites like chicken worms. Seek advice from a qualified vet on the right chicken wormer to administer.
The vet will also help you get rid of thread worms and gape worms in chickens by recommending the best natural dewormer for chickens.
Because these chickens will lay many eggs, they are likely to suffer from cancer, egg yolk peritonitis and egg binding.
These chickens are the best when integrating them with other breeds as they are peace loving birds. Although they will not tolerate intimidation from other breeds they are not trouble makers.
Moving them from the brooder to the coop is sometimes a challenge among many. Thinking that your naïve birds will be bullied can cause sleepless nights.
Move these chickens to the coop in the evening with the cover of darkness. Here they will roost among other flock members and in the morning the old dwellers will think that they were together in the evening.
Keep an eye on the young chickens as they may not get an equal feeding and drinking opportunity due to fear.
This may result in dehydration and starvation. Having multiple chicken feeders and drinkers will give all birds equal feeding opportunities.
If you want many eggs, this is the breed you need to have in your backyard. These chickens are often referred by many as laying machines. They are super layers.
They are capable of laying 6 large eggs with a brown egg shell color per week. This translates to over 300 of these shelled products per year.
Those who keep Black star chickens use them as layers. They seldom get broody and are make poor mums. If you want some chicks, fire up a chicken hatcher or use egg incubators.
Due to the large number of eggs they lay, these chickens easily suffer from reproductive tract problems and even cancer.
Some keepers have complained that these chickens tend to develop egg eating habits. Due to their prolific laying nature, it is highly advisable you give these chickens a diet rich in calcium.
Black star chickens are an ideal choice for anyone looking for a prolific layer and a hardy breed too. They are easy to keep as they are adaptable to confinement and free ranging.
Their calm nature makes them preferred by keepers with children as they pose no threat to kids. This breed is a thumb up for me and I would recommend it to anyone without hesitation.