Looking for a new addition to your flock?
The Black Star chicken is a medium sized breed with predominantly black plumage and striking gold flecks across the breast feathers.
One spectacular thing about this breed is its egg laying ability. Black Star hens are often described as egg laying machines, supplying many grocery stores with beautiful brown eggs since the early 1950s.
With this guide, I’ll show you why it’s worth keeping Black Star chickens and how to make sure they stay with your flock for a very long time.
The History of the Black Star Chicken
Black Star chickens are sex link chickens.
This means that the sex of hatched chicks can be distinguished by physical traits.
It was the careful selection of different breeds that helped tell the rooster hatchlings apart from the hens.
Breeds such as the Barred Rock hen were crossed with a New Hampshire rooster which gave rise to these sex linked chicks.
The newly hatched Black Star hen will have pure black feathers while the male is black and has a white spot on the top of the head.
For this reason, they are also known as black sex link chickens.
Where Do Black Star Chickens Come From?
When we look at the history of the Black Star breed, it can be traced back to the early 1940s and the end of the Second World War.
Owing to an influx of men returning from the war, rationed foods were simply not enough to provide for reunited families.
Poultry breeders and scientists carefully selected the genetics of different chicken breeds to develop robust hens that were also machines in terms of laying eggs!
The New Hampshire male, Barred Rock hen, and the Rhode Island Red hen were chosen to produce black sex link chickens.
During the 1940s and 1950s, Black Star chickens led the way in the production of eggs. They consistently laid extra large brown eggs at 250 to 300 eggs per year, filling grocery stores and feeding many.
As a free-range and medium-sized chicken, the Black Star wasn’t a fussy breed.
People bred hens for their egg laying capacity and generally good health.
What is the Black Star Hen Known for?
Black Stars are one breed known for their egg production.
When the breed was first developed, the hen did not require specialized feed or conditions to produce extra large brown eggs.
Different breeds, including the Rhode Island Red, Barred prolific egg laying abilities Rock hen, and the New Hampshire Rooster, all genetically contributed to their.
Two similar chicken breeds include Red Star chickens and Golden Comets.
These chickens are also sex linked, allowing breeders and keepers to easily tell the sex of Black Star chicks apart.
Such unique characteristics make the Black Star one of the favorites for the backyard flock and producing many eggs.
What Do Black Star Chickens Look Like?
Black sex link and black beauty are common names for Black Star chickens.
Both the hen and the rooster are medium-sized and have predominantly black feathers.
Hens vs Roosters
You can identify the hen by her gold breast feathers.
The male is black with white specks similar to the plumage of a Barred rock hen.
If you look closely at the patterns on the Black Star hen and the rooster, you will see two or three predominant genetic influences of other chicken breeds.
These breeds include the New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and the Barred Rock hen.
Why They are a Sex Link Breed
You can tell Black Star chicks apart because they are sex linked.
The Black Star hatchlings are sheer black in color, but one may change in hues and patterns as it matures.
It is among the few breeds that one can easily distinguish.
Comb, Feathers, and Feet
Black Star chickens have a single comb.
The comb, the wattles, and the ear lobes will turn bright red in color as chicks reach adulthood.
Hens have a single comb that is proportionate to the head and neck.
The rooster has a significantly larger comb and wattles when compared to the hen. His impressive comb can stand upright or slightly flop to the side.
The color of the hen’s comb will turn dark red when she is ready to lay.
How Big Does the Black Star Chicken Get?
The Black Star chicken breed has yellow skin and 4 toes on each foot.
These hybrid breeds are medium sized with hens reaching 5 lbs while roosters can weigh in at 7 lbs.
Birds with Character
These birds are very interesting to watch!
They will hold their tails upright at the perfect angle while foraging for food or strutting around the chicken coop.
Both the hen and the rooster have a rectangular shape.
What is the Black Star Breed Standard?
Historically, Black Star chickens consist of different breeds and are considered hybrid birds.
There is no set breed standard owing to the diverse genetic makeup.
If you were to breed Black Stars together, you would produce hybrid chickens rather than a set type of rooster or hen.
Most characteristic about the breed is its black color and sex linked chicks.
What are the Variations of the Black Star Breed?
One would believe that there are many variations of Black Stars.
These hens are unlike other breeds with gold breast feathers, while male Black Stars differ in appearance and behavior.
The Black Star is similar to breeds such as the Red Star chicken. The Red Star is also a hybrid and sex linked chicken.
Along with the Black Star, it can yield around 280 – 300 eggs per year.
Other types of chicken breeds that are likened to Black Stars include the Golden Comet and Golden Buff chickens.
What Age Do Hens Start Laying?
The Black Star hen will mature at 20 weeks of age, and egg laying should start around this time.
Hens lay extra large brown eggs with good yolk sizes. Because of their robustness, they simply need an egg laying feed to produce consistent eggs with hard shells.
You can supplement with oyster shell grit; however, these chickens do well on a regular feed without any special requirements.
If you are looking for outstanding egg production throughout the year, then Black Stars are among the best chicken breeds to get.
They can lay daily and are suited to the backyard or the farmstead.
Improving Egg Production
To help your Black Star hens lay those beautiful large brown eggs, ensure they have enough space to forage around the coop.
Many chicken keepers will allow Black Stars to free range where they can get their natural grit outdoors.
If you cannot allow your chickens to free roam, then build a run around the coop for space.
To help you raise a happy egg layer, we look at raising Black Star chickens a little later in this guide.
Do Hens Get Broody?
Black Star hens do not generally get broody.
You may find one or two hens that will get broody; however, these chickens are not considered consistent setters.
In order to encourage chickens to lay, provide the right feed, a good coop space, and a secure place for hens to lay their eggs.
Many birds will lay in a regular box with adequate shelter.
Preparing the Nest Boxes
New Black Star Chickens means that the nest will be full of eggs every day. You need to make provision for extra nesting spots so all chickens can find a place to lay at any time of the day.
If your Black Star chickens have not reached around 20 weeks of age, you will still have time to prepare for their upcoming eggs!
It’s the perfect time for you to look for nesting boxes, and if you’re searching for the best ones, we’ve got them right here.
The Black Star will fit into virtually any flock with the right type of coop or housing for chickens.
Depending on the size of the flock, you should carefully consider the dimensions, style, and positioning of the coop or run.
It is best to place housing around sheltered areas including trees. Black Star chickens will need access to grass to forage, space to roam, and shelter to lay eggs or hatch chicks.
Many chicken keepers will get a sturdy fence to place around the coop.
This is to keep the backyard flock contained and protected against possible predators.
If you do have frequent visits from foxes or even falcons, a strong mesh right around the coop can prevent risk to your beautiful Black Stars.
As Black Star Chickens are a tough breed with a good survival instinct, they do not always have to be tightly enclosed.
For locations that are free from predators, one can erect a coop where Black Star chickens can raise chicks or simply lay an egg.
The proper shelter will encourage chickens to lay eggs more often.
What is the Best Climate for Black Stars?
This sex link breed is suited to warm or cold climates.
As their makeup includes chicken breeds such as the New Hampshire and the Rhode Island Red, they can adjust easily to a variety of environments.
The only real-time you will find Black Star chickens making some noise is once they have laid an egg.
The medium sized hen has quite the voice when she wants to tell you that her egg is ready!
You may notice a slight change in their behavior once they reach 18 to 20 weeks of age. This is owed to their maturity and preparation to lay eggs.
The sex link breed is a welcome addition to the flock for any chicken hobbyist.
How to Introduce Black Star Chickens to the Flock
Because Black Star chickens like to roam around the yard and enjoy their space, it is important to carefully introduce mature chickens to the flock.
Your chickens will have an established pecking order, so bringing in the gentle-natured Black stars should be done with consideration for these friendly chickens.
Introducing Your New Chickens
Before bringing your new Black Star chickens around your flock, it is important to quarantine them for a few days and to treat any ailments.
Once you are ready to allow the chickens to meet one another, I recommend a fine mesh to keep them separate but to allow them to see each other.
After one or two days of the visual meet and greet you can allow them to forage together.
I don’t suggest confining the new hens to the coop with the other breeds just yet unless you have very easy-going chickens.
Chicks should be fed a hatchling feed in a small crumble formula.
This makes it easier for their tiny beaks to pick up the feed.
Do not use oyster shell or calcium supplements up to 8 weeks of age.
High levels of calcium can cause kidney problems in young birds.
Feeding Mature Birds
When birds mature at 20 weeks and they go into egg production, their nutrition requirements will change.
A backyard flock can benefit from a balanced laying feed with a 16% protein ratio.
In order to get those extra large brown eggs, you can introduce a calcium-based grit.
The Best Feed to Egg Ratio
Along with their hardiness, Black Star chickens provide a fair feed to egg production ratio.
This means that your chickens will consume less feed compared to other chicken breeds of the same size, to produce the same number of eggs.
These egg laying machines can attribute their ability to lay many eggs to the different breeds in their genetic makeup. The New Hampshire, Rhode Island Red, and the Barred Rock are also incredible egg layers.
The Rhode Island Red is a reliable layer and can produce 200 to 300 eggs per year.
The Rock hen can deliver 200 eggs per year while the Red Star yields around 300 eggs, meaning Red Star chickens are prolific in laying eggs as well!
Do They Suffer From Health Problems?
Black Star chickens are a generally healthy breed.
They’re considered a top choice for 2023 flocks partly for this reason.
These birds do not require any special feed or conditions to lay their extra large brown eggs.
What chicken keepers will have to look out for in the Black Star flock are issues about laying eggs.
Because they are such tremendous layers, they can suffer from egg peritonitis. Some hens may succumb to cancer at one to two years of age.
While a tough and independent breed, these chickens are not immune to disease and dangerous conditions, so to mitigate this, make sure you give them regular checkups.
What is Their Personality Like?
Black Star chickens are tough and docile.
This makes them the perfect addition to your backyard flock!
They can adapt to a variety of conditions and environments and because they are also egg laying machines, who wouldn’t want these black-feathered chickens in their yard?
Independent Yet Friendly
If you are looking for a real pet chicken, then raising the Black Star with regular interaction will create one cuddly bird!
Black Stars are among the few breeds that are extremely friendly when raised with love and care.
Black Star Behavior
These birds can forage in the backyard on their own or they can follow their keepers around especially when it’s feeding time.
Rather than keep one or two chickens, this breed does best in a diverse flock.
Hens will lay an average of 5 eggs per week provided the necessary shelter and space to free range.
Observe New Chickens
When all chickens have settled, ensure the new Black Star chickens are eating and drinking. While Black Star chickens are not typically skittish, they can become stressed if bullied by the other breeds.
Are These Chickens Noisy?
Black Star chickens are not considered a very disruptive breed.
If you live in an urban area and wish to raise a backyard flock, always learn of the city law concerning chickens in a residential area.
Some locations may be restricted to one or two hens while others allow large numbers of birds.
You will find that Black Star hens will occasionally cluck and chirp. The male will make the most noise as he crows throughout the day.
In order to safely keep a good number of birds in your backyard, you can contact housing or government associations to understand local chicken-keeping laws.
Rearing Healthy and Happy Black Star Chickens
When introducing new chickens be sure to bring more than one chicken to the meeting! Two or more Star chickens will feel more comfortable and less skittish.
Black Stars will adapt to their new home very quickly but their transition should be smooth and stress-free.
Raising a Hardy Chicken
Black Star chickens are a hybrid production of the New Hampshire rooster, Barred Rock hen, and the Rhode Island Red.
These different breeds have contributed to their ability to lay an impressive number of eggs while improving their overall hardiness.
These medium sized chickens are suited to confinement but should be provided adequate space to forage around the yard.
The Black Star breed is best for the garden where they can find natural grit and remove bugs from your garden.
Excellent Egg Layer
Provide your hens with the appropriate feed, shelter, and comfortable space where they can lay their eggs.
At around 20 weeks you can expect a constant supply of beautiful eggs.
So if you are looking for plenty of eggs then Black Star Chickens will be great for your backyard flock.
Quiet and Docile
For urban chicken keepers, Black Star chickens are a welcome addition to the flock.
These birds are friendly and generally quiet so you won’t have to be apologizing to the neighbors about noisy hens!
While hybrid breeds such as Black Stars and the Red Star are tough and generally healthy, they are prone to becoming egg bound.
They may not have the same issues as a New Hampshire or the Red Star but looking out for conditions concerning their eggs is a necessary part of raising healthy chickens.
Healthier chickens means more eggs for you!
They can adjust to different environments too and are not flighty or shy.
These single comb chickens are also pretty with hens known for their golden breast feathers.
So, if you are looking for a prolific layer of eggs that is friendly, beautiful, and easy-going, then Black Star chickens are the ideal breed for your flock.
What We Know About Black Star Chickens
Black Star chickens are attractive birds and one of the many hybrid breeds that are tough, yet docile in nature.
They are easily identifiable by their black color and single comb.
The hens are beautiful, with rust to gold breast feathers while males have a speckled pattern similar to a Barred Rocks.
Black Star chickens have an excellent temperament.
When raised with regular interaction, you could find yourself with a lap chicken. That’s just how friendly they are!
These chickens are also very smart.
You can easily teach them to find their coop and to respond to your call.
What is most notable about Black Star Chickens is their ability to lay up 300 eggs yearly.
These chickens simply don’t stop laying eggs unless they become broody or start to molt.
They are certainly recognized as a star-studded chicken.
The Black Star chicken is more expensive than common breeds, including the New Hampshire and Rhode Island Red.
Eggs, Eggs, and Eggs
If you want chickens that lay endless eggs, the best chicken to add to the flock in 2023 is the Black Star chicken.
For the urban chicken keeper, one or two of these stunning hens around the backyard will provide endless hours of entertainment.
Another dark-feathered choice is the Black Copper Marans. Though they might be a bit more challenging as a backyard chicken.