Black Star chickens are a favorite among the homesteading and backyard keeping community as they are hardy, social, and prolific egg layers.
The Black Star is a sex-linked crossbreed created from a New Hampshire or Rhode Island rooster and a Barred Rock Hen.
This means breeders can tell the sex of the chick based on the color when hatched, which is always useful. This also resulted in a magnificent looking chicken in my opinion.
If you’re interested in this breed of chicken, here’s all the important information you need to know:
Black Star Chicken Temperament And Personality
I’ve spoken with a number of other backyard chicken owners and everyone says the same things when talking about Black Stars;
They’re friendly, social, docile, quiet, and pretty low maintenance. I had two a few years ago, they would follow me around and enjoyed interacting with me which I always liked.
We even had some moments when they’d forage around where I was sitting outside and we’d play a little. I’d definitely recommend this breed to families with children.
Being docile and easy-going they’re also great with other chickens, happy to have a rooster in the flock, and can easily be trained to be around other household pets.
Overall, they’re just a very friendly, easy to keep, adaptable, and enjoyable backyard chicken. Perfect if you’re new to raising chickens, or for anyone wanting lots of fresh eggs.
They are medium-sized chickens, weighing around 6 and 8 lbs for females and males respectively.
As their name suggests, their coats are primarily black. The markings that help you tell Black Stars apart from other breeds is the rust-colored markings on their breasts.
These markings can range in color and are often iridescent which is really cool.
They have black legs, and yellow skin (apparently), red wattles, ear lobes, and a single comb.
Most chickens love being free-range, and this is true of Black Stars. They love to forage, and will happily do their best to rid your yard of creepy crawlies!
They’re not very flighty, so you don’t need to be worried about finding them in your neighbor’s yard if you have decent fencing.
Black Star Chicken Egg Color, Size, and Production
Black Stars are dual-purpose chickens, this means they’re bred for both eggs and meat. It’s the egg production why they’re one of the best backyard and homestead chickens though.
With all of the right environmental factors and nutritional needs met, you can expect around 5 eggs a week. That’s a whopping 250-300 eggs a year!
Not just any eggs either, but large to extra large brown eggs.
They typically only lay at maximum capacity for the first 2-3 years though and start slowing down in the following years.
With just two of these in your yard, you’ll have more than enough eggs all year round for you and your friends and family.
Are They a Good Backyard Chicken Breed?
Yes, Black Stars or Black Sex-Linked chickens as they’re also called are one of the best breeds for a backyard chicken.
That’s assuming you want lots of eggs, of course.
Aside from their laying capability, they’re also a hardy breed. They adapt well to most weather conditions, aren’t known to be prone to illness, and are perfectly happy in large or small flocks.
Here are some of the reasons why they are awesome in urban and backyard settings:
Low maintenance – admittedly, most backyard chickens are low maintenance. As long as they have food, water, and some space to roam they’ll be perfectly happy.
Lots of large eggs – as I’ve already said, they lay lots of large brown eggs.
Not too noisy – all chickens make some noise, but Black Stars are known for being among the quieter breeds. A bonus if you have close neighbors.
Friendly temperament – they are perfect for families with children and other animals. Known for being docile and friendly, they are happy within busy households.
Adaptable – the word “hardy” comes up a lot when talking about Black Stars. This is because they adapt and tolerate all weather conditions, large and small spaces, etc.
Black Star Chicken Lifespan
They have an average lifespan similar to what you’d expect from most chickens, 6-10 years.
Black Star Roosters
The reason why sex-linked chicks can be sexed when they hatch is that the males and females have different markings.
Males, which will mature into roosters, have a white dot on their heads.
As they mature they look very different from females. When they feather out, the males have a similar pattern to the Barred Rock they are linked with.
They behave like a typical rooster; although they are one of the less territorial and aggressive breeds.
Some Interesting Facts About Black Star Chickens
If you’re looking for facts about this breed, please check out this post – 14 Interesting Facts About Black Star Chickens.
In summary, some important facts are:
- They’re a sex-link cross-breed, if you breed two Black Stars you do not get Black Star chicks.
- They lay between 250-300 eggs a year.
- You can expect them to start laying around 22-24 weeks of age.
- They are friendly and very adaptable with other chickens and household pets.
- Males weigh around 8 lbs, and females weigh around 6 lbs.
- They’re not very broody and will often not even sit on eggs.
- They are very tolerant of the cold and love foraging in the outdoors.
- Because they’re a hybrid, they are not recognized by the American Poultry Association (APA)
Where to Buy Black Star Chickens?
If you need help finding a local hatchery in your state, please check out the Find a Hatchery category on the site and type your state in the search box.
If you’re unable to find a hatchery nearby, or if you’d prefer to order online I can recommend a couple of online hatcheries:
Cackle Hatchery – Looking on Cackle Hatchery’s site you can buy Black Star or Black Sex-Linked Chickens as they call them for around $3.70 for hens and $2.25 for roosters. The price drops the larger number you order in one go.
Stromberg’s Hatchery – Stromberg’s also stock Black Sex-Linked chicks. Females start at $4.79 each, or you can buy straight run chicks for $4.03.
Black Stars are not just a community favorite, they’re one of my favorite chickens too.
They’re perfect for a backyard flock, urban setting, and a homestead. If you’re looking to get started keeping chickens, I recommend considering this breed.
There are literally no downsides that I can think of!
What Color Eggs Do Black Star Chickens Lay?
They lay brown eggs. Pretty much the typical light brown chicken egg you commonly see in the supermarket.
When Do Black Star Chickens Start Laying?
They mature at around 18 weeks of age and typically start laying between 22-24 weeks of age. You can expect a few small eggs at first, but they’re quick to hit a stride of laying large eggs.
How Many Eggs Do Black Star Chickens Lay?
They’re great layers. You can expect around 250 large eggs a year. That’s around 5 per week!