Black Stars (Black Sex-Link)

 

Black Sex Link

Enlarge

Overview

Black star chickens were first created after WWII ended (1945) with the aim of making a breed that could lay a large amount of eggs in order to keep up with the demand from shoppers. A Barred Plymouth Rock hen and a New Hampshire or Rhode Island rooster were crossed in order to achieve this.

Sex-links are cross-bred chickens whose color at hatching is differentiated by sex, making chick sexing an easier process. They can be differentiated as early as 1 day old.

Sex-links come in many varieties, few of which are a true breed.

Males weigh 7.7—8.8lbs (3.5-4kg)

Females weigh 5.5-6.6lbs (2.5-3kg).

Eggs 

Size

Large size eggs

Color

Brown colored eggs

Production per year

Around 300 eggs per annum

When do they start laying eggs?

20 weeks old

Black star Characteristics 

Temperament / Are they good as pets?

They’re hardy birds so are suitable for most climates and they tend to be quiet, they only make noise after they’ve laid eggs. They’re very friendly so can make for good pets.

How do I tame “Black star” chickens?

Feed them out of the palm of your hand and pick them up when they are young so they can get used to human contact.

How many do I need to buy?

At least 2 chickens, we recommend that you buy around 6.

How much space do they need?

Can be kept in a run, you should have 25 square feet per bird in your un.

Will they mix with my other chickens?

Yes, they can mix easily.

Appearance

They have a black plumage and hens have golden feathers speckled on their body, where as the males have white feathers in place of the golden ones.

Black Star Chicken

Feeding

What should I feed them?

From 0-6 weeks you can give them growers mash, this has 19% protein and has all the nutrition your chickens will need in order to grow healthily.

Then, switch them to chicken pellets which is just chicken feed but in pellet shape, feed them this until they’re 18 weeks old.

At 18 weeks old they’ll need nutrients to support them in egg production, so switch them to layers mash or layers pellets, this has 16% protein.

How much should I feed them?

Chickens will eat anywhere between 2.9oz (80g) to 4.2oz (120g) a day, but usually they’re fed ¼ of a pound of feed a day. Start by feeding them this amount and then change the weight based on how much you feel your chickens need.

The best way to guess how much more or less they’ll need it feed them in the morning and then come back to check how much they’ve eaten. Once you’ve found the perfect amount you can leave the feed in a feeder for them.

What can’t they eat?

Chocolate and beans should not be given to your chickens. They contain theobromine and phytohemagglutinin which is fatal if consumed.

Food that has become moldy shouldn’t be given to them as the mold will make them unwell.

Because of this in the UK giving scraps to them from your table is illegal.

What do I need to keep chickens? 

Water is needed at all times by chickens, you can find water containers which are stable enough that they can’t easily be tipped over and the right height so that they won’t be stepped into and dirtied. Put the water container in a shaded area so that water doesn’t become too warm.

Your coop needs to have 1.1m2 or 11 square feet or space per chicken and the run needs to have around 25 square feet per chicken. The coop should have a perch for each chicken so that they can sleep on it, there should also be a laying box made out of wood for them to lay eggs in.

The coop should be completely surrounded by a secure fence that also goes over the top, this is to stop anything getting at your chickens during the night.

Lastly, make sure there is grit for your chickens so that they can use it to make eggs.