Black Sex Link (Black Star) Chickens are a crossbreed of a Barred Plymouth Rock hen with a New Hampshire or Rhode Island Rooster. This particular crossbreed of chicken is well-known for laying brown eggs almost daily and is popular among many backyard chicken owners. Read on to learn more about the history of the Black Sex Link (Black Star) Chicken and what makes it such a popular breed for small-scale farmers.
Quick Facts about Black Sex Link (Black Star) Chickens
|Breed Name:||Black sex link|
|Place of Origin:||United States|
|Uses:||Prolific egg layers|
|Rooster (Male) Size:||7 to 8 pounds|
|Hen (Female) Size:||5 pounds|
|Color:||Black with gold breast feathers (female); Black with white barring (male)|
|Production:||High- 250-300 eggs per year|
Black Sex Link (Black Star) Chicken Origins
The Black Sex Link (Black Star) Chicken appeared in the United States soon after the end of World War II. With the influx of returning US soldiers and refugees, as well as the rapid expansion of the population during the post-war years (the Baby Boom as it came to be known), the Black Sex Link chicken was crossbred to help address food shortages in the country. The Black Sex Link is a chicken crossbreed created by mating a Barred Plymouth Rock hen with a Rhode Island or New Hampshire rooster with the offspring of the match becoming a prolific egg layer.
Black Sex Link (Black Star) Chicken Characteristics
The Black Sex Link (Black Star) Chicken is known for being a productive brown egg layer among domestic chickens. Hens can start to lay as early as 16 weeks, but many won’t start laying eggs until 20 weeks. While they are hardy birds that can survive in colder climates, they prefer warmer conditions for laying eggs and will typically lay roughly an egg a day if they are kept in warmer conditions. The Black Sex Link (Black Star) Chicken lays approximately 250 to 300 eggs per year.
Black Sex Link Chickens are also known for being friendly and docile, so they do well in urban environments, such as a backyard. They are sociable chickens, usually getting along well with other chickens, household pets, and children. Black Sex Links are very vocal when laying eggs and the roosters will crow throughout the day like other roosters, so close proximity to neighbors could become an issue.
A chicken coop and a grassy area to roam freely will make Black Sex Link (Black Star) Chickens happy as these birds are known to wander. They also tend to be fearless with predators, which can cause safety issues, so it will be important to have measures in place to protect their welfare and keep them from crossing paths with predators.
Black Sex Link (Black Star) Chickens are primarily used for egg-laying because hens lay between 250 and 300 eggs a year. Hens start laying eggs between 16 and 20 weeks and can lay roughly an egg a day. The Black Sex Link is a hardy chicken that does well in many climates, but it will need a warm place to lay its eggs. If the temperature is too cold, egg production slows down or may even stop altogether. The Black Sex Link (Black Star) Chicken is a popular choice for many backyard chicken coops in suburban areas.
Appearance & Varieties
A sex-link chicken is a crossbreed of certain chickens that hatches different colored chicks that are easily identifiable by sex upon hatching. The crossbreeding of the Barred Plymouth Rock hen with a Rhode Island or New Hampshire rooster is done purposefully to create sex-link chicks. While both males and females are black upon hatching, the males have white patches on their heads, while the female chicks are all black. As the male chicks mature into roosters, they develop white bars (stripes) throughout their feathers. Roosters have a bright red comb that either stands erect or flops to the side. Females typically remain a solid black with a brown tint to the feathers on their breast, neck, and head. Hens develop a dark red comb that is proportionate to the neck and head size.
It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact population numbers of the Black Sex Link (Black Star) Chicken in the United States. There are an estimated 518.3 million chickens currently in the U.S., so it’s a fair assumption that the Black Sex Link is one of the more prolific birds in the U.S. due to its popularity. Black Sex Link Chicks can be purchased at most hatcheries or farm supply stores.
Are Black Sex Link (Black Star) Chicken Good for Small-Scale Farming?
Chickens are a staple of small-scale farming and Black Sex Link (Black Star) Chickens are a favorite for their high egg production. Whether you have a large family to feed, or are thinking about starting your own organic egg business, these productive egg layers will help you meet your goals with just a few chickens. Hens will make eggs heavily for about two years before production starts to slow due to the age of the hen. Males are ready for butchering between 16 and 20 weeks of age.
The mating of a Barred Plymouth Rock hen with a Rhode Island or New Hampshire rooster creates the Black Sex Link (Black Star) Chicken. This mating allows chicks to be easily identified as male or female upon hatching. The Black Sex Link (Black Star) chicken has been a staple on farms in the United Sates since it first made its appearance during the boom years after the end of World War II. Popular because of its almost daily production of brown eggs, the Black Sex Link (Black Star) is a favorite among small-scale farmers and backyard farmers and is sure to remain a primary type of chicken on farms for many years to come.
Featured Image Credit: Katie Bernotsky, Unsplash