The black star hen is a species of layer chicken that is raised mainly for its ability to produce eggs. This species adapts very well to any type of handling and feeding, for this reason, it is one of the most used birds on free-range egg production.
The article addresses all the characteristics of the “black star” chicken that we must know if we want to start our poultry farm with this species.
Origin of Black Star Chicken
The black star chicken, also known as black rock, is an English laying hen that is the result of the hybrid cross between a Rhode Island Red rooster and a Barred Plymouth Rock hen. As a consequence of the cross, the chicks were born with black plumage. However, the females have a brown color on the head and around the neck, which is one of the most distinctive characteristics of this breed, while the males have a white spot on the head, making it easy to differentiate the sex on the first day after hatching.
Behavior of Black Star Chicken
This species of bird is raised mainly for its egg production ability, considered a top egg-laying breed together with the Leghorn. This breed is raised mainly for the production of red or brown eggs, unlike other species that are raised for the production of their meat or for ornamental use, such as the peacock.
Its demeanor is calm, spending much of its time scratching the ground in search of food, or huddled in different parts of the pen.
Characteristics of Black Star Chicken
The black star hen is a species of black plumage with jet tones and reddish feathers around the neck and chest, an excellent laying bird, and very easy to breed. In addition, it has the following characteristics:
- It is medium-large in size
- They are excellent layers
- They have an average production of 300-340 eggs per year
- The weight of this bird is approximately 3 kg.
- The egg-laying begins after 28 weeks.
- Their eggs are large with an approximate weight of 65 gr
- Their eggs are brown
- They are docile and not aggressive
Feeding of Black Star Chicken
Chickens are omnivorous, so their diet is usually varied, being capable of consuming small insects, vegetables, rice, even pieces of meat. However, in the case of the black star hen, since it is a laying species, it is required that its diet be properly balanced with different nutrients. Especially if the hen is raised for the sale of eggs, it is required that the animal receives the necessary nutritional principles daily in accordance with its reproductive stage, since its diet plays an important role in the profitability of the business.
When the hen begins its productive life, feed consumption should be stimulated through the use of acetic acid. During the productive stage, an adequate diet is necessary, which is divided into three periods:
Period 1: Includes the start of production in weeks 40 to 42 and is characterized by the production of eggs. During this period, the hen has the highest amino acid requirements and proteins.
Period 2: It includes weeks 42 to 60 of the bird’s life. In this period, egg production is in decline. However, the size of the egg can increase as well as the body weight. For this phase, the protein requirements decrease.
Period 3: goes from week 60 to 62 until the end of the productive life. In this stage production decreases and the size of the egg as well as the bodyweight increases. Protein requirements go down.
Black star hen feeding during laying
Being a kind of hen destined for the production of eggs, its diet needs to be well balanced. During the laying period, it must be supplied with the necessary nutrients for the maintenance, growth, and production of eggs. Therefore, the following factors should be taken into account during your diet.
The energy in the feeding of the bird: the food must supply the energy required for the production of the egg. This is accomplished by adding carbohydrates. It is recommended that chicken feed rations contain at least 2,830 metabolizable kcal per kilo of feed.
Protein in the diet: The protein requirements will be mainly due to the composition and production of the eggs, as well as the energy contained in the food ration.
Minerals in the hen’s diet: Due to the amounts of calcium, phosphorus, iron, and copper present in eggs, the black star hen has great needs for these minerals, but especially for calcium. For this reason, it is required that calcium and phosphorus supplements be supplied to create reserves prior to the beginning of the posture.
Most common diseases and parasites of the Black Star Chicken
Like any other farm or domestic animal, the Black Star hen can also get sick or have an infestation of external or internal parasites, so it is vital to know your basic hen vaccination schedule. This is in order to prevent diseases that can harm the hen. Among the most common diseases that can occur are fowl cholera, New Castle disease, carrying worms, lice, or ticks.
Diseases can dramatically decrease egg production and in severe cases kill an entire batch of chickens. So if you observe that a hen is down, low egg-laying or its weight is lower than usual, it may be due to some symptoms of a disease. You should consult a veterinarian as soon as possible and separate that bird from the others, placing them in a different pen, away from the other chickens. since many of the avian diseases spread quickly.
The Black Star hen is a high-quality breed, used as a layer bird, producing at least 300 red eggs per year. They are easy to breed and do not need large spaces. Therefore, they are an attractive species for farm management.
Black Star Chicken in the Philippines
Although Black Star, in general, are good layers, they are not popular in the Philippines compared to other egg-laying hybrids like Dekalb Brown, Dominant CZ, and even heritage pure breeds of Rhode Island Reds, Barred Plymouth Rocks, and Black Australorps.
Black Star chicken in the Philippines is sold by some as for both chicken and egg but not for commercial capacity. They often mixed with other heritage breeds and costs similar to the latter. You can find them sold online through some poultry Facebook Groups.
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