Black Star chickens are first-generation hybrid chickens, bred by crossing a Rhode Island red rooster with a Barred Rock hen, or vice versa. The result is babies that can be "color-sexed," meaning color easily identifies male and female chicks.
Black Star hens are bred to be superb egg layers. They start to lay at about 5 months old. Adult hens will lay five to six large brown eggs each week.
Black Stars weigh 5 to 6 pounds. They are good foragers and are hardy in winter. Docile and friendly, Black Stars are easy to raise and can make good pets.
Chicks of both sexes are black, but a white spot on the head distinguishes the males. Adult males are black with white barring, while adult females have gold feathers on the neck and breast.
Many hatcheries sell day-old Black Star chicks. They may also be bought as pullets (young hens) or as eggs for the purchaser to incubate and hatch.
Black Stars are not considered a true breed by the American Poultry Association (APA). Black Stars are not recommended as breeding stock because there is no way to predict which breed characteristics the chicks will inherit.