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Chicken Breeds item created by Super Admin, Jan 10, 2012
Pros - Great birds around kids
Very observant and smart
Nice big eggs!!!
Cons - Rough on the lower chickens
I really like our Red Stars! We started with two and have now gotten three more. The first two have officially stopped laying at 3 so very impressed with the production length. They have a tough personality and are kind of mean to the chickens that are the lowest of the pecking order. But they are so friendly!! When I have little kids come over, these are the chickens that I bring out for them to hold.
They will perch on my arm or shoulder sometimes. I love the dark red eggs that they lay!!
Pros - Great egg production, personalities, ok feed conversion
Cons - Can be very aggressive to flock mates
Cheap, easy and readily available. The do confinement very well and do pretty good in the colder months of the year. Personalities are unique to the individual, fun to have around. However, they can on occasions be overly aggressive with flock mates to the point my rooster got involved and hushed them around a bit. If I was to do it over again, I think I would go with a different breed/type of chicken for my hobby.
Pros - Human friendly, nice large brown eggs, lots of eggs
Cons - mean to anything other than itself
these are great dont get me wrong, everything is perfect except, i put 6 new chicks and everything was fine until one of my hens decided she was going to be a rooster and started riding the 6 new chicks, needles to say I'm going to have a chicken diner soon, i know its the pecking order but 2 red stars in particular won't leave any one alone from riding them, pecking them, or just chasing, so 5 chickens are getting eaten
Pros - Easily handled
gets along with others
comes when you call her
great egg layer
Cons - none!
I wouldn't ever spend good money on these birds again. They're 'friendly' to the point of aggression, even taking chunks out of my legs if I'm not careful. They lay nearly nothing after their first year which is pretty good, and the eggs they do lay are too large to fit in cartons. They are very prone to repro disorders, so they often just drop dead. Don't buy these, get a heritage bird that needs help surviving. Or, if that's not an option, Leghorns are a less-endangered bird that is thrifty on feed (unlike these hogs) and lays for quite a while.
Edit: I feel I should correct my original statement. If you happen to be keeping a large flock of boring ol' layers that you eat at about 10 months old, then by all means, go ahead. They'd likely be good for that, but that's about it.
Pros - Nearly an egg a day. Not afraid of anything from people to dogs. Great garden partners.
Cons - Will help themselves into the house if you leave the door open.
Never broody. Mix with other breeds and sex link traits are passed making sexing easy. 90% hatch rate!
Pros - Very friendly, pretty, lays huge brown eggs- 5-6 a week
Cons - Their egg production dramatically decreases after 2 years
I've had several red stars, and they were sweet, and beautiful birds. They laid 5-6 large brown eggs a week for about 2 years, after that they started laying less, and the eggs had very thin shells.
If you aren't looking for a long term layer, these are great, but if you want a hen that will lay reliably for years they aren't the best
Pros - Very Easy to tame.
Cons - Too Good at flying
I absolutely love my black star pullet! I originally got her from a breeder flock when she was 5 1/2 months old. She was really wild the day I got her. She wouldn't do so much as come near me. A few days later she was so easy to tame. She came running to me when she saw me and didn't mind being held. She was also a beautiful bird. When she would fly out of her penned area she would run over and eat the berries off our bush. She is 11 months and I Would definitely get another one like her!
Pros - Excellent layers, we were getting more huge brown eggs each week than we could possibly use.
Cons - The high egg production rate makes for a shorter lifespan and great potential for egg-related issues.
The first flock I helped raise was comprised of five red star hens and one rooster. The rooster was my sweet boy, and by far the best rooster we have ever, ever had. I miss him constantly. The hens were incredibly personable and sweet (for the most part, Jackie was a feisty girl!) They were all very calm and easy to handle and pick up. In fact they were so relaxed and friendly that trying to move them anywhere without carrying them could be difficult since we would have to just physically push them. Our sweet flock of six got us hooked on chickens with how wonderful they were. Our birds were totally free range and did very well with it, we never once lost one of our stars to a predator. They were always in their coop on time at night, and boy, that rooster was a beast when it came to keeping his girls safe. The downside was their lifespans being shortened by high egg production. We had each hen until her final moments, and they all made it to at least five years old, with two making it to six. The girls slowed down a lot in their age, but none of the other birds we eventually added ever dared question the authority of the stars. Sweet, wonderful birds, I'd recommend them to anyone.
Pros - Great layers, lively
Cons - Can be standoffish, escape artists
Curiosity killed the cat. It hasn't killed my black stars yet, but I worry that eventually they'll wander somewhere they shouldn't have. Many a day I've found they've made it around 6 ft wood fencing and into the front yard/neighbor's yard/garden. Strong personalities. They try to pick on my Rhode Island Reds, who fortunately have a few years on them. I don't expect them to take kindly to newcomers. Not lap sitters but not entirely opposed to neck scratches. I think they're attractive birds, and they're the only chickens laying through the winter at a pace of 1 egg/day.