Need information on Commercial Black chickens please


6 Years
Feb 16, 2013
Columbia, Virginia
I posted this in the chicks thread because they are only 4 weeks old, so I'm going to copy and paste:

Ok, so I asked on here (two different threads) if anyone could help me identify my chicks...I got them from Southern States, and they were supposed to be Barred Rocks (they "only" had RIR's, BR's, some turkeys and some ducks). Two of my six that I picked out had brown around their eyes. I thought perhaps they were a BR mix, but no one could confirm for me.

I called the Southern States I got the chicks from and asked what the name of the hatchery was they used. They told me Mt. Healthy in Ohio. So I called the hatchery and after speaking to someone, sent an email with pictures of my two 1 day old and 4 weeks old. The woman called me back a few hours later and told me they are NOT Barred Rocks, that they are Commercial Blacks.

Does anyone know anything about this breed? My chicks are 4 weeks old, and I had intended on only having Barred Rocks. Now I have two of this Commercial Black breed and I don't know what to expect in behavior! Also, I'm pretty good at sexing BR's, but I don't know how to sex Commercial Blacks.

The only information they gave me about the breed is that they are mixed with a bunch of different breeds, they lay brown eggs, they are high egg producers (bred to be that) with an average of 350-450 eggs per year, and that they are slightly smaller than a Barred Rock, with an average weight around 3.5 pounds. Here is a link to their Commercial Black page:

I ended up calling Southern States to let them know, and they were very angry. They paid for BR's (they got 150 in that shipment) and did not appreciate that the hatchery had slipped CB's into the batch. Also, the woman I spoke to at SS said she remembers that shipment, that she had noticed there were quite a few with the brown around their eyes and that they were smaller than the rest...some were solid black with no brown around their eyes. So they mixed quite a lot of the CB's with the BR's. She plans on calling the hatchery and getting to the bottom of it, and also said she's going to look into different hatcheries for next year.

ANY information about this breed will be greatly appreciated!

Here are pics of the 1 day and 4 weeks. They look exactly like barred rocks except for the brown around their eyes:

I do not have extra information about commercial blacks, only that I purchased one at the beginning/mid April 2013 and she is one of my sweetest chicks. She never causes problems and is very mild mannered. She looks just like the picture you posted.
By the way, this is my little Lola. We were told that she was a commercial black when we got her, but I could not find any information about them nor a picture that looked like her. It was recently confirmed by another blogger that she was indeed a commercial black. She is so sweet and has been a very fast grower. She is the biggest of all of my chicks.

I have a Commercial Black Rooster "Captain" and from my understanding it's not a purebred breed but rather a mix of various different breeds and is more of a general term for "mutts". He has more RIR dominant genes appearance wise but from my experience with him is that he is aggressive to most people aside from myself and very loyal. In my case he has been an outstanding breeder being able to have around a 95% fertility rating with as many as 40 hens at a time being the only rooster. Fertility doesn't seem to matter in the size of the flock he is with as much as who he is with. He has produced numerous babies likely far into the 100s within just this year not including those not incubated. His babies display traits from many different breeds including ones we don't have hens for. He is red but most of his babies come out with about a quart being white a quarter being red and half a mix of about anything you can think of. They do not produce pure bred babies however I've had several people comment on his chicks being some of the most beautiful chickens they have ever seen. I own several purebred show quality chickens including Mille Fleur, white and black silkie, silver and golden Sebright, Dominique, RIR, buff orpington, Araucana, Easter Eggers and many more as well as ducks and rabbits. I would highly recommend a commercial black to anybody with exception of those wanting show birds. He is one of my favorite chickens I've ever owned.

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