Red Star, Black Star, Rhode Island Red! Which for a backyard?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by peacenique, Jun 6, 2010.

  1. peacenique

    peacenique In the Brooder

    Jun 8, 2009
    I live in a small town that allows only a bird or two.. or three in my backyard.
    My chicken tractor is 4' X 8' so I'm thinking two will be perfect.
    I cannot see the possibility for free-ranging.

    So although I know everyone has their own favourites, I'm hoping for advice.

    My criteria:

    lots of large brown eggs
    calm, quiet, friendly birds
    Canadian winters
    cooped up in small pen or movable tractor (in summer)

    Those are my priorities.

    I'm getting the idea that Black Stars are not THE most docile/friendly.

    (is a Harco the same as a Black Star?)

  2. greyhorsewoman

    greyhorsewoman Songster

    Mar 3, 2008
    Endless Mts, NE PA
    Any of those will suit. The black sexlink (called a black star by some hatcheries) is a cross between a Rhode Island/Barred Rock. They are excellent brown egg producers and weather well in colder climates. I've been very happy with mine for the last two years.
  3. SallyF

    SallyF Songster

    Jul 5, 2009
    Middle Tennessee
    I have black sex-link hens and mine are quite docile. I don't try to make pets out of my chickens, but they seem calm when I have to handle them and will eat out of my hand, follow me around for treats, and so forth. They are great layers of big brown eggs; my only gripe with them is that they don't go broody.
  4. NewHen

    NewHen Songster

    Mar 16, 2010
    Los Angeles
    How about a black copper marans (very dark eggs but not greatest layers) and a light brahma or a buff orpington? Ours seem very docile and are pet chickens for my daughter.
  5. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

    Nov 27, 2008
    Glen St Mary, Florida
    My 2 Black Stars are docile, dont hardly squawk much and are friendly. One of them is 4.5 years old and still lays everyday, only taking a day or two off every two weeks. On the other head, my two Red Stars squawk alot and like to pick on the others, however they continuely lay very nice sized eggs.
  6. barred-rocks-rock

    barred-rocks-rock Can't stick with a Title

    Jul 5, 2009
    I would get a Black Star , because they are very calm and docile. Rhode Isand Reds and Red stars can be kind of mean, and I would get a silver laced wyandotte, because they lay a lot of eggs and have a small comb, so they would do well in winter.

    Silver Laced wyandotte and Black Star
  7. peacenique

    peacenique In the Brooder

    Jun 8, 2009
    I appreciate all your input.

    I find it so odd that I hear exact opposite opinions on reds and blacks.
    I've read the reds are more docile and the blacks tend to more scrappyness.
    Now I'm hearing a completely different story!

    I am leaning towards one or the other of the sex-linked ones. Since I'm only getting two,
    it's important that I don't find myself with a rooster-doodle-doo.

    When I find myself in my dream shack in the woods, I'll venture out into the 'pretty' breeds and
    an awesome rooster.
  8. tellynpeep

    tellynpeep Songster

    Oct 4, 2008
    SW New Hampshire
    I think they can all be individuals and vary quite a lot in the different hybrids. I have a Red STar and two Black Stars. So my experience is limited. But the Red outshines the Blacks in personality and in egg-laying. AND in egg quality/size every day! If they are all like her, I would be happy to have a dozen or two!
  9. joehafner

    joehafner In the Brooder

    Mar 23, 2010
    I have 6 Buff orps that are supposed to be docile but are totally psycho. I have a black star that is docile and friendly and 4 red stars that are fairly boisterious. You get what you get.

  10. 70monte

    70monte Songster

    Jun 5, 2009
    Aurora, MO
    I have six Rhode Island Reds. A rooster and five hens. They are not mean but they won't just let you pick them up. The rooster will peck you if you try to mess with him on the roost.


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