I wrote previously
that I’m less-than-enamored of our White
the other hybrid breed we’re trying this year is a better fit for
our farm. Red Stars are an orangish
sex-linked hybrid developed from a Delaware hen and a Rhode Island Red
rooster. We chose the variety based on this glowing
description on McMurray’s website: “We have finally found the sex
link BROWN EGG LAYER that meets our strict specifications; easy to
raise, lays large brown eggs, and has a good feed conversion
The photo above shows our Australorps, White Leghorns, and Red
Stars as chicks this spring. The Red Stars are the pale ones
with a tinge of orange. One of the perks of the Red Star is
that you’re almost certain to get the sex you ask for since the
male chicks are white and the females are more strongly colored,
making them easy to sex right out of the egg.
Now all grown up, our
three Red Stars have shown themselves to be very similar to the Golden
Comets we had a
few years ago — good layers and quite friendly. The photo
above is typical of what it looks like when I walk into the
chickens’ pasture. The Red Stars come running into the coop
with me to grab the choicest scraps before anyone else can find
them. A Leghorn or two might follow, but skittishly.
Meanwhile, the Australorps are all hiding behind the rooster
hoping that this scary person who had the temerity to bring them
food won’t eat them.
typical shot, taken while Mark was installing a nest box.
“Is this edible?” asks our Red Star.
I’ve written before
about the pros and cons of a friendly
chicken, so I
won’t repeat the caveats here. However, I will add that Red
Stars make excellent tractor
they’re docile and run toward you when you throw a rotten fig
their way. Presumably, the breed would also be a good choice
if you were looking for a chicken that would fare well as a pet,
while also producing lots of quality eggs.
Stars (Black, Gold,
and Red) are listed as the #7 chicken variety on the Backyard
Chickens website, making me think many of you have probably tried
them out. Do you have anything to add for or against this
hybrid brown-egg layer?