Australorp vs Black Star Chicken – What is the Difference?
Australorp and Black Star chickens are great poultry varieties ideal for egg and meat production. Nonetheless, comparing these birds is never easy because Australorp is a pure breed while Black stars are hybrids. In addition, each bird has distinct qualities that make them a favorite with most backyard farmers.
More on their disparities, hybrid chickens refer to birds developed by cross-breeding two or more chickens of different species, whereas pure breeds come from a lineage of similar parents.
Australorp vs Black Star Chicken – Similarities and Differences
Drawing a line between these chickens is crucial in guiding novice poultry lovers on the necessary caring requirements. Thus, check out this in-depth comparison between Australorp vs. Black Star chickens before taking your favorite bird home.
One noticeable difference between Aussies and Black Star chicken is their plumage color. Australorps come in a variety of three recognized colors; blue, black, and white. On the other hand, Black Stars are predominantly black with gold flecks around the chest. However, the black Australorps share an almost similar color with Black Stars apart from the size difference.
Even so, black Australorps have a greenish sheen on the feathers, a trait not found on Black Stars. Other appearance disparities touch on the combs, which vary in size and shape.
In other terms, Australorps have a medium-sized single comb with seven points while Black Stars have small to single medium combs either in pea or rose shape. Still, both birds have similar red wattles, comb, and ear lobes. Also, they have identical dark-colored beaks and black legs.
Weight and Size
Australorps are large chickens with hens weighing 6.5-7.5 pounds. Approximately adult roosters weigh 8.5 to 11 pounds. On the contrary, Black Stars are slightly small, measuring at 4-6 pounds for females and 6-7 pounds for males.
For both birds to achieve ideal adult weight, farmers must feed them with a high-quality layer feed and supply them with adequate space. Also, it is vital to butcher Aussies before they grow too big since they become less productive as the size increases.
Note that Australorps are more prone to obesity and weight-related complications. You can minimize this by reducing the bird’s feed intake and increasing their exercise activities. For instance, allow them to wander around the orchard or throw in a few grass seeds for them to pick. In the process, they use a lot of energy to forage and lose added weight.
When harvesting Black stars, wait until they reach five months or before the meat becomes too hard to cook. In comparison, Aussies have soft, delicate breast meat highly sought after in the market. Black Star meat is darker than and not as tender as Aussies, but still a delicacy.
Both Australorps and Black Stars are considered friendly and do well when raised in small flocks. However, if allowed to roam around with other chickens and roosters, they tend to peck and scuffle.
This is because chickens tend to compete for food and space and protect their territory from predators. Australorps are also picky eaters that can starve themselves rather than feed on low-quality feeds. In this regard, it is essential to give your Aussies the best diet you can afford.
Nonetheless, Black Stars are less skittish than Aussies around humans. In a nutshell, they are calm and easygoing chickens that never mind being held or cuddled. After familiarization, though, fluffy feathered Australorps can acclimatize well to handling. These characteristics make both breeds a better choice for children or inexperienced keepers new in the trade.
Australorps and Black Star chickens classify as remarkable egg-laying machines. Australorps hens start laying light brown eggs from five months and continue up to two years. In comparison, Black Stars begin to lay brown eggs from four months to around 18-20 months. An average Black Star hen produces about 250 plus eggs per year, while Aussies can hit the 300 mark and above annually.
When it comes to increasing eggs productivity, manage light, feed, and water intake properly. In addition, keep watch on temperature and humidity; too much or too little of these two factors affect the rate of egg production. Averagely, coop temperature levels should range from 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit during the day, while humidity should stay at 55% or below.
Generally, both breeds are excellent for meat production. However, Australorps takes a leading position because of their larger size. Aussies reach market weight at around 9-10 weeks, while Black Stars take an extra week or two.
With this in mind, farmers or backyard keepers can raise Australorps for meat once they achieve the desired size. Alternatively, they can wait until Black Stars reach five months and butcher them before their weight shoots up and food budget increases too.
Care & Requirements
The positive side of keeping Australorps and Black Star chickens is that they are easy and simple to look after. More impressive, they are hardy breeds that adapt quickly to a wide range of climates and weather conditions.
Remember that Black Stars are less cold tolerant than Aussies. Hence, during winter, ensure that the coop remains well-insulated and draft-free. Add a heat lamp or light bulb to keep the birds warm at night.
Both breeds require plenty of fresh water and good-quality feed. In addition, clean the coop regularly and monitor for pests such as lice, mites, and ticks. Provide a dust bath at least two times per week to prevent common chicken ailments like scaly leg, bumblefoot, and others. In cases of an outbreak in the flock, kindly segregate the sickly birds to avoid contamination.
For new farmers, it is crucial to buy only healthy chicks from an accredited breeder to ensure good flock health. Do not forget to keep track of necessary vaccines and deworming schedules. That way, you can avoid common chicken illnesses and boost your flock’s productivity.
There is no significant difference between Australorp vs. Black Star chickens. Thankfully, both breeds are excellent egg layers and provide excellent meat production. The only disparities are in size, weight, and roosting requirements.
Therefore, it all adds up to personal preference when selecting between the two. Nevertheless, take time to familiarize yourself with the individual bird’s needs before bringing them home.