It’s reported that the parent stock of the original Black Rocks came to the British Isles indirectly: from the United States to South Africa, then to the Arbour Acre farm in England, and finally to Scotland, where they have been meticulously raised for many generations. These birds are hardy, easy to care for, excellent layers, and have an inquisitive character, making them popular with both professional poultry farmers and those new to raising chickens.
Easy Hatchling Sexing
Black Rocks are a “sex-linked” hybrid. This means that, unlike traditional breeds, the appearance of the chicks is linked to their sex. Determining whether a hatchling is male or female is usually a very time consuming and difficult process, but absolutely necessary for those looking to separate future hens and roosters.
Long, Productive Lives
These birds are bred for longevity, both in terms of overall lifespan and number of productive laying years. It has been reported that hens may continue to lay for up to 7 years, and can produce an impressive 280 eggs per year. Eggs tend to be medium to large, are slightly tined, and have very good shell quality.
A Natural Outdoors
Unlike most hybrids, which are bred for laying indoors, Black Rocks were bred to wander outside. They are energetic, active foragers with hardy constitutions, making them perfect for commercial poultry farmers looking to raise free range birds. Easy care combined with a charming personality also makes Black Rock chickens a popular choice for individuals looking for some egg-laying additions to the family.
There are many hybrids available, some going by several names. However, if you are interested in raising this type of bird, you should keep in mind that true Black Rocks are currently only bred at the Muirfield Hatchery in Scotland. Each year chicks are made available to select distributing agents. If you want to make sure that the birds you purchase are genuine, make sure to contact the hatchery to find out if your retailer is on the approved list.