The Mystic Onyx Chicken, a rare and captivating breed, has intrigued poultry enthusiasts and mystics alike. This article delves into the comprehensive profile of these unique birds, shedding light on their origin, physical attributes, behaviors, and their enigmatic presence in various cultures.
What Is A Mystic Onyx Chicken?
The Mystic Onyx Chicken, commonly known as a “black beauty”, distinguishes itself from conventional chicken breeds. Tracing its roots back to Hoover’s Hatchery, it emerged by integrating Silkie and meat bird traits. This unique combination resulted in a breed with dark skin, black combs, and a strikingly beautiful contrast of orange-red flares against iridescent green plumage.
Breeders at Hoover’s Hatchery methodically engineered the Mystic Onyx breed, targeting distinct traits such as:
- having five toes
- sometimes having tufts of feathers on the head
- acquiring black skin
- displaying an amiable personality
- having the potential to lay blue eggs
- donning a bearded look
- occasionally having red flares on their feathers
Even though Mystic Onyx chickens are a newer breed, they have garnered attention from backyard flock admirers. Their distinctive look, coupled with their potential for egg and meat production, makes them a great addition to any flock.
Origin and Development
While not officially recognized as a distinct breed by the APA (American Poultry Association), it has carved out a niche among poultry enthusiasts. The breed was the brainchild of Tony Halstead, who took over the Hatchery in 2011 and decided to start selling directly to people online to grow the business.
The breed was developed by crossbreeding Silkies with broiler chickens, focusing on size, dark skin, and meat. This unique blend resulted in a breed with an energetic, mature weight, making them a popular choice among customers. Despite being a hatchery mix, the Mystic Onyx breed has proven to be a success, showcasing the potential of innovative breeding techniques.
Mystic Onyx Chicken Appearance
The Mystic Onyx breed is distinguished by its unique appearance. The chickens are primarily covered in dark, black feathers, with pops of orange-red flares that make them stand out. The iridescent green plumage is due to a natural sheen inherent to many iridescent chicken breeds, lending them a unique and cool appearance.
One intriguing aspect of these chickens is their five-toed feature, an inherited genetic trait from their Silkie ancestors. This feature sets them apart from other black chicken breeds.
Moreover, the roosters are distinguishable by their orange hackles, which present a bright contrast against their predominantly black bodies. This feature is also observed in some Asian blacks, adding to the breed’s uniqueness.
Also, the Mystic Onyx Chick boasts a remarkable appearance characterized by its striking black feathers, black feet, and a black beak. These features give the chick an overall dark and captivating look, setting it apart from other poultry breeds from the moment it hatches.
The Versatile Mystic Onyx Breed
Mystic Onyx Egg Production
The Mystic Onyx breed is known for its impressive egg production, making them good egg layers. These chickens can lay up to 220 medium-sized, light-brown eggs annually, and the hens start laying eggs around 20 weeks old. Interestingly, despite their efficient egg production, the Mytic Onyx hens rarely go broody.
An optimal diet is the key to maximizing egg production. During molting, I suggest boosting their protein intake to about 20%. This additional protein helps the chickens maintain their impressive egg production even during periods of feather regrowth.
The meat quality of the Mystic Onyx breed is also highly regarded. The breed’s dark meat and skin result from its black feathering and skin, a trait inherent to black breeds. This darker meat is often perceived as a tasty alternative to white meat, boasting a richer flavor and higher moisture content.
Regarding nutritional value, the Mystic Onyx chicken meat matches up well with other black chicken breeds. It is high in protein, low in fat, and packed with vitamins B1, B2, B6, B12, C, and E, niacin, calcium, phosphorus, and iron. This nutrient-packed profile makes it a healthy choice for consumers, contributing to the breed’s appeal.
Care and Maintenance
Rearing Mystic Onyx chickens necessitates attention to their particular needs. One of the key considerations is space. Each chicken requires at least 4 square feet of space to move freely and maintain good health. This space requirement holds both for their coop and when they are free-ranging.
When it comes to temperature tolerance, these chickens are surprisingly hardy. They can withstand both hot and cold climates, eliminating the need for specialty housing to control temperature.
However, due to their black feathers, they do need shade to stay cool during extreme heat. In cold weather, while they are generally capable of handling lower temperatures, it’s still important to monitor them and provide any necessary care.
It’s important to note that the care and maintenance of these chickens may vary depending on their specific needs. Always stay observant and responsive to their behaviors and needs to ensure they stay healthy and happy.
Mystic Onyx chickens demonstrate resilience against temperature extremes. They can handle both cold and hot weather, making them a versatile breed suitable for a variety of climates. This hardiness allows them to continue laying eggs even during colder months, showcasing their adaptability.
Despite their ability to withstand varying temperatures, it is important to monitor their behavior during extreme weather conditions. If the chickens appear droopy, tired, or are panting, it may indicate that they are struggling with the temperature. During particularly hot periods, shade can help them stay cool.
Personality Traits and Compatibility
The friendly and social personality of Mystic Onyx chickens is one of their most charming features. They are easy to handle and enjoy human interaction, making them an ideal choice for families with young children or beginners to chicken keeping. Their curious nature and occasional mischievous behavior also provide endless entertainment for their owners.
Beyond their friendly disposition, Mystic Onyx chickens also exhibit a high degree of compatibility with other breeds. Their relaxed disposition allows them to coexist well in mixed flocks. This trait makes them an excellent choice for backyard flock owners who wish to keep a variety of chicken breeds.
Friendly and Social
The social nature of Mystic Onyx chickens is one of their most endearing qualities. They are known for their:
- Friendly temperament
- Easy handling
- Non-aggressive behavior towards other chickens
- Sneakiness at times
To foster this friendly nature, it’s important to handle the chickens gently from a young age and reward them with treats. This positive interaction helps to build a good relationship with the chickens, encouraging their social behavior and making them more likely to engage with their human caretakers.
Compatibility with Other Breeds
Compatibility with other breeds is a key consideration when adding to your flock, and Mystic Onyx chickens do not disappoint. Thanks to their chill and friendly disposition, they mesh well with other breeds, fitting in seamlessly in a mixed flock.
To ensure the successful integration of Mystic Onyx chickens into a mixed flock, you can use the Playpen Method. This method allows the chickens to get used to each other gradually, and positive signs of integration include bright red combs and wattles, indicating the Mystic Onyx chickens have comfortably settled in with the other chickens.
Read also: Discover the Charm of Barnevelder Chickens
The Legality and Recognition of Mystic Onyx Chickens
Although the Mystic Onyx breed enjoys popularity among poultry enthusiasts, it lacks official recognition from the APA. As a hatchery mix, it does not meet the specific criteria the APA sets for breed recognition. This lack of recognition means that the breed cannot be entered in poultry shows that require APA-recognized breeds.
The lack of APA recognition can impact the value of the recognized breed. Poultry from APA-certified flocks can carry the ‘APA Certified’ label, which can increase their value. However, the popularity of the Mystic Onyx breed among backyard flock owners demonstrates that official recognition is not the only measure of a breed’s appeal.
Like all poultry breeds, raising Mystic Onyx chickens may fall under certain laws and regulations. These can vary depending on location, so it’s important to research local laws before acquiring these chickens. In some areas, a permit may be required to keep chickens, and you may also need a building permit for the chicken coop.
Failure to comply with these regulations could result in fines or revocation of permits. It’s always best to ensure you are fully aware of and compliant with local laws to avoid any legal trouble. Remember, responsible poultry keeping not only benefits you, but it also contributes to the well-being of your chickens.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Mystic Onyx chickens good?
Yes, Mystic Onyx chickens are known for their impressive productivity, consistently providing their owners with a steady supply of large, brown eggs. However, they are not known to be broody.
What breed is the black Onyx?
The black Onyx is a breed of cattle known as Black Angus, which is recognized for its exceptional beef. This breed is formed by breeding a pure Black Angus Sire with a pure Black Angus Dam.
What makes the Mystic Onyx chicken unique?
The Mystic Onyx chicken is unique because of its dark skin, black combs, and iridescent green plumage with pops of orange-red flares, as well as its five toes due to its Silkie ancestry. It’s quite the standout in the chicken world!
The Mystic Onyx chicken breed offers a unique blend of characteristics that make them a fascinating addition to any backyard flock. Their unique appearance, versatile nature, and friendly disposition make them a popular choice among poultry enthusiasts.
So, if you’re looking for a unique, versatile, and friendly addition to your flock, the Mystic Onyx chicken could be just the bird you’re looking for.