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Other name(s): Starozagorska Red Hen
Scientific name: Gallus gallus domesticus
Country / Place of origin: Bulgaria
History: The Starozagorska chicken was developed in the Stara Zangora region of Bulgaria. The breed was created by crossing Rhode Island Red males and local red hens. The Starozagorska Red Chicken is considered to be a productive, dual-purpose fowl.The status of the Starozagorska hen is considered to be "critical" by the Bulgarian Poultry Breeders Association.
Current Uses: Eggs and meat. 215-220 eggs per year.
Appearance: The Starozagorska is a medium sized breed with mahogany colored feathers. They have relatively large red single combs, wattles, and earlobes. Birds have yellow featherless legs.
Average weight: 5 - 7 lbs.
Lifespan: 6 - 8 years
Diet: The Starozagorska will be happy to forage for a portion of her diet. If caged, the breed will require extra feed. The breed does well on regular commercialized feed. The hens are excellent layers and may need oyster shells added to their diet. If you do not allow your Stara Zagora to free-range, then you should supplement their diet. They will need fresh fruits, vegetables, bugs, and grit. Fresh and clean water should always be available.
Housing: Their coop can be of an average build, and must be capable of keeping the birds safe from the weather and predators.
Health issues: Starozagorska cockerels can develop chapped combs, or frostbite during cold winters. You can rub oil into their combs to help prevent damage. Starozagorska hens are good are good layers, so be sure to add enough calcium to their diet. Lack of calcium can cause egg binding.The breed is not known to suffer from any particular health problems. This being said, it is important that your birds are feed properly, housed in a well-drained area, and treated for parasites.
Behavior / Temperament / Activity level: The Starozagorska is considered to be a calm breed that is ideal for the backyard enthusiast.