Ever wondered what it would be like to have a chicken that looks magical and rare? There are certainly many breeds that can fit the bill, but few are as stunning as the Svart Hona or Ayam Cemani breeds. Now there is a new chicken breed known as the Mystic Onyx that is rapidly rising in popularity. In this article, we will discuss the physical characteristics, temperament, and other important aspects of the Mystic Onyx chicken breed. In the end, you will know whether or not this breed is right for you.
Quick Facts About the Mystic Onyx Chicken Breed
Here’s a snapshot of this breed’s traits and characteristics:
|Purpose||Meat, Egg, and Pet|
|Coloration||Black feathers, meat, and skin|
|Egg Production||220-250 eggs per year|
|Egg Color||Light brown|
|Temperament||Energetic and friendly|
The History of the Mystic Onyx
In recent years (September 2021, to be exact), Hoover’s Hatchery introduced the hybrid chicken known as the Mystic Onyx. The objective was to make a backyard chicken that looked as rare as an Ayam Cemani but without the rarity and price tag. The Mystic Onyx was developed by crossing Silkies with broiler chickens for meat production. It is also thought that these birds were bred with Araucana or Ameraucana chickens, too.
Because of this, you will notice that Mystic Onyx chickens tend to have some very Silkie traits, such as 5 toes, black skin, and a tuft on their head. If you have a chicken like this that doesn’t have five toes, you may not have a Mystic Onyx but a Rustic Rambler or Midnight Marans.
Keep in mind that, because this breed is not an actual breed but a hybrid, you never truly know what the chicks are going to look like.
Many Mystic Onyx chickens have some flares of color, making them look quite different from their all-black brethren.
Physical Characteristics of the Mystic Onyx Chicken
Being that the breed is a hybrid, it is not recognized by the American Poultry Association. Therefore, there is no breed standard.
According to Hoover’s Hatchery, Mystic Onyx chickens are around 5-6 pounds when mature. They resemble the Ayam Cemani or Svart Hona in terms of coloring, being that they are usually black from comb to tail, but you may see Mystic Onyx chickens with some smatterings of orange or red. Sometimes, they have iridescent green plumage and dark purple, almost mulberry, combs. Anticipate the hens being almost completely black while the roosters have orange and red on the hackles. Additionally, some Mystic Onyx chickens will have a crest on their head, while others have a single comb.
Unlike Silkies, it appears that most Mystic Onyx chickens have clean legs without any feathers. Their skin is black, as is their meat.
Mystic Onyx Breed Temperament
Are you brand new to the world of chicken-keeping? Then you are going to love this breed. Mystic Onyx chickens are amazingly docile and calm. They will not bully other chickens, and they tend to not care about other animals too much. Hardy, they can withstand cold and heat well, but they do need special consideration during heat waves.
That said, they are wonderful for those with young children. Mystic Onyx chickens are content with their humans, and some may even wish to chill with you on the couch. However, the majority of Mystic Onyx chickens are energetic, to the point where they need space to roam. This is not a breed for confinement.
If you have the space where your chickens can free-range without much danger, then this is definitely a breed to consider. However, if you don’t have the space or don’t want your chickens outside of a run, you may be more interested in Silkies or a similar breed. One good thing is that these chickens have short wings, meaning they are not very flighty. If you can fence in a larger space, that should be more than enough to keep your Mystic Onyx chickens happy!
Mystic Onyx Egg Production & Broodiness
When Hoover’s Hatchery first started developing this breed, they wanted to create a chicken that could be used for both meat and egg production. The good news is that they succeeded. The Mystic Onyx is an excellent egg-laying hen. On average, you can expect a single Mystic Onyx hen to lay around 220 medium-sized light brown eggs. That said, there are some over-achievers who push out closer to 250 eggs. That’s a lot — enough for your family, for sure!
Mystic Onyx pullets begin to lay their first eggs around 18-20 weeks old, which is average. Unfortunately, your hens will slow or cease egg production in the winter, even if this breed is relatively cold hardy.
Don’t let that turn you off of this breed, however. The hens are ideal for those who want eggs without the struggle of dealing with broody mamas. Mystic Onyx chickens rarely go broody. On the other hand, if you would like to hatch chicks from their eggs, you will need either another chicken to adopt the eggs or an incubator.
Are Mystic Onyx Chickens Good For Meat?
Yes, you can use your Mystic Onyx chickens for meat, being that they are dual purpose. Although they are not broiler chickens, they do have delicious black-colored meat that is high in protein, iron, and other vitamins and minerals. If you want to use your chickens for food, consider using the roosters over the hens, being that the roosters are larger.
Generally, Mystic Onyx chickens are considered hardy and resilient. They have a decent lifespan, living up to 8 years. Depending on the amount of care they receive and their living conditions, Mystic Onyx chickens may live even longer.
As with any breed of chicken, there may be hereditary conditions not yet seen (still a relatively new breed) and other factors that impact the overall health of your flock. Remember to give your chickens plenty of water throughout the day, provide them with adequate nutrition, and keep their home as clean as possible. There are many illnesses that you can protect your chickens from just by giving them a dewormer and sweeping out the coop.
Care Tips For Mystic Onyx Chickens
Like all breeds, Mystic Onyx chickens require some love and care to thrive. Here are some tips to help ensure that your flock is happy and healthy throughout the year:
You need to give your Mystic Onyx chicken the right amount of feed, as well as the right quality. The more eggs a hen produces, the faster she burns through her energy and nutrients. As such, you want to support your hens with vitamin-rich food sources, alongside high quality feed. Give your Mystic Onyx ladies broccoli, lettuce, kale, and other vegetables, as well as hydrating fruits, like mango, banana, and watermelon throughout the summer.
During molting phases, consider boosting your chicken’s protein intake to around 20%. This will ensure that your hens can continue forming up high quality eggs, even while growing new black feathers.
Mystic Onyx chickens love a cozy coop — so long as they have space. In order for these chickens to live comfortably, you need to provide each bird with around 4 square feet of living space. The more, the better. Keep in mind that overcrowding any breed of chicken will negatively impact their health.
Additionally, you have to keep the coop and nesting boxes as clean as possible. Make sure the surrounding area is warm and secure, so that your chickens feel safe enough to lay their eggs or rest.
How Much Do Mystic Onyx Chicks and Chickens Cost?
This breed is still relatively new. As such, even though they look like the rare Ayam Cemani, they are not as expensive. You can usually find baby chicks for around $3-4. Pullets cost around $15, as do cockerels. The cost of this breed may increase in the future as more people catch on to how wonderful they are. Presently, the cost is kept low by few people knowing about them.
However, despite the popularity of the breed, it may be difficult to find. Right now, the best place to find Mystic Onyx chicks is from the hatchery that patented their name: Hoover’s Hatchery. You can also get Mystic Onyx chicks from Bruce Family Farm and Spike’s Feed. Keep a lookout for more Mystic Onyx chicks popping up at hatcheries near you.
Final Thoughts on the Mystic Onyx Chicken Breed
The Mystic Onyx is a fascinating and beautiful hybrid breed that is a great addition to any backyard flock. Their striking appearance and friendly disposition make them a favorite among many chicken keepers, and their relative rarity only adds to their appeal. If you want to add a dark gem to your flock, consider getting your own Mystic Onyx today.
Valerie has been content writing since 2016 for websites and companies all around the world. A traveler, dancer, martial artist, Valerie loves gathering experiences and wisdom. Her travels have taken her to over 20 countries, and she hopes to see more of the world soon.