Buff Sex-Links they are!

In response to Laurel’s questions in the prior post, I found this explanation for our pretty hens….we have the red sex-links. They are GREAT layers and very calm in the barnyard.

And Laurel, I will be most happy to provide one or more pictures for you….no begging allowed! I’ll be in touch!

Sex-Links are chickens which can be sexed at hatching, usually by color but sometimes by feather development. They are planned crosses, which are hardier and more productive than their parents’ respective breeds. (Ed. note: Be aware that these are breed hybrids and will not breed true.)

(Ed. note: If you came to this page by some name that is not mentioned herein, it’s because I can’t keep up with all the commercial names that sex-linked chickens are marketed under, but I try to link the names to this page when I come across them.)

Both Red and Black Sex-Links use a red male for the father. Either a Rhode Island Red or a New Hampshire may be used.

Black Sex-Links are produced using a Barred Rock as the mother. Both sexes hatch out black, but the males have a white dot on their heads. Pullets feather out black with some red in neck feathers. Males feather out with the Barred Rock pattern along with a few red feathers. Black Sex-Links are often referred to as Rock Reds.

Red Sex-Links are the result of various crosses. White Rocks with the silver factor (the dominant white gene would produce all white offspring) are crossed with a New Hampshire male to produce the Golden Comet. Silver Laced Wyandotte crossed with New Hampshire gives the Cinnamon Queen. Two other crosses are obtained with Rhode Island White x Rhode Island Red, and Delaware x Production Red. These two crosses are simply called Red Sex-Links. Males hatch out white and, depending on the cross, feather out to pure white or with some black feathering. Females hatch out buff or red also depending on cross, and they feather out in one of three ways.

Buff with white or tinted undercolor (such as Golden Comet, Rhode Island Red x Rhode Island White)
Red with White or tinted undercolor (Cinnamon Queen)
Red with Red undercolor (Delaware x Production Red) (In this color pattern it is almost impossible to distinguish daughters’ color from father’s color.)