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How To Breed Sex Link Chickens

If you want to raise your own chickens, consider raising sex link chickens. This makes it easy to tell at an early age which chicks are male and which chicks are female based on their appearance. Instead of having to wait for 16 to 20 weeks to be absolutely sure if you have roosters or hens you can tell right when they hatch.

Sex link chickens are cross breeds, however auto-sexing chickens are purebreds that can also be differentiated from each other after hatching. You can read more in Here’s a Quick Way To Know Which Chickens are Auto-sexing.

Sex link chickens are an easy way to tell at an early age which chicks are male and which chicks are female based on their appearance.

Types of Sex Link Chickens

There are two common types of sex link chickens, red sex linked and black sex linked. To breed red sex links you cross a Delaware hen with a Rhode Island Red rooster. The resulting chicks will be white if they are male and red if they are female. These cross breeds are good egg layers and also grow quickly for dual purpose meat birds.

Another version of red sex links are Golden Comets. Golden Comets come from a White Plymouth Rock hen and a Rhode Island Red rooster. The females will be reddish brown and the males will be white. The adult hens are good layers with a calm personality.

Black sex links can be made by breeding a Rhode Island Red rooster with a Barred Rock hen. The males will have a white spot on their head. There are other variations; the most important thing is that the rooster have no barring and that the hen has barred genetics.

Breeding sex links is beneficial because you can tell the males and females apart when they hatch, but the downside is that because they are crossbreeds you cannot breed the offspring and have them retain their parent’s traits. You will need to maintain breeding stock of both original breeds in order to continue producing sex links.

Chicken genetics is fun, but it can get pretty tricky pretty fast, but these are some simple crosses that you can make to create your own sex links!

Backyard Poultry – Breed Profile: Golden Comet Chickens
Backyard Poultry – Understanding Sex-Link Hybrid Chickens
ChickenMag – Top 4 Sex Link Chickens
Poultry Extension – Sex-linked Traits In Poultry
Greenfire Farms – Auto-Sexing Chicken Breeds

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