Text by "an anonymous friend"

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. It should also be noted that the California White is a white egg laying Sex-link.)

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.

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

The Making of Sex-Links

Sex Links:

Kintaline Farm's Black Rock Sex Linked hybrid chicken

California Whites

Autosexing Breeds -- these birds breed true over generations

Calfornia Whites at Who's Yur Hatchery

This page has a note on the Speckledy Hen

Pimlotts Poultry has various UK Sex-Links

Red Sex-link pullet and rooster
This cross results from mating a Production strain Rhode Island Red male with a Delaware female
Photos courtesy of Valerie Clavin

Black Sex-link pullet
This pullet is the result of a Barred Rock hen crossed with a Production Red male
Photo courtesy of Valerie Clavin

And here's a couple Black Sex-link cockerels
Left photo courtesy of Jenny Simpson; right photo courtesy of Jessica Dennett

Two shots of "Browny," John Hines's Isa Brown pullet
Photos courtesy of John Hines

Two shots of "KODPiece," a Silver Barred hybrid
He's about 3 to 4 months in the first shot and 8 months in the second.
I don't know what the female of this cross is like, but the males are sold as meat birds, supposed to weigh about 16 pounds in the same number of weeks. The cross is a Barred Rock cock on a White Rock female.

Photos courtesy of Virginia Martin

And here he is at 2 1/2 years

Two shots of my mean old Black Sex-link hen

Marina & Ed's flock of Ambers, a cross of an RIR male on a White Plymouth Rock female, plus a shot of one of the cockerels
Photos courtesy of Marina Hoefler

A Golden Sex-Link pullet -- this is supposed to be a cross between a Rhode Island Red and a Rhode Island White
Photo courtesy of Gary Lawrence

A Production Black pullet
Photo courtesy of Gary Lawrence

"Twinkle," a Black Sex-link pullet
Photo courtesy of Katie Gray

An eight-month-old ISA Brown cockerel
Photo courtesy of Simon Voorwinde

Two ISA Brown pullets
Photos courtesy of Simon Voorwinde

A frontal shot of a Black Sex-link hen
Photo courtesy of Katie Gray

Black Rocks are a production hybrid from Scotland
Photo courtesy of Rosalyn Serex

Another Black Sex-link pullet
Photo courtesy of Angie Brainard

"Disco," a Golden Red sex-link cockerel
Photo courtesy of Kimberly Sherman

My Red Sex-links "Eric" and "Cheryle" at six weeks old

And here they are again at 8 months

A pair of Black Rock Sex-links
Photo courtesy of Darragh Gordon

A Brinkotter hen, an Australian Sex-link, from a Rhode Island Red / New Hampshire cross
Photo courtesy of Lynne Meek

A Black Star cockerel
Photo courtesy of Carolyn Redmond

"Roadrunner," a Golden Comet rooster (first one I've ever seen and it looks a lot more like the hen than I would expect)
Photo courtesy of Kim Hutchinson

Three-week-old Red Stars
Photo courtesy of Joyce M. Wallace

Golden Sex-Link chick
This cross is from a Rhode Island Red male on a White Rock female
Photo courtesy of Gail Trimble

Red Sex-link chicks from the front and back
Photos courtesy of Lisa Hart

An Amberlink pullet chick

Two Isa Brown chicks, that's "Browny" on the right
Photo courtesy of John Hines

A Buff Hallcross chick
Photo courtesy of Melissa Valley

"Jenny," a Black Sex-link pullet chick
Photo courtesy of Katie Bayn

Another Golden Sex-link chick
Photo courtesy of Natalie King

Golden Comet pullet chicks

A Black Sex-link chick
Photo courtesy of Kelly Gwen

Gold Sex-link pullet chicks
Photo courtesy of Taryn Koerker

Another ISA Brown chick
Photo courtesy of R. A. West

A Black Star chick
Photo courtesy of Derek Eberly

Another Amberlink chick
Photo courtesy of Kimberly Reuschel

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