4 Outstanding Dual-Purpose Sex Link Hybrid Chickens

4 Outstanding Dual-Purpose Sex Link Hybrid Chickens

Sex link chickens are the result of a first generation cross between two different chicken breeds. As hybrids they tend to be quite vigorous and hardy. Since they mature to be somewhat heavier than chicken breeds developed solely for their outstanding egg laying abilities, most sex links make decent meat birds as well as good layers, and are therefore considered to be dual-purpose chickens.

Black Sex Link

The Black Sex Link is the result of a cross between a Rhode Island Red rooster and a barred Plymouth Rock hen. The hens lay big brown eggs. Their plumage is solid black with a few random red feathers. The roosters are barred and may also have some red feathers. Being less visible to predators than lighter colored breeds, Black Sex Links are popular as free range chickens. You can expect Black Sex Link hens to mature to 6 or 7 pounds and lay somewhere between 200 and 280 eggs per year. Roosters grow to a hefty 8 or 9 pounds.

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Red Sex Link

The Red Sex Link results from a cross between a Rhode Island Red rooster and a Delaware hen, producing an outstanding dual-purpose chicken. The hens lay large brown eggs. With their reddish brown plumage set off by a few white feathers, they are excellent for free ranging. The roosters are mostly white, with some patches of red, which, along with their large size, makes them especially suitable to raise for meat. You can expect Red Sex Link hens to mature to 6 or 7 pounds and lay between 200 and 280 eggs per year. Roosters grow to 8 or 9 pounds.

Cinnamon Queen

The Cinnamon Queen is a cross between a Rhode Island Red rooster and a Rhode Island White hen. On maturity, the hens are reddish with some white feathering, while the plumage of mature roosters is white, sometimes with shoulder feathers in shades of red. Cinnamon Queens grow fast and lay early. The shells of their large to extra-large eggs are a rich brown. You can expect Cinnamon Queen Hens to reach 5 or 6 pounds at maturity and lay 250 to 320 eggs per year. Roosters grow to 7 or 8 pounds.

Golden Comet

The Golden Comet is much the same as the Cinnamon Queen in being the result of a cross between a Rhode Island Red rooster and a Rhode Island White hen, but is produced from a different set of bloodlines. The basic difference between them is that some chicken keepers like the name Cinnamon Queen, while others prefer Golden Comet. You can expect Golden Comet hens to reach 5 or 6 pounds at maturity and lay between 250 and 320 eggs per year. Roosters weigh 7 to 8 pounds.

As hybrid chickens, sex links are not listed in the American Standard of Perfection, therefore are not suitable for exhibition purposes. They are also not the ideal choice if you plan to hatch your own future replacements, since hybrids do not breed true. Dual-purpose sex link hybrid chickens are, however, great to have as hens for laying eggs, to raise as backyard meat birds, or to keep as pet chickens in your backyard or on your farm.

Gail Damerow, author, Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens

Written by Gail Damerow

4 Responses to 4 Outstanding Dual-Purpose Sex Link Hybrid Chickens

  1. So if I want sex links, I have to have a rhode isl red rooster and a certain hen. They mate, produce eggs and those eggs will be sex links

  2. @ Ada , I am not so fluent in English but yup that is what it looks like I guess .
    Btw , to get a sex link you already have two sexlinks , weird actually because if you cross a certain breed on breed x it is a hybrid and if you breed a hybrid that wouldn’t breed true 🙁 , however in my idea is it not entirely true because if you breed a golden comet or Isa brown roo with same hybrid hen you get ? yup the hybrid and it is proven …
    Also many people have tried to get their hybrid breed true and some of them did succeed , so I am really breaking my head on this .
    Now I did notice that some excessive white hens tend to have a blue ( lavender was created with blue that I know , not ? )

  3. There are a number of benefits of using hybrids instead of pure breeds. Since the blood lines are so different from the parents, the offspring are usually very fit and healthy. When certain breeds are crossed, sex linkage allows the sex of the chicks to be established at a day old by a difference in down colour which is useful when producing hens for laying since it reduces the rearing costs to the breeder and ultimately the price you pay. When crossing certain strains of birds, you can get ‘Hybrid Vigor’ where a chick is better than either of its parents. This is known as ‘nicking’. For example, if the strains on the fathers and mothers side both lay 200 eggs per year, then the offspring might ‘nick’ and lay 220 per year. Some strains can also do the opposite though and lay 180 eggs per year so once the right strains have been established, breeders keep a closed flock of parent birds to ensure the quality of the offspring remains the same.

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