Red sexlinks chicken breed is a relatively modern bird in the poultry world. These chickens were developed in order to satisfy the huge demand of eggs.
They are fast maturing than heritage chickens reaching sexual maturity as early as 16 weeks of age. These birds are very hardy and can adapt on any climate.
Red sexlinks are easy to maintain and do well in commercial poultry farms as well as on free range. These feathered friends are a hot deal if you want to invest in chickens.
In this article, I am going to take you through everything you need to know about them. This will help you choose between red sexlinks and the other breeds of chicken in your mind.
A red sexlinks is a hybrid chicken that is developed for the purpose of laying eggs. They are egg machines and very dependable for this.
These chickens are faithful layers of brown shelled eggs. The eggs are either large or extra-large depending on an individual strain.
The reason these chickens are referred to as sexlinks is because they are easy to sex right after hatching. Males are white while the girls have red plumes.
In most hatcheries, these birds are developed after crossing a red male with a white female. Two or more heritage or pure-bred chicken breeds are bred to get the red sexlinks.
The main aim to develop these chickens was to get a breed that could lay many eggs. However, others develop them to get other desirable features like temperament, egg color and body shape.
So, to understand better about how these chickens are bred, study the table below.
|New Hampshire Red||Silver Laced Wyandotte|
|Rhode Island Red||White Plymouth Rock|
|Light or White Sussex|
|Rhode Island White|
These chickens are useless for breeding because they cannot produce another purebred. Because of this trait, these chickens are not recognized by the APA.
In some sexlink chickens, the feather color changes after molting. Before they molt, the feathers have a deep red color but the feathers that grow later are browner.
Different hatcheries have branded their red sexlinks different chicken names. This is mostly determined by the parent stock that was used to develop them.
The cinnamon queens chickens were developed after crossing a Rhode Island Red rooster with a Rhode Island White hen.
These chickens are easy to sex at hatching. You can choose to cull the males and keep the hens for the eggs if you wish like most farmers do or you can choose to raise both genders.
Male chicks hatch with white plumes while the ladies are red brown thus, the cinnamon name. They are faithful layers of 250-300 large eggs per year.
The eggs have a brown egg shell color. In the inside egg, there is a white colored albumen and a large single yoke.
They are calm, friendly and docile chickens. These birds do not have an aggressive behavior and are the type you can keep as pets.
However, they do not live for long because their bodies are already exhausted after 2 years because of laying many eggs.
Red star chicken breed was developed after mating the Rhode Island Red rooster with a White Plymouth Rock hen.
These egg laying machines were a favorite for many farmers who wanted a bird that could lay a large clutch of eggs.
Red Star hybrid chickens are true sexlinks. The male and female chicks have different feather colors making it easy to tell the gender difference right after they hatch.
They have single combs. Combs, wattles and earlobes are red while the beaks and skin are all yellow in color.
Their yellow legs are featherless, have four well-spaced toes and short claws on each foot. They are calm, docile and friendly making good house pets.
Red stars are light in weight and this makes them easy flyers. Although chickens do not fly, these chickens can be excellent fence jumpers and you may be required to clip their wing feathers.
In a year, these chickens will lay a clutch of 300 large eggs. The eggs have a brown egg shell color similar to those of Cuckoo maran hens.
ISA Brown chickens
ISA Brown chickens are another hybrid breed loved for laying lots of eggs. They trace their ancestry in France where they were developed.
A Rhode Island Red cock was mated with a Rhode Island White hen and the resulting offspring was ISA brown.
These chickens are very calm, docile and friendly. ISA roosters are known for their extreme docility and pose no threat to kids.
ISA browns reach maturity early at around 16-22 weeks than other heritage breeds. They are faithful layers of 300 medium brown eggs per year.
Bovans Goldline Chickens
Bovans chicken breed is another new strain of red sexlink chickens. These hybrid chickens are easy to sex at hatching.
This allows many farmer’s to discard and do away with males and focus on raising hens for egg production.
They are egg laying machines and in a year, they lay up to 330 large brown eggs. Bovans Goldline chickens seldom get broody and instead dedicate most of their time in producing eggs.
These chooks are very calm and docile. They don’t mind perching and roosting on their owners lap for cuddling.
Bovans are the type of chickens you would raise as pets. They are not bullies and cannot intimidate or hurt your kids.
Golden Comet chickens
Golden comets are a modern hybrid chickens that were developed for high egg production. They are a cross between Rhode Island Red and White Leghorn chickens.
These chickens are re-known for laying 300 large brown eggs per year. They hardly get broody and are the type that makes poor mothers.
They are light in weight and will not be ideal for meat. A golden comet chicken will only feed a small family of two or three when butchered.
Golden comet chickens are very calm, docile and friendly. They will not harm or intimidate your kids thus, make good chicken pets.
They need a protein rich diet because most of the food is converted into eggs. Because they lay lots of eggs, they have a short lifespan since their bodies are already exhausted after a few years.
Lohmann Brown chicken breed is another hybrid specifically raised for egg production. They were developed after crossing Rhode Island Red and White Rocks chickens.
They are excellent egg layers producing up to 320 brown shelled eggs in a year. These chickens reach laying maturity early at 19 weeks of age.
Lohmann brown chickens are sweet, calm and cuddly. The roosters are also very docile and cannot harm little children.
These chickens are brown in color with some feathers on the neck being white. They have short and pointed tail feathers that are white.
They are easy to sex at hatching with males being red while females are white. Lohmann browns have a short lifespan because their bodies are already used up because of laying.
It is very easy to distinguish between red sexlink male chicks from females. The males are red while the female plumes are white in color.
By telling the gender difference at hatching, many male chicks are discarded and the girls are spared. This happens because the hens are kept for egg production.
Additionally, you can also tell the difference when the secondary feathers fully develop. Cockerels have a long hackle, saddle and tail feathers.
Red sexlink roosters will also mate with the hens often and crow. As they grow, a pointed claw called a rooster spur will develop on each leg of male birds.
Most red sexlink chickens are red in color. They have some white tipped feathers on the neck, wings and on the tails.
They have small single combs. Combs, wattles and earlobes are red in color. Eye color is bay but it may vary with different strains.
The legs are either white or yellow so is the skin color. Legs are clean and featherless with four well-spaced toes on each foot. Their beaks are mostly of a horn color.
They are light to medium birds with roosters weighing 2.5kgs while the hens weigh 1.5-2kgs. Their light bodies makes them adept fence jumpers and flightily.
Temperament and Hardiness
All the red sexlinks chickens that I know of are very calm, docile and friendly. They are sweet and will allow you to hold them on your lap.
The roosters are docile too and pose no threat to your kids. These chickens rank low on the pecking order and are easily intimidated by rowdy hen breeds.
These feathered friends make good house pets and will come running when called by their cute chicken names. Toss tasty treats like cilantro, cracked corn or hand feed them to build trust with your chicken pet.
They are fine in small mixed flocks as well as in large commercial farms. In addition to that, they will do well when allowed to range. However, when raising them the free range way, precaution is paramount because there might be chicken predators around stalking on them.
Red sexlinks chickens are very hardy. They are cold tolerant chickens and will also adapt and do well in hot climates areas.
Egg laying and uses
These chickens are egg making machines and were specifically developed for this. They reach maturity early unlike heritage chickens.
At 19-21 weeks old, red sexlinks pullets are ready to lay their first eggs. In a year, these chickens will lay between 300 to 320 eggs.
These eggs are large and brown shelled. The inside egg is white with a large yellow egg yolk. At the first laying year, the eggs are large but become small from the second year onwards.
Red sexlinks will remain productive for about 2-3 years of age. After that, the egg production drops and can no longer lay as expected.
It is after this laying period where most farmers cull the hens. Most are often taken to rescue centers where they are adopted as house pets by chicken hobbyists.
After they cannot lay as expected, Red sexlinks hens are butchered by some for meat. They are small birds that will only offer enough meat for two people.
However, if you have some roosters, they can offer meat though not much compared to other meat chicken breeds.
A mature red sexlinks hen weighs 6-7 ponds while roosters weigh 8-9 pounds. In most cases, red sexlinks are lighter that black sexlinks chicken though they are almost the same.
Red sexlinks chicks and chickens for sale can be bought from reputable hatcheries like Myers poultry and Cackle hatchery.
You can also buy some chicks from a local feed store or a tractor supply store near you.
These chickens have a shorter lifespan compared to heritage chicken breeds. Sexlinks are specifically reared for egg production.
This means that the hens will produce the highest number of eggs they can. Some are supplemented with extra light to push them lay more than 320 eggs per year.
Because of this, these chickens suffer from reproductive tract issues like cancer, peritonitis and egg binding.
Their small bodies are already worn out when they are 3 years old. Most of the protein in their diet and other nutrients are used to make eggs.
Red sexlinks chickens have a lifespan of 3-4 years. Although they can live a little bit longer when adopted as pets, they will no longer lay as expected and are prone to health issues.
Mostly, hens have the privilege to live because they are primarily raised as layers. Most males are discarded right after hatching in hatcheries.
Roosters raised as pets can live longer because they are not suppressed by laying. They receive good care where they are housed, fed and even allowed to swim and cool their bodies.
These chickens are hardy and robust chickens. However, because they are meant to lay, their reproductive tissues are easily affected by peritonitis and cancer.
Their bodies are exhausted after a short period of time because of producing many eggs. Chicken lice and mites infest them and if not controlled can lead to death.
Add small amounts of diatomaceous earth in their sand dirt bath to control these parasites. Apart from external parasites, internal parasites like thread and gape worms will often infest your hens.
These worms live, feed and multiply inside the chicken’s body. They compete for food making your birds look weak and emaciated. Infested hens will lay fewer eggs or stop to lay at all.
Seek advice from a qualified bird vet near you on the right chicken wormer to administer.
1 They are faithful egg layers
These chickens are laying machines. They were developed to lay a large clutch of eggs than any other chicken breed can.
However, because of this, they require a protein rich diet to help them keep producing eggs. In addition to this, make sure they get enough calcium from chicken grit so that the egg shells will be strong and healthy.
In a year, red sexlinks chickens will lay a clutch of 300-330 large brown eggs.
Most red sexlinks reach maturity at 19-22 weeks of age. Some farmers say that their pullets started laying as early as 16 weeks old.
If you compare these chickens with others like the Jersey Giant chicken breed, red sexlinks will give you eggs early enough.
3 They are extremely docile
Red sexlinks chickens are very calm in nature. These chooks are friendly and can be raised as pets because they are good with children.
The hens are not rowdy but can fly pretty well jumping over fences since they are light. They will not bully other chickens and will do well with other calm birds like the Salmon Feverolles.
4 Have a shorter lifespan
Your sexlinks hens are probably not going to live longer than you may think. They will only be with you for 2-3 years only.
Their bodies are exhausted because of continuous laying making them worn out after a short period of time.
5 They don’t breed true
Red sexlinks chickens are hybrid birds but not a breed. This means that breeding them will not produce pure bred offspring’s but rather a different offspring depending on the parent stock.
These chickens are not useful for breeding because you will get a different result rather than a purebred.
6 They are easy to sex
These chickens are the easiest to sex at birth. The male and female plumes have a different color thus making it easy to tell the gender difference.
Male chicks have red plumes while the females are white or have a lighter appearance.
Red sexlinks chickens are good birds for beginners. These chickens are also perfect for members of the 4-H Club because of their friendly nature.
They will do well in small barnyard flocks, mixed flocks and in large commercial chicken farms. Red sexlinks rank low on the pecking order and pose no threat to other chicken breeds.
These chickens are laying machines. In a year they can produce over 300 eggs making them among the top layers in the poultry world.
Do you keep Red sexlinks chickens? I would love to hear from you.
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