The Ultimate Guide to Sex-Link Chickens for Backyard Chicken Keepers


If you're a backyard chicken keeper or thinking about starting your own flock, you've likely come across the term "sex-link chickens." These specially bred chickens offer several benefits that make them a popular choice for both novice and experienced chicken keepers. In this blog post, we'll dive into what sex-link chickens are, their advantages, how to care for them, and why they might be the perfect addition to your backyard flock.

What Are Sex-Link Chickens?

What Are Sex-Link Chickens?

Sex-link chickens are a unique type of chicken that is bred so that males and females can be easily distinguished by their color at hatch. This sex-linked trait is incredibly useful for backyard chicken keepers who want to ensure they are raising hens for egg production without the uncertainty of ending up with roosters.

The breeding process involves crossing specific breeds of chickens that produce offspring with distinct color differences between the sexes. Common examples include the Black Sex-Link, created by crossing a Rhode Island Red rooster with a Barred Rock hen, and the Red Sex-Link, from a Rhode Island Red rooster and a White Leghorn hen. These crosses result in female chicks with one color pattern and male chicks with another, simplifying the process of sexing the chicks.

Common Sex-Link Breeds

There are several popular sex-link breeds, each with its own unique characteristics. Here are a few examples:

  • Black Sex-Link (Black Star or Rock Star): Produced by crossing a Rhode Island Red rooster with a Barred Rock hen, these chickens are excellent layers, producing large brown eggs.
    Black Sex-Link (Black Star or Rock Star)
    Female chicks are mostly black with some red or gold feathering, while males have a white spot on their heads and more white in their feathers.
  • Red Sex-Link (Golden Comet, Cinnamon Queen, or Red Star): This breed is a cross between a Rhode Island Red rooster and a White Leghorn hen. Red Sex-Links are known for their prolific egg-laying abilities, producing large brown eggs.
    Red Sex-Link (Golden Comet, Cinnamon Queen, or Red Star)
    Female chicks are reddish-brown, while males are typically white or light-colored.
  • Gold Sex-Link: Created by crossing a Rhode Island Red rooster with a Delaware hen, Gold Sex-Links are hardy and excellent layers of brown eggs.
    Gold Sex-Link
    Female chicks have a reddish-gold color, while males are lighter with some barring.
  • Silver Sex-Link: This breed is a cross between a Rhode Island Red rooster and a Silver-Laced Wyandotte hen. Silver Sex-Links are good layers of brown eggs, and female chicks are typically silver or gray, while males have more white or silver feathering.

Advantages of Raising Sex-Link Chickens

One of the primary advantages of sex-link chickens is the ease of gender identification. Unlike many other breeds where sexing chicks can be a challenging task, sex-link chickens' distinct color differences allow for immediate identification of hens and roosters. This ensures that you can manage your flock more effectively and focus on egg production.

Speaking of eggs, sex-link chickens are renowned for their excellent egg-laying capabilities. They often begin laying eggs at an earlier age compared to other breeds and maintain a consistent laying pattern. For backyard chicken keepers, this means a reliable supply of fresh eggs with minimal waiting time.

In addition to their productivity, sex-link chickens are known for their friendly and docile temperament. They are generally easy to handle and get along well with other chickens, making them an ideal choice for families and first-time chicken keepers. Their adaptability to various environments, including smaller backyard spaces, further enhances their appeal.

Advantages of Raising Sex-Link Chickens


Sex-link chickens are an excellent choice for backyard chicken keepers looking for reliable egg production, easy gender identification, and friendly birds. With proper care and the right coop, your sex-link chickens will thrive and provide you with a steady supply of fresh eggs.

Ready to start or expand your flock with sex-link chickens? Visit our website to explore our range of chicken coops and find the perfect home for your feathered friends. Happy chicken keeping!

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