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Black... Red-Sex Link Chicks?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

So I've been hatching red-sex links (NH/White Plymouth Crosses) for sale locally. That's been working great, and i'm very happy with the sex-link, but... I've been getting a handful of black chicks out of each hatch.

 

Now, the first few times I didn't think much of it because I had an EE rooster that was a yard bird and a few of the white plymouths routinely escaped from the breeding pen. I've since gotten rid of him though, and still getting some black chicks. He's been out of the picture AT LEAST 6 weeks before this hatches eggs were collected. Could his swimmers still be in a hen 6 weeks later? or is there a recessive black gene in either the WP or NH thats expressing itself occassionally?

post #2 of 6
Are your white rocks from a hatchery? Because I am going to guess there is some hidden barred genes in one of your hens.

I am also going to guess the black is not coming from your rooster, or you would be getting more black chicks per hatch.

If you could somehow figure out which hens are laying which eggs, you could probably eliminate the black chicks.

Are the heads of some of the black chicks solid black and do some of them have a smudgy white spot?
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

They are.. the chicks heads do have a gold/white spot.

post #4 of 6

This is one of the reasons why solid white birds are not the best choice for sexlinks. A hen that is dominant white can pass that dominant white gene to both male and female chicks. Dominant white needs the extended black 'pattern' gene to express as a solid white bird. One (or more) of your hens is dominant white, not silver, and may only have one dominant white gene, so some of her chicks come out white, and others come out black.

post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiltonizer View Post
 

So I've been hatching red-sex links (NH/White Plymouth Crosses) for sale locally. That's been working great, and i'm very happy with the sex-link, but... I've been getting a handful of black chicks out of each hatch.

 

Now, the first few times I didn't think much of it because I had an EE rooster that was a yard bird and a few of the white plymouths routinely escaped from the breeding pen. I've since gotten rid of him though, and still getting some black chicks. He's been out of the picture AT LEAST 6 weeks before this hatches eggs were collected. Could his swimmers still be in a hen 6 weeks later? or is there a recessive black gene in either the WP or NH thats expressing itself occassionally?

Your plymouth rocks carry the barring gene, recessive white, silver and are heterozygous at the E locus. The black chicks are due to either the birchen allele or the extended black allele at the E locus.. Go out and buy some delaware to be the female side of the red sex linked cross. 

 

As was mentioned by junebuggena, self white birds are not a good pic as the female side of the cross. Delaware are not self white but are the columbian phenotype. They will work great and you will not have any surprises. 

post #6 of 6

I agree with the genetics given above, but will point out that if your hens carry barring that's hidden by the dominant white (on the hen), then the chicks are still sex links. They're just black instead of red. Head spot is male, solid dark head is female. 

Rachel BB

Stem cell transplant from unrelated donor in Feb 2015. Thank you to all my friends here on BYC for all your support during my treatment and ongoing recovery!

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Rachel BB

Stem cell transplant from unrelated donor in Feb 2015. Thank you to all my friends here on BYC for all your support during my treatment and ongoing recovery!

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