Originally Posted by donrae
I'd thought hatcheries didn't use it because you have to cross breeds and they mostly sell purebred birds. Except My Pet chicken--don't get me started on their "Fun New Just Created Breeds"
cmom, I remember your puzzling bird post. Genetics just throw us for a loop sometime, don't they?
Hatcheries do a brisk business with "cross breeds" (hybrids, just a different term). Some are just all mixed up (Easter Eggers/"Ameracunas" and Production Reds are examples of this). So I don't the don't use shank color because they are afraid of creating cross breeds. They use the conventional sex linkages because they are reliable and well understood genetically.
I believe (but am not certain of this) that the sex linkage re shank color is based on the id gene. That is a lot tougher to work with because their are other modifying genes for shank color that affect the phenotype but are not sex-linked.
I'm not saying it won't work, just that it's harder to work out a reliable cross, and that is why hatcheries don't use it.