Bovan Red, Black, Brown??

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by CocotteLaPoule, Jan 22, 2015.

  1. CocotteLaPoule

    CocotteLaPoule Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 19, 2014
    I am looking at adding a brown chicken to my flock of two (yes, I am in the city, I have to plan carefully). I found a farm that will get soon "Bovan Red" for the first time. The farmer cannot tell me the exact colour (he's never seen any so far). I have been looking around on the internet, and I am not sure if there are a Red and a Brown Bovan or if they are the same thing. I would like a high production brown chicken, not a Rhode Island Red colour (I want brown brown). Can someone tell me if Red and Brown are 2 distinctive colours, or a different name for the same thing?
    And by the way, is a Brown Bovan more prolific than a Hyline Brown or about the same?
    With many thanks.
  2. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

    May 14, 2014
    Bovans Red, Bovans Brown, and Hyline Brown are all labels under which some hatcheries market their Red Sex Links, which are produced by crossing a red gene rooster (RIR, HN, or Production Red) with a silver gene hen (RIW, WPR, SLW, LS, Delaware, etc.). Not only can the resulting offspring be sexed by color at hatching (male chicks are whitish, female chicks are reddish), but they are egg laying machines, outlaying either parent breed. It's one of the interesting quirks of hybridization. Other labels under which Red Sex Links are marketed include Red Star, Brown Sex Link, Gold Star, Gold Sex Link, Golden Buff, Golden Comet, Hubbard Golden Comet, Isa Brown, Shaver Brown, Babcock Brown, Warrens, Gold Lines, Lohmans, Lohmans Brown, Brown Shaver, Red Shaver, Bovans Goldline, etc. I've had lots of Red Sex Links over the years which I've purchased under these different labels and with different silver gene hens used to produce them, and quite frankly, I can't tell any real difference in their lay rates. All Red Sex Links are egg laying machines, consistently churning out more than 300 eggs per hen per year. In addition to the Red Sex Links, there is also a Black Sex Link, which is produced by crossing a red gene rooster with a barred hen (usually a Barred Rock). Like RSLs, they are also egg laying machines, outlaying either parent breed. According to Murray McMurray, there is no difference in the lay rate of Black Sex Links and Red Sex Links (, but in my own personal experience, I have found that my Black Sex Links have been slightly better layers in really cold winter weather than even my Red Sex Links have been. Black Sex Links are sometimes marketed by hatcheries under the labels, Black Star, Bovans Nera, or Rock Red.
    1 person likes this.
  3. iawoodchip

    iawoodchip Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 22, 2014
    Cedar Rapids, Ia. area
    The chips are still out on my new small flock. I had to give up my chickens last fall when I had a health issue. Some other issues kept me from getting a new flock during chick days this spring. Enter craigslist. "Year old brown bovan chickens $3.00." Turns out it was my neighbors add. He had acquired a whole house full of production hens. I bought enough from him to fill my 4 x 8 coop. The looked pretty ragged when I got them, but the seem to be cleaning up pretty good. So far in 5 days they're only laying about 50%. I'm thinking they're getting used to their new home and perhaps a different food ration. I'm kind of hoping for a better production percentage. Very gentle and friendly birds.

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