cross breeding

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by elrod, Nov 30, 2009.

  1. elrod

    elrod Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 6, 2009
    Wilson Oklahoma
    I know in cattle and pigs cross breeding is done daily to get the best of two different breeds. What is your thoughts on crossbreeding chickens? I had to send our barred rock rooster to "FREEZER CAMP", due to his poor attitude. I have another set of birds who will mature in a few weeks, Buff Orfintions(sp), what would be the pro and cons to crossing the two breeds?[​IMG]
  2. Goose and Fig

    Goose and Fig Grateful Geese

    Apr 19, 2009
    Fall Creek Falls TN
    buff orps and barred rocks are a great cross. You might find more info in the "sex-link" sticky at the top of this forum.
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    It depends on what you want out of chickens. I'll give my opinions.


    1. Hybrid vigor - Increased vigor or other superior qualities arising from the crossbreeding of genetically different plants or animals. Also called heterosis. It is documented that this does occur, but "superior qualities" may mean different things to different people.

    2. You can select to breed the ones that display the qualities you want without worrying about breed. Your goals may be different, but I'm breeding for better meat birds with a lesser emphasis on egg laying. I am also selecting against behavioral traits I don't want, like birds that like to fly out of the run or a laying hen that resists a rooster's advances. An uncooperative hen disturbs the peacefullness of my flock and hurts the fertility of my laying/hatching flock.

    3. You can get some really interesting colors and patterns after a couple of generations. This also makes it easier to tell the chickens apart.


    1. If you are going to sell the eggs as hatching eggs or sell the chicks, it is easier to sell purebred. If the eggs are for eating, it does not matter.

    2. If you are going to show the birds, they need to be purebred.

    3. If you maintain the purity of your breeding stock, you may be able to get sex link chicks. I think a buff orp male with barred rock female will give you sex linked chicks. This is lost after the first generation.

    4. If you have two separate breeds and want to maintain the purity of the breeds, you have to keep them separated by breed. This takes more management and more expensive facilities.
  4. elrod

    elrod Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 6, 2009
    Wilson Oklahoma
    Excellent reply!!!! Now a rookie question, SEX LINKED, not sure what that means, can you explain. Again Thanks
  5. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

    Jun 1, 2009
    Sex-links are cross-bred chickens whose color at hatching is differentiated by sex, thus making chick sexing an easier process. Sex-links come in many varieties, few of which are a true breed. As hybrids of laying or dual-purpose breeds infused with extra vigor via heterosis, sex-links can be extremely good egg-layers which often produce 300 eggs a year or more.
    Two common varieties are the Black sex-link (also called Black Stars) and the Red sex-link (also called Red Stars). Blacks are a cross between a Rhode Island Red or New Hampshire rooster and a Barred Rock hen. The Black Rock, is another name for a black sex-link. Red sex-links are a cross between a Rhode Island Red or New Hampshire rooster and a White Rock, Silver Laced Wyandotte, Rhode Island White or Delaware hen. In Europe, the Cream Legbar (an actual true-breeding pure breed) and ISA Brown sex-links also exist.
    Sex-links are a good choice for ensuring you receive only female hens if your town or city has a law against roosters. Generally sex-links are considered to be a friendly breed.
    From Wikipedia.

    Here is some good reading..

  6. catfish/okie

    catfish/okie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Say you cross a RIR Roo with a Barred Rock hen when the eggs hatch the males hatch out black with a white spot on their head and the females black with no spot. This is a black sex link. Cross a RIR roo with a Deleware or a White Rock hen and the pullets will be darker this is a red sex link. You breed so you can tell gender after the hatch. Welcome neighbor to BYC.

    RAREROO Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 22, 2009
    Alapaha, Ga
    Quote:If you cross a Buff Orp roo with your Barred Rock hens, you will get sexlinked chicks that you can easily tell the difference in ther sexes of the chicks once they hatch. I have done that cross before and here's what I got.

    Dayold pullets

    Dayold roos

    5 wk old pullet

    5 wk old roo

    5 month old pullets

    5 month old roos

    Look at tadkerson's sticky at the top of the Breeds, Genetics, & Showing page for more info on sexlinks.
  8. Ariel301

    Ariel301 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 14, 2009
    Kingman Arizona
    Crossbreeding for traits we like while culling traits we don't like is also how new breeds are formed. Most if not all of the breeds we have now started as crosses between other types to produce something better, and then selective breeding to make them breed true to type.

    I have nothing against crossbreeding, as my chickens are just for personal enjoyment and production of eggs and meat. I don't have an interest in showing or making profits from selling birds, so purebred chickens don't matter to me. Since I am looking to keep some more unusual (at least in my area) kinds, I may occasionally separate breeds out to get some purebred chicks to sell. I just don't really have the facility to separate my birds by breed all the time, so I let them run together. I think in my area there is a bigger market for good producing birds than for fancy purebred/show birds anyway. I raise show quality dairy goats and no one wants to pay a fair price for them around here, so I'm betting it's similar with chickens. 'Assorted' chicks go for $8 apiece at our local feed store in the spring, and I don't think they are purebred.

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