Golden vs. Red Sex-Links? Sex-links vs. Buff Orps? Questions...

BridgetC

In the Brooder
9 Years
Feb 22, 2010
32
1
22
los angeles, ca
Hi,

So I am quite new here, and to chickens in general, but I am eager to learn!

I know that there are a number of crosses used to make sex-linked offspring, but in general, is there a difference between Red and Golden sex-links? I know that New Hampshire Red males crossed with White Rock to create Golden Comets... but I am curious about the use of the term golden vs. red...

I am thinking of getting some golden sex-links from Belt Hatchery in Fresno... I should probably just email them to see what cross they use.... does anyone reading this have or have pics of an adult golden sex-link from Belt Hatchery?

Sorry to be overly concerned with looks, but I am trying to narrow down the breeds I think would be right for my situation (wanting to start a small laying flock of 5-6 birds).

My husband and I love the look of Buff Orpingtons, and they seem to have quite the reputation of being friendly and sweet in temperment, and people note that they are reliable layers... but sex-links are advertised as being even better layers... how big of a difference in production might one expect?

Also, is one breed considered noisier or flightier than the other? I know that this stuff is subjective, but I am just trying to think about all of the angles here... I am in the city, and a few people have warned me away from loud breeds. I am not getting any roos (or if I do, they will have to be re-homed/stewed
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), so how loud could 6 hens be? That loud?

Ok, this post is long enough. Thanks for ANY and ALL opinions and advice!!!

-Bridget
 
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silkydragon

Songster
10 Years
Nov 1, 2009
618
4
129
ohio valley
red and gold sexlinks are the same thing and i dont have any buff orps but my flock of sexlinks give me 8eggs a day from 8 hens non stop it dos drop slightly in winter to 5 eggs a day they were flighty in summer but since they have been stuck in the coop for winter they have warmed up to me and will let me pet them but will probly just go back to avoiding me next month win the scary snow is gone im just the lesser of 2 evils i guess as for noise ive heard they sign an egg song before they lay which can get loud but so far i havent heard mine
 

lildinkem

Songster
10 Years
Feb 4, 2009
3,552
40
211
Indianapolis
Quote:
I have some Buff Orps. A good Exhibiton Buff will not go egg for egg with a production oriented line. Their too busy making fluffy feathers. However, the better breeders birds will lay an egg every other day during the height of the laying season. And some will lay more depending on their conditioning.
 
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Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,090
19,527
857
Southeast Louisiana
If you follow this link, Tadkerson gives the crosses that can be used to make red sex link chickens. As you can see, there are a lot of them. What the hens look like will vary depending on what breeds are actually used to make the sex links. If you call Belt and find out, people here can help you see what they will probably look like.

https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=261208

There is no sex link police running around throwing people in jail for using the wrong names for sex link chickens. There are a few common names used for certain crosses, such as Cinnamon Queen or Golden Comet. You are supposed to use a Rhode Island Red as the father for these but some people use New Hampshire reds without fear of fines or jail time. I'm trying to say it is not regulated so do not believe everyone completely follows the norms. Same thing about red versus gold. While some crosses are lighter than others, there is no one specific breed that gives you red or gold. It could be several.

I'm not familiar with Belt. Different hatcheries have different lines and different priorities. I don't even know if Belt has their own flocks, buys eggs from breeders and hatches them, or drop ships. I cannot specifically talk about the differences in their sex links or their Buff Orpingtons. Each line or strain of parent birds is different and has different traits. In general, birds you get from hatcheries are kept for laying eggs so you will get better egg production from them that from people who are breeding their chickens for show. The sex links are coming from two lines that have probably been bred for egg production so they should lay well. But the Orpingtons are probably also coming from a line that has been bred for egg production. I doubt you will see a whole lot of difference in egg production between hatchery sex links and hatchery Orpingtons. One difference is that Orpingtons are more likely to go broody, so your egg production could be less because of that. It may be that any of them go broody or that none of them go broody. It is an individual thing, but more likely with Orpingtons.

Some breeds are more flighty and louder than others, but if you don't get roosters, the noise should not be that bad. Since you don't want roosters, I'd suggest getting the sexlinks. The hatchery would have to use vent sexing to separate the Orpington roosters from the pullets. They have about a 90% success rate with that process. If you get sex links, your odds of getting a rooster go way down.
 

lildinkem

Songster
10 Years
Feb 4, 2009
3,552
40
211
Indianapolis
I agree with you ridgerunner, buy from breeders, and IF they sell chicks great, if not do some incubating. It is fun. Don't be afraid to grow up them chicks till you know what you have. I have heard too many folks giving GREAT quality cockerels away cause they didn't want them. Your best bird might be a boy. Might be a show quality one. Hate to let someone get him for nuttin.
Ima guy with 35 boys so I like to give us guys a chance, lololol
From my brief chicken career, I find most people like to start out with mixes, but then eventually side with a certain breed or two. And then keep them as pure as possible.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,090
19,527
857
Southeast Louisiana
Reading lildinkem's post I may not have been as clear as I meant to be. If you want to show your chickens, yes, absolutely buy from a breeder. If what you want is great egg production, hatchery chicks are the best way for you to go, and I suggest sex links.
 

lildinkem

Songster
10 Years
Feb 4, 2009
3,552
40
211
Indianapolis
Quote:
ridgerunner I am sorry, I was the one not clear. I agree with you to buy from breeders.
I do have a question for you. IF you get the sex links, and breed brother to sister, will the offspring from that breeding also be sex linked?
 
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BridgetC

In the Brooder
9 Years
Feb 22, 2010
32
1
22
los angeles, ca
Well, I emailed Belt. I will let you know when I hear back.

As for breeders vs. hatchery, I am not looking to show birds, just have some fun and eggs. I was in 4-H as a kid and raised rabbits for show, so I it really hit home about there being no police running around regulating chicken breeds. That is one of the reasons I am leaning toward hatchery chicks - I just don't have the time to devote to go to shows and really find breeders with good reputations, experience, etc.... I mean, I could, but in the end, I am concerned with getting hens who will be reliable layers.

The sex-links sound like a good option...
 

chickypoo

Songster
11 Years
Mar 13, 2008
169
5
131
Colorado
I emailed the ranch supply store that we purchased our Golden Sex-Link from. Hopefully I can get you the name of the hatchery they get then from and you can go right to them. The source makes all the difference. We have both Red and Golden hens and they look completely different, a good supplier will actually be able to produce real golden sex-links.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,090
19,527
857
Southeast Louisiana
Quote:
If you are talking about color sex linked, no. The reason you can get sex links by colors is that the hen passed on certain traits to her son and not to her daughters. For example, a hen with a sex linked barred gene will give the barred gene to her sons but not her daughters. If you breed her to a rooster that does not have a barred gene, then the offspring will be sex linked. There are certain restrictions to this since you have to be able to see the barring in the male chicks and there are only certain color combinations that work.

So if "B" represents the dominant barred gene where if the bird has this gene the chick will be barred and "b" represents the recessive not barred gene where the chick will not be barred if it has this. The parent rooster has two genes, bb, so it is not barred. The hen has a single gene B, since it is a sex linked gene in the hen. The hen and rooster both give a gene to the male offspring, so the male chick has Bb. It will be barred since the B for barring is dominant. The female chick will not get a gene from its mother, so it will only get a b gene from the father and it will not be barred.

Now, if you cross the offspring, the Rooster has Bb and the hen has b. The rooster will give half his male offspring a B gene and the other half a b gene. He will also give half his female offspring a B gene and half a b gene. The hen will give a b to her male offspring and nothing to her female offspring since it is a sex linked gene. So half the male offspring will be Bb and barred and half the male offspring will be bb and not barred. Half the female offspring will get a B from the father and nothing from the hen and be barred. Half the female offspring will get a b from the rooster and nothing from the hen, so it will not be barred. The sex link is lost after the first generation.

Different genes are used but the principle is the same to get a red sex link. There the roosters are off-white and the female chicks are red.

Tadkerson does a better job explaining it in the link I gave in the previous post. Hope this helps.

BridgetC, it will be interesting to see what Belt crosses to get their red sex link.
 

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