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Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by farmgirllvo, Jun 23, 2016.
I have a few ISA Browns and Red star, I think. Are these breeds basically the same chicken?
Both are red sexlinks. Different hatcheries have different 'recipes' for breeding them, hence the different names. Basically, they are produced by breeding a hen with a silver base color with a rooster that has a red/gold base color. Each hatchery maintains their own lines/breeds for producing these birds. ISA Browns are a combination of 4 different breeds/lines. Red Stars are usually a simple 2 breed combination, with a Production Red rooster and a White Rock hen. The resulting chicks can be sexed by color. And the cross breeding increases the production rate of the mixed breed offspring.
Black Stars are black sexlinks, and have a different set of sexlink genetics.
Maybe, maybe not.
The ISA Brown is a hybrid red sex link specifically bred for the commercial egg laying industry. They are fairly small, much like a leghorn in size, and regularly lay fairly large eggs.
Red Star is just a marketing name that means they are red sex links. These may be based on the commercial laying hybrids, ISA Browns or others, so they can be very similar to your ISA Browns. But some hatcheries sell red sex links based on crossing two regular dual purpose breeds, say a RIR or New Hampshire roster over a Delaware or White Rock hen. These are often called Red Stars too but give you hens with the body size and egg laying talents of the dual purpose breeds they come from.
If you know which hatchery they came from you can look at their website and maybe get some clues which they are. The first thing I’d look at would be the expected body weight of a grown hen, are they closer to a RIR or a leghorn. And of course read what they say about them. Some hatcheries are more helpful than others in how they write them up.