Isa Brown? Production Red? Red Sexlink? What's the Difference?

puffypoo

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Hey, so i was in the breeds section making a list of ones i like and i wondered what is the difference between

Isa Brown
Lohman Brown
Red Sexlink
Red Star
Production Red
Red Comet (or is it gold comet?)

They all look exactly the same to me.

thanks!

Anna
 
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Pyxis

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Not really anything, except possibly the breeds of the two parent birds that were crossed to make them. Red sex links is what all of them are - the other names are what each hatchery calls its red sex link crosses. They may have different parent breeds but generally they all have the same traits - not broody, excellent egg layers, females red in color, etc.

Production reds might not be sex links, and could just be a low quality RIR that the hatcheries breed for egg production, but they are fairly similar to the others you listed otherwise.
 
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Michael OShay

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Red Sex Links are hybrids produced by crossing a red gene rooster (Rhode Island Red, New Hampshire, or Production Red) with a silver gene hen (Rhode Island White, Silver Laced Wyandotte, Delaware, Light Sussex, or silver factor White Rock). The offspring can be sexed by color from hatching; male chicks are whitish, female chicks are reddish, male adult birds are primarily white with some reddish feathers in the saddle area, female adult birds are red with white underfluff and some white feathers in the tail. Red Sex Links are egg laying machines outlaying either parent breed. It's one of the interesting quirks of hybridization. Isa Brown, Lohman Brown, Red Star, and Golden Comet are four of many labels under which hatcheries market their Red Sex Links. Other RSL labels include Gold Star, Cinnamon Queen, Golden Buff, Brown Sex Link, Bovans Goldline, Red Shaver, Brown Shaver, Warrens, etc. The reason they all look the same to you is because they are essentially the same hybrid; the only real difference being which silver gene hens are used in the crosses and this makes very little difference, either in the appearance of the RSLs or in their egg laying abilities. Because Red Sex Links are hybrids, they will not breed true and the offspring of two RSLs cannot be sexed by color. There is also a Black Sex Link which is produced by crossing a red gene rooster (RIR, NH, or PR) with a barred hen (usually a Barred Rock). Like RSLs, BSLs are egg laying machines and can be sexed by color from hatching; male chicks are black with a white spot on top of their heads, female chicks are black without the white spot on top of their heads, adult males are barred, adult females are black with some reddish/copper colored feathers around the neck area. And like RSLs, BSLs will not breed true when bred to each other.

Production Reds on the other hand are produced by crossing a red gene rooster (RIR, NH, or PR) with a red gene hen (RIR, NH, or PR). As a result of crossing two red gene parents, they cannot be sexed by color from hatching as both male and female PR offspring will be reddish. The adult PRs (both male and female) will be primarily red and lack the white underfluff and white tail feathers of the RSLs. And while PRs are excellent layers, they are not typically quite the egg laying machines that RSLs (or Black Sex Links either) are. The major advantage of PRs over Sex Links is that they will breed true. Production Red roosters bred to Production Red hens will produce Production Red offspring; in other words the chicks will carry the same general appearance and qualities of their parents.

I have posted pics of both a RSL hen and a PR hen below so that you can see the difference in their appearance (note the white underfluff and white tail feathers of the RSL). Hope this helps.
red-sexilix-chicken-300x232.jpg

Red Sex Link hen
675px-Rhode_Island_Red.jpg

Production Red hen
 

puffypoo

Crossing the Road
5 Years
Oct 3, 2015
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Massachusetts
Thanks! So now I believe the hen I had last year was a RSL.

But, one more Q, are the RSLs the ones used for commercial egg products? I thought Production Reds were, but apparently aren't as good layers as RSL, right?
 

Michael OShay

Crowing
5 Years
May 14, 2014
25,581
2,439
438
Montana
Thanks! So now I believe the hen I had last year was a RSL.

But, one more Q, are the RSLs the ones used for commercial egg products? I thought Production Reds were, but apparently aren't as good layers as RSL, right?

You're welcome. Most laying houses use Sex Links (either Red or Black) which they order from hatcheries for brown eggs as they are the very best brown egg layers. Occasionally though, you will come across a laying house that breeds its own birds and uses Production Reds.
 
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808momof6

Songster
5 Years
Jun 7, 2015
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So are Lohmann Brown and Red Sex Link the same? And the Golden Comet? Because what I find when I look them up, is different amount of eggs laid, and starting at different weeks of age.
 

U_Stormcrow

Crowing
Jun 7, 2020
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Red Sex Links are hybrids produced by crossing a red gene rooster (Rhode Island Red, New Hampshire, or Production Red) with a silver gene hen (Rhode Island White, Silver Laced Wyandotte, Delaware, Light Sussex, or silver factor White Rock). The offspring can be sexed by color from hatching; male chicks are whitish, female chicks are reddish, male adult birds are primarily white with some reddish feathers in the saddle area, female adult birds are red with white underfluff and some white feathers in the tail. Red Sex Links are egg laying machines outlaying either parent breed. It's one of the interesting quirks of hybridization. Isa Brown, Lohman Brown, Red Star, and Golden Comet are four of many labels under which hatcheries market their Red Sex Links. Other RSL labels include Gold Star, Cinnamon Queen, Golden Buff, Brown Sex Link, Bovans Goldline, Red Shaver, Brown Shaver, Warrens, etc. The reason they all look the same to you is because they are essentially the same hybrid; the only real difference being which silver gene hens are used in the crosses and this makes very little difference, either in the appearance of the RSLs or in their egg laying abilities [....]


THIS ^^^ is why I love this site. Thank you for so thorough a response, Michael. Simply tagging it "Informative" (and I love the new tag) didn't seem adequate.
 

U_Stormcrow

Crowing
Jun 7, 2020
2,745
6,903
376
North FL Panhandle Region / Wiregrass
So are Lohmann Brown and Red Sex Link the same? And the Golden Comet? Because what I find when I look them up, is different amount of eggs laid, and starting at different weeks of age.


I have Golden Comets from Hoover Hatchery, by way of TSC. Most of mine started laying at week 18-19, right in the middle of the 16-20 week expectation, and they remain my most productive birds. Between the five of them, they consistently produce three large eggs each day, maybe extra large, i've not weighed them, but they are generally the largest eggs i gather, after the ducks'.

Weight on the birds at 8 months is around 4.6# each (+/- .2#) on a diet of Free Range plus 1# dry/week (note my feed mix is 21% protein, much higher than typical layer) served as wet, sometimes fermented, mash - a little lighter than Hoover's claims for the hybrid. They are healthy, active birds, but not particularly predator aware. In fact, I lost one to aerial predation two days ago, and have to update my Sig. Was planning on culling all of them this fall as the move past 20 months, so its not a huge loss except that I'd have rather not fed the local predators.
 

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