Question about producing red sex-links


9 Years
Feb 5, 2010
Missouri Ozarks
Hi, I'm wanting to produce my own red sex-link chicks. I learned a lot from the sticky by tadkerson, but still have questions. I'm wondering how to get pullets that posses the silver gene, because from what I hear, not every white chicken has it. So two questions:
1) About what percentage DO carry the silver gene in any given breed? (about 90%, 20%, or-?) Are the silver-gene-carriers the majority or minority?
2) What breed(s) commonly carry the silver gene? Such as Delawares, White Leghorns, Rhode Island Whites, or-?
Maybe I should just stick to the trusty black sex-links. Although I just think the red sex-link hens are so pretty...

Thanks in advance for your help!
Last edited:
I would like to know as well. Im raising some rir and delawares and was gonna try that in a few months.
There's not really a percentage of the birds of a breed that have it, so do and some don't, some you can't tell unless you breed them.

Your best bet for red sexlinks with hens being red/gold with white tails, it to use Rhode Island White hens with a gold gene roo ( RIR, NHR, Buff, Partridge, etc) This is what I will be doing to produce gold sexlinks, A Buff Orp roo on RIW hens.

If you want red sexlinks with that are red/gold with black tails, looking kinda like RIRs, then us Delawares, or any Columbian, Silver Penciled,or Silver laced hens.

Breeds like White Rocks, White Leghorns, and White Wyandottes wouldn't be a good choice becuase since some these may be masking another color under the white, carrying dominant white, or not have the silver genes all together, so these wouldn't be a good choice unless you know their genetic history.

Or if you want black Sexlinks, just use barred or cuckoo hens on any roo as long as he is not barred and not white for the same reasons I listed for the white hens, unless you know his genetics.
Thanks for the info RareRoo.
I was about to get White Leghorns, glad I asked! Can you please help me with one more question? In the sticky by Tadkerson, he said:

"Crossing a Group 1 male with a Rhode Island White will produce females that have reddish down while males will have a whitish down. The Rhode island white is the only bird in the table that normally carries dominant white. Other white birds may or may not carry dominant white."

The way he words it, it sounds like the Rhode Island White is the best for small farmers to use to get dependable results. But from my research, the dominant white is the gene to stay away from. This gene will color both sexes white, vs. being sex-linked red/white. What do you think?

BTW, I'll be ordering from Welp Hatchery, and these are the breeds I can choose from for "silver hens": White Rock, White Leghorn, Delaware, Silver Laced Wyandotte, Light Brahma, and Rhode Island White. The sticky by Tadkerson says that White Rocks are not a good choice. And RareRoo says that White Leghorns aren't either. Since I want a orange/white colored hen that lays well, then that narrows it down to SLW and RIW. Which do you think has the best chance of having the silver gene??? Also, in case it makes a difference, I'll be crossing them with a RIR roo. Thank you all very much!
Last edited:
The Dominant white thing is a bit confusing to me too, but I believe the difference is that RIWs have dom. White AND have the Silver genes and White leghorns have Dom, white, but NOT the silver genes. Because like you said, crossing with a white leghorn usually colors both sexes solid white with black spots. Like California Whites that are a cross of Cali Grey roos on WL hens.

But the Dom white in the RIWs is what colors to tail feathers white in the offsping puttets, the that works is everywhere black would be in a RIR, it is replaced by white in the sexlinks. It hides the black, and only slightly dilutes the red.

So if you are wanting Red and white sexlink hens, you have to go with the RIW, because if you use the SLWs, since you can see black in them, they obviously don't carry dom white and should give sexlink hens that are red with black tails. You may also get rose combs when breeding withe the SLWs.

The RIR roo will work either way.
We breed them here and use mostly RIW's they are real sweet too! I have also used my Delaware's when I have an extra but now with 2 Del roos the girls are busy in that pen. My roo is a RIR I will say the Delaware cross chicks get bigger faster so a good thing when they come out roos-quicker to dinner
OK My RIW hens just started laying and I've got 4 eggs so far that will be going in the bator tomorrow with my other eggs. I have a Speckled Sussex roo with them right now, those should produce sexlinks just the same as the RIR and I will post pics when they hatch, so keep an eye out for them, so you can see pretty much what you'll get. I will be using a Buff Orp roo a little later when they mature more.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom