Red Sex-Link: What the "Correct" Name (if there is one)?


Mar 25, 2015
There are so many names for just one hybrid of a red gene cock and a silver factor hen. Red Sex-Links, Golden Comets, Gold Star, Production Red (sometimes, if with New Hampshires, Rhode Island Reds, and others), etc. I bought mine as Gold Sex-Links, but always refer to them as Red Sex-Links. I've always just assumed they were all the same breed (well, cross), just labeled differently at different hatcheries. Is that true, or are they different names for different crosses? Also, I wondered if Buff Orpingtons are used as a male. I've seen "Amber Stars" which appear as though they have Buff Orpington genes. My last question is how are the chicks "sex-linked"? I know that Black Sex-Links the females are usually black with reddish-gold tips on the breast and neck feathers, and that the males are barred. So in Red Sex-Links, are the males white(r)? Please explain, and could you give more common names used for them, as so I can understand if I ever hear them referred to.


8 Years
Oct 5, 2011
Shoreline, Washington
It is kind of like comparing Coca Cola to Pepsi. It seems like you already have the answer really, red sex link is the generic term for them. They are very similar but each hatchery has their own 'secrete' genetic recipe for their creation. They are not all created equally, but similar breeding strategies exist for "Bovan Brown" "ISA brown" "Hisex" "Shaver" brown etc.

Often it is the ISA Brown that is preferred but similar breeding strategies such as the Bovan can produce prolific brown egg layers as well. I doubt that back yard type of Red gene x silver hen will produce the level of vigor that is present in the named sex link breeding programs but I


Apr 17, 2015
Long Beach, WA
A 'sexlink' is any chick that is sexable at hatch by the color of the down. It's a combination of breeding where the mother will pass on a certain aspect of coloring only to her sons. For red or gold sexlinks it's a silver (white) hen with a gold or red rooster. Only the boys will inherit the dominant silver color. For black sexlinks it's a barred hen with a non barred rooster. Only the boys will inherit the mother's barring. Each hatchery then has it's own specific lines that they breed from to produce these birds.

Michael OShay

5 Years
May 14, 2014
Red Sex Link is a general term used to describe any sex-linked offspring of a red gene rooster (RIR, NH, PR) and a silver gene hen (RIW, SLW, Delaware, LS, silver factor WR, etc.). When they hatch, female RSL chicks are reddish (in varying degrees of shading depending on what breeds were used in the cross) and male RSL chicks are whitish. As donrae indicated, hatcheries that breed Red Sex Links market them under a lot of different labels depending on which silver gene hens are used in the cross. These labels include Red Star, Gold Star, Gold Sex Link, Golden Sex Link, Brown Sex Link, Golden Buff, Cinnamon Queen, Golden Comet, Hubbard's Golden Comet, Isa Brown, Brown Shaver, Red Shaver, Babcock Brown, Bovans Brown, Warrens, Hyline Brown, Lohman's Brown, Bovans Goldline, etc. Red Sex Links are egg laying machines, outlaying either parent breed.
Black Sex Link is a general term used to describe any sex-linked offspring of a solid colored rooster (red gene roosters are most commonly used) and a barred gene hen (BR hens are most commonly used). When they hatch, the tops of the heads of female BSL chicks are black, and the black tops of the male BSL chicks have a white spot on them. While there are not nearly as many marketing names for Black Sex Links as there are for RSLs, there are several labels such as Black Star, Bovans Nera, Rock Red, etc. Like Red Sex Links, Black Sex Links are egg laying machines, outlaying either parent breed. It's one of the interesting quirks of hybridization.
Since both Red Sex Links and Black Sex Links are hybrids, neither sex linked variety will breed true. Breeding Red Sex Links to Red Sex Links or Black Sex Links to Black Sex Links will not give you sex-linked offspring.

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