The Sex-link advantage

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by vortec, Apr 7, 2009.

  1. vortec

    vortec Chillin' With My Peeps

    529
    0
    139
    Jan 29, 2009
    Martin County, NC
    How much of an advantage do the sex link chickens have over say the barred rocks and buff orps, etc. in terms of laying? A lot of people I talk to say that the best layers are the smallish birds without a lot of meat on their bones. This would seem to be a negative to the LARGE barred rocks and buff orps. I always considered those breeds great layers, but do the red and black sex links( stars is another name for these right? ) have an advantage over these breeds?

    vortec
     
  2. horsegirl

    horsegirl Out Of The Brooder

    22
    0
    21
    Apr 6, 2009
    The sex links do have an advantage and the reason why is you are reversing the inbreeding. It would be similar to buying many different strains of RIR and crossing them together, you would get healthier birds that lay better. Sometimes for showing, inbreeding is good because it might allow them to amplify the coloring of the chicken or something along the lines of that. But in the long run it makes a less healthy less productive bird. The reason they breed the sex links is because they are able to sex at birth, otherwise there are some other poultry crosses that would strive as layers.

    So the advantage of the sex link is partially the fresh blood idea. The other thing is black sex link for example is from a RIR and barred rock, both I have found to be very good layers and when you cross those two, it seems thier egg laying ablility is amplified. In Red sex links, sometimes for the white bird they use leghorns that brings in the high production bloodlines as well. To read more on sex links, and many varriations of sex links and their advantages and downfalls, go to http://thesmallfarm.blogspot.com/.

    So
    , as far as the small boned chickens with little meat on them. The reason this is beneficial is because they need to eat less to sustain their bodies to lay the same amout of eggs your dual purpose breeds do. The other thing is people generally think of leghorns when they think of that and since they are super bred to lay lots and lots of eggs comerically, they will generally lay better than the brown egg layers, but your Rhode Island Reds and Barred Rocks could lay as much as them, if the lines of breeding was focused more in that direction.

    I hope this clears up some confusion. I have a whole bunch more information, like I said, in that article I mentioned.
     
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    12,521
    93
    341
    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    A lot of the advantage of sexlinks over heavier breeds that lay almost equally well (like 250-300 eggs per year) is that the sexlinks use less feed to produce that amount of eggs.

    There are also not that many "breed" chickens that will match their laying ability in terms of eggs per year. Hybrid vigor, heterosis, that sort of thing [​IMG]

    Also with sexlinks you can cull the males right off, if you feel so inclined, or buy only pullets with pretty good reliability.

    Pat
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by