What will I get if I breed these sexlinks?

Mags3110

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Dec 1, 2021
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I've done a little research but can't find an exact answer. I just really want to get a better understanding of this.

I have 2 sexlink hens I bought together with a pure speckled hen. They were all supposed to be pure unsexed speckleds but the sexlinks got mixed in with them which I don't mind. The roo was a speckled sussex and the hens were light sussex. The photo is of one of the sexlink girls

I also have 2 roos I hatched which I got from a relative. The Roo was a light sussex and the hens were speckled sussex.

My first question is are the roos i hatched sexlinks?

I didn't think they were as I also hatched a pullet. The only difference between her and her brothers is that she has really silvery feathers on her wings with a more consistent pattern.

If I bred one of the roos with the sexlink hens what will I get in theory? Could I potentially get chicks that have close to pure light or speckled genetics from the sexlink hens and the roo? I know that you can't get pure-bred sexlinks from sexlinks cause they could throw either gene from the parents. I have a theory that the majority of chicks will have speckles as both parents will carry the speckled gene but I'm not sure. Just really looking for advice from some of the more experienced breeders and owners.
20211201_182356.jpg

One of my sexlink girls. They both look like this.
 

NatJ

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The photo is of one of the sexlink girls
The photo is definitely helpful for predicting what her chicks might be like!

She might be a Production Red or a Rhode Island Red, instead of a sexlink. The most common kind of sexlink has white feathers in the neck and tail, where your bird has black. Some sexlinks do look like yours, but they are less common, which is why I'm not sure. (This doesn't affect what chicks she will produce-- I can predict that from her appearance, no matter what she is called.)

I also have 2 roos I hatched which I got from a relative. The Roo was a light sussex and the hens were speckled sussex.

My first question is are the roos i hatched sexlinks?
No, they are not sexlinks when you cross the breeds in that direction.
(Switching the breeds, to have a Speckled Sussex father and a Light Sussex mother, would produce sexlinks.)

I didn't think they were as I also hatched a pullet. The only difference between her and her brothers is that she has really silvery feathers on her wings with a more consistent pattern.
Comparing them to their sister was a good way to check, and you are correct that they are not sexlinks.

If I bred one of the roos with the sexlink hens what will I get in theory? Could I potentially get chicks that have close to pure light or speckled genetics from the sexlink hens and the roo? I know that you can't get pure-bred sexlinks from sexlinks cause they could throw either gene from the parents.

I assume the males are mostly white, with black in their neck feathers and tail feathers, and probably some red showing through on their wings. If they look different than that, some of my predictions will be wrong.

If you take your already-mixed males, and cross to the female you showed:
about half the chicks should look like their mother (red with black in the neck & tail)
about half the chicks should look like their father (white with black in the neck & tail)
There should be males and females of each color, in about equal amounts.

Where I say to expect "red" in half the chicks, it could be also be brown, gold, or any similar color-- there are various genes that affect what shade a chicken is, but I cannot make any useful predictions about them in this case.

I have a theory that the majority of chicks will have speckles as both parents will carry the speckled gene
In Speckled Sussex, the "speckles" are the little white and black dots on the bird. Those speckles are caused by the mottling gene.

Light Sussex should not have the mottling gene, and the red hen you photographed does not show the mottling gene either.

I would not expect any speckles (mottling gene) to show up in the chicks you produce.

The black feathers are the tail and the base of the neck, with the rest of the body being mostly free of black, are caused by the Columbian Gene. Light Sussex have this, your males probably have this, and the hen in your photo has this too. I would expect all of this chicks to have this pattern.
 

Mags3110

In the Brooder
Dec 1, 2021
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She might be a Production Red or a Rhode Island Red, instead of a sexlink.
The person I bought them from was breeding sexlink hybrids. She bred a speckled roo over a light sussex hen. When I sent her a photo she was surprised saying she hadn't seen the hybrid sexlinks turn out like my 2.

The bit I'm kinda confused about is would the roos I hatched even carry the speckled gene? I know it's recessive and in order to get the mottling both parents need the gene.

1st pic is one of the roos. The 2nd is the pullet sister
16390573169516169247834446724653.jpg
20211209_234526.jpg
 
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NatJ

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The person I bought them from was breeding sexlink hybrids. She bred a speckled roo over a light sussex hen. When I sent her a photo she was surprised saying she hadn't seen the hybrid sexlinks turn out like my 2.
In that case, yes your hen would be a sexlink, just not the type that's most commonly sold in stores. I had not realized that you bought her directly from the breeder, so I was assuming a typical mix-up in a store (where Production Red is just as likely as Sexlink).

If that hen's father was a Speckled Sussex, and the mother was a Light Sussex, then she would also have the mottling gene.

The bit I'm kinda confused about is would the roos I hatched even carry the speckled gene? I know it's recessive and in order to get the mottling both parents need the gene.
If one parent shows mottling, then all chicks will carry the gene, and will pass it to half of their own chicks. So yes, your males would carry mottling if their mother showed it.

If the sexlink mother and the father both carry mottling, you can expect to see it in about 1/4 of their chicks. It can show up on the red chicks and the white ones, but of course it looks a little different. The red based ones should look like Speckled Sussex, while the white based ones will probably look more like Silver Mille Fleur color.

Here's a page with images of mottling on silver-based chickens:
http://www.belgianduccle.org/silver-genetics
Some of yours might have similar coloring.

1st pic is one of the roos. The 2nd is the pullet sister
They're cute little chicks :)
I think the black parts sprinkled through the body feathers will disappear as they grow and molt a few more times-- I've seen quite a few chicks that had lots of black bits on the body when they were young, and a solid color on the body when they grew up.
 

Mags3110

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Dec 1, 2021
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Thank you so much. I really appreciate it. I have heard of the Silver Mille Fluer colour. They are really beautiful. I was wanting to try and achieve that with my sussex chickens. I'm really interested in the genotypes of chickens and was hoping to learn some more. Do you have any recommendations on where I can find out more and do some research?
 

NatJ

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I'm really interested in the genotypes of chickens and was hoping to learn some more. Do you have any recommendations on where I can find out more and do some research?
I have found this useful:
http://sellers.kippenjungle.nl/page0.html

It's the introductory page in a set.
Page 0 is introductory with links , Page 1 is basic genetics, Page 2 talks about chicken genetics, and Page 3 has a long list with brief notes about each one. Now that I've learned the basics, I find page 3 much more useful than the others. If you already know some genetics, you might look at it first, then go back if you need more explanation.

There is a also a genetics calculator on that site:
https://kippenjungle.nl/kruising.html
You can change the genes, and watch the picture & label change to see what the gene does. It can also calculate offspring, which some people find useful, but I mostly use it for playing with what genes cause what effects.

The reason I don't use if for calculating breeding results is because I already knew how to figure the likelihood of offpspring with what traits, and it was faster for me to keep calculating the way I was used to (mental Punnett Square for each trait, then multiply percentages together.) So I haven't really used that feature, and can't tell how helpful it is.

That site actually has a bunch of chicken calculators, because they keep putting in updated ones with new genes or other features added:
https://kippenjungle.nl/kruising.html
http://kippenjungle.nl/breeds/crossbreeds.html
http://kippenjungle.nl/chickencalculator.html

(I am making a few assumptions about how much genetics knowledge you have-- some people need to start with what a gene is, and what recessive means, but you seem to already know that!)
 

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