will barred rock with RIR genes still work for black sex link?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by daveb3, Apr 22, 2012.

  1. daveb3

    daveb3 Hatching

    Apr 22, 2012
    Hi. I am looking to breed some black sex links the season after next. (I live in the southern hemisphere). First I need to breed up some barred hens as I only have one mature one at the moment. My very good barred rock hen Elvis has produced a lot of 'black stars' for me already when crossed with a rhode island red rooster. I have kept the best black star rooster (Thor) from her, who is barred. He is with a pure rhode island red rooster of the same age (around 23 weeks), and the black star rooster is far superior, bigger, more sexually mature, all round awesome. My question is can I use him back over his barred rock mum to produce (presumably) barred hens that will be suitable for using for a sex link cross again (probably with a rhode island red rooster but maybe an astralorp). The barred hens will be 75% barred rock , 25% rhode island red.

    I have 3 pure barred rock roosters from a different breeder to my BR laying hen Elvis which are about 17 weeks old, and I could use the best one of them with Elvis when he's mature to produce pure BR hens for a future black star project but I am not that impressed with them, and their sister doesnt look big enough to me for her age. Hence I would prefer to get more of the genetics from Elvis by breeding her with her son. Im not concerned about inbreeding as I have read a fair bit about line breeding and breeding mother to son once should be fine.

    I have heard it is somewhat common to put RIR blood into barred rocks once every 10 generations of so to keep laying vigour, and then breed back with pure barred rock.

    Would I be taking a gamble that the sex linking wouldn't work if I used Elvis and Thor to produce barred hens?

    Your thoughts would be appreciated.
  2. bargain

    bargain Love God, Hubby & farm

    Apr 13, 2008
    Bowdon, GA
    Good morning ....My understanding that to be a true Black Star or Red Star you must start each cycle with the purebreeds colors you want. You would not have the Star correct colors otherwise. Good luck with your project we just started offering Red Stars this year and I'm waiting untill some of those babies grow up!!! Thanks!
  3. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Crowing

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    The size and vigor of black stars are due to them being a hybrid. This will not breed true into next generation, you'll end up with much variation in size though you could select largest barred females from there.

    If you use Thor you'll result in 25% black hens, 25% barred hens and the males will be 50-50 light barring and dark barring as Thor only carries one barring gene (dark barring).

    Here is a chicken calculator and you'll see just how genetically diverse this next generation would be. http://kippenjungle.nl/kruising.html
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    :frow Welcome to the forum! :frow Glad you joined us! :frow

    If you have not seen it, you can read the first post on this thread to how to make black sex links. In theory all it takes to make a black sex link is for the hen to be barred and the rooster to not be barred. But there is one other catch. You have to be able to distinguish the spot on the chicks head. That’s not always possible. By the way, the chicks do not have to be black. They can be other colors, such as red.


    I’m pretty sure the RIR is Wheaton based. The BR is Extended Black based. Other genes that are different would be Mahogany, Columbian, I think Silver, and for sure Barred. So your first generation rooster from the RIR rooster to a BR hen would be split for Black/Wheaton as well as split for Mahogany, Columbian, Silver and Barred. Split means he will have one Mahogany gene and one not-Mahogany gene, for example, or one Barred gene and one not-Barred gene. When they are split, you don’t know which of the two genes his offspring will get.

    When you breed him back to his mother, you will get some hens that are pure Extended Black and some that are split for Extended Black/Wheaton. You will get some pure for not-Mahogany and some that are split for Mahogany. Same for Columbian. The hens will only have one of these, but they will either be Silver or Gold or they will be Barred or not Barred.

    If you select Barred hens from the cross, then breed those hens to a RIR rooster, you will definitely get chicks where the males are barred and the females are not barred. But, depending on what other genes that hen inherited from her father, you may get colors other than black. If the hen you select is pure for extended black and barred, you are going to get black sex link chicks. I think that regardless of the other genes in the mix, you will be able to sex the black chicks based on the spot on their head, but I’m not sure. Sometimes those genes come together and do weird things. Mahogany and Silver I’m not too worried about, but I’m not sure what Columbian might do to a chick’s down, especially if it matches and is pure.

    But if you select a hen that is split for Extended Black/Wheaton, about half the chicks will be black and may be sexable based on the spot but the other half could be red or, if you selected a hen with Silver, maybe even yellow chicks. I think the Mahogany from the RIR will keep any from being gold in this generation. This should give chicks with darker red down which might help you find the spot. (Those from a Silver hen would actually be red sex links, but you would have to know the mother was Silver for that to be of any use.) So depending on how the other genes matched up, you could get various colors and patterns for the chicks where the Wheaton from the mixed mother matched up with the Wheaton from the RIR father.

    So of all the not-black ones that hatch, you could get various shades of red or even yellow. The yellow ones should be male red sex links and would also be barred but you won’t be able to see the spot. All the red males will be barred and the red females will not be barred, but you may or may not be able to see the spot.

    So how can you tell if the hen is pure for Extended Black instead of split for Extended Black/Wheaton? Good question. I think you could probably tell most of the time with the roosters because the roosters split for Extended Black/Wheaton will probably have leakage. Some red or gold feathers would show. Maybe even some white if he has Silver? I think that leakage is less likely with a hen. But if you see any leakage on your Barred hens, these are the ones that are probably split and not pure for Extended Black. But I also do not think there is any guarantee with the hens. I have not done these crosses in this sequence, but I have crossed a red rooster with a barred hen. None of the hens from those first generation crosses showed any leakage but the roosters all did.

    So out of your proposed crosses, all males will be barred and all females will not be barred, but they may not all be black and they may not all be sexable based on being able to see the spot.

    I’m not an expert in this and probably have something wrong, particularly about being able to see the spot or not. I don’t have experience going this deep with those crosses. I do know that if you cross crosses with crosses you can get some really strange things and generally can’t tell what you have, but maybe by keeping one of the parents pure for each of these crosses, you might be able to tell what you have better. Hopefully some expert will correct me where I am wrong so I can learn.
  5. birdbrain79

    birdbrain79 In the Brooder

    May 13, 2015
    Usually with hens what you see is what you get.
  6. junebuggena

    junebuggena Crowing

    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    The answer is maybe. Most of his chicks with a barred hen would be barred. But the general rules of dark barring is female, light barring is male would not apply. Some of the chicks would also be solid black, they could be either male or female. If you do get barred females, then you can breed them to the red rooster and see what happens. The resulting chicks might be sexlinked, or they could be sexlinked, but not look like the sexlinks you are used to seeing, or they won't be sexlinked at all. This is why, if you want to consistently produce sexlinks, you should start with pure bred stock.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2015

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