Friday, August 16, 2013

Feathered Friend Friday: Spotlight on Gold Sex-Link Chickens

Welcome to our series "Feathered Friend Friday." Every Friday I write a post with interesting facts, photos, or funny stories about our chickens and guineas. If you need to catch up, you'll find all the Feathered Friend Friday posts here   

I remember not too long ago hearing about sex-link breeds and wondering what the heck they were. When we got our spring chicks this year, one of my selections was a Gold Sex-Link pullet, so I researched the topic a bit more to figure it out once and for all.


It turns out that these chickens are bred so that they can be sexed immediately after hatching simply by observing the color of the chick's fluff. In the case of the Gold Sex-Link breed (GSL), female chicks are yellowish white with streaks of gold or red in their fluff whereas male chicks are solid yellow. To get GSL chickens, breeders match up a Rhode Island White female with a Rhode Island Red male. When they are mature, GSL roosters are solid white and the hens are gold with white trimming.

Our GSL, Penelope (aka "Penny"), in the background.

Penelope has such beautiful golden feathers with a little white scattered about and just peeking through in spots. The white is more prominent in her glorious fluffy bottom and in the pointy feathers around her neck.


Penny is the friendliest of all the spring chicks and always runs up to me when I go to the chicken coop. If I bend down and call her, she will come right over for a little back rub. She is the most outgoing and adventurous of the spring chicks as well and has been getting herself into trouble lately by flying out of the run! We have clipped her wings so that should keep her safe inside the run from now on. When we are home we do like to let the chickens out for supervised free ranging, but to make sure they are safe while we're gone during the day they stay inside a large fenced run with Duchess.

Exploring the woods.

Penny hasn't started laying yet, but hopefully soon she will begin laying her large brown eggs. GSL hens are known for their good egg production, so we should see lots of gorgeous eggs from her anytime now.


Do you have any sex-link breeds in your flock?

~Tammy

Shared with From the Farm Blog Hop, Backyard Farming Connection Hop  

35 comments:

  1. I have not heard of the sex link chicks. That's neat!

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  2. I always feel like I get such an education every time I visit your blog. I have never heard of sex-link chicks. By the way, I sent a fellow blogger your way the other day since he blogs a lot about the beautiful chickens that he has and I figured he would really enjoy your blog :)

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  3. It all sounds very exciting! Very interesting info.

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  4. Penny is a lovely looking hen, I haven't heard of this particular type of sex-link. Neither have I heard of Rhode Island Whites (I wonder if they are even in NZ). When my brother breed numerous breeds he used to cross Gold-laced Wyndotttes and Silver-laced Wyndottes, can't remember which way, but the two sexes came out either one colour or the other. Have a lovely weekend S:)

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  5. I love that picture of the fluffy behind! Sweet!

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  6. thanks for the education! and very cute, they are!

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  7. Penelope is a very pretty hen; I love the photo of her necklace of white pointy feathers. I have two red sex-link hens, and Nemo who is a home-grown sex-link, the product of an americana hen and a buff orpington rooster. I had a few of the americana hens of various colors but only the brown one produced these chicks.

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  8. Love the top angle of Penny, what a great pattern of feathers around her neck. Sure sounds like a great way to sex the new chicks, this way no surprises.

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  9. What a beautiful girl she is!!

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  10. I had no idea about sex-linked chicks. Thanks for educating us! That last shot of your hen is beautiful!

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  11. Again! You provide me with a WONDERFUl education! I never knew about these! I love the photos - such a pretty face! Their coloring is perfect!

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  12. We just started our flock. We bought about 13 sex link. We are excited for their production potential as well as the fact that they are pretty. We have the Gold and black varieties.

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  13. Sex links have been my only flocks for the last 6 years.....they are productive layers, and also can have black with rust feathers. I also have a Penny in my group, who allows me to pet her and she eats out of my hand....her name is Gwendolyn, she has a sister Abigail who is a bit shyer but does allow me to pet her too...the black sex links, are flighty, somewhat like a White leghorn would be.

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  14. Not anymore. :) Although they are amazing producers, they were the "mean girls" so they now reside in the freezer. I've heard they can go either way, same with Rhode Island Reds.

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  15. I have a couple red sex-link hens. They're the sweetest girls. My kids named them Fireball and Angry Bird. Too bad other breeds weren't as easily sexed. Anyone want a couple roos? lol. Great post. Thanks for sharing.

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  16. She's so pretty with her white tipped feathers! I had heard the term but never knew what it meant. So interesting that they can be bred that way. Love the photos of your sweet girl. xo

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  17. Penny is gorgeous! I hope she turns out to be a good hen producer.

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  18. it's been a long time i visited ur blog and now i notice it's changed (in a nice way)...i meant the wallpaper and stuff........and i adore that chick!

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  19. I've never heard of sex linked chickens before, so I definitely just learned something new! Fluffy is BEAUTIFUL!!

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  20. I learn a lot visiting your blog, Tammy! Your chick is just adorable. Penny is pretty and sounds so sweet. Wonderful post and photos. BTW, I linked up your blog on my post today. I hope you do not mind. Eileen

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  21. Penny's 'necklace' is lovely. It's amazing how sweet fluffy chicks mature into beautiful pullets so quickly. I'm looking forward to the announcement of Penny's first egg. :-)

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  22. She's a beauty! I love her fancy shawl of pointed neck feathers.
    I never knew what sex-link chickens were.. Good information!

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  23. No, I've never heard of sex linked chickens before, it's always fun to stop by and learn something new! I love Penny's feathery collar :)

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  24. Penny's pretty as a penny. Sorry, I couldn't resist. ;) She is pretty though. :)

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  25. We started last year with ISA Browns which are a type of sex link, and I LOVE their personalities! This year we also added a few black sex links, but they aren't quite as outgoing. Pretty girls though :)

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  26. I find this so fascinating that someone figured out how to do this!

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  27. Hi, Tammy...just by to see how you are doing..:)
    xo bj

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  28. i made my way to a blog that i really love!

    so interesting-love learning new things. thanks for the education!


    she's a beautiful girl for sure!lovely shots as usual:)

    big hugs~

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  29. Tammy, I sure wish I did:) Reading your lovely posts-seeing your stunning photos of Penny makes me realize my longing to have chickens will never go away!

    I took last week off, because my parents came for a visit. I'm looking forward to getting all caught up with everyone again:)

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  30. I love your flock and Penny is a star - really - I love that chicken!

    Wishing you a lovely day.
    xoxo

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  31. Great pics! I've got two red sex-links, Thelma and Louise. Sweet hens, they are!

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  32. Oh, such cute pics. Love that fluffy chick.

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  33. Penny is cutie patootie pie, she has such sweetness in her eyes. I love it when my girls run up and welcome me too. So fun!

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  34. Penny is a very pretty chicken!! Bet they love it when you're home and they get to graze the yard!!

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  35. Penny is gorgeous ! I was aware of the sex link gene giving differential colors to hens and roosters. Love the way you explained it :)

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