Black Sex Link Chickens and
Other Auto-Sexing Breeding Chickens

Here's a guide to breeding black sex link chickens plus many other sex link chickens colors.

Mating together specific colored rooster and hen combinations can result in hen and rooster chicks that are discernibly different in color at hatching.

Such auto-sexing breeding chickens “recipes” are described below.

What are the benefits?

Breeding chickens in combinations that produce sex link chickens offers many benefits, based on the ability to separate the male chicks from the female chicks at hatching.

The common Hyline and ISA Brown laying birds, for example, are auto-sexed so that the hen chicks are brown and the rooster chicks yellow. This avoids the need to waste time, space and feed raising the commercially "useless" rooster chicks.

When breeding and raising chickens it is similarly valuable to be able to manage or trade chicks with the confidence that comes from knowing from the start what sex they are.

Some sex link chickens combinations:

To produce female BLACK sex link chickens

Combining a cuckoo or barred hen (e.g. Plymouth Rock) with any non-barred, non-cuckoo colored rooster will yield cuckoo or barred rooster chicks and solid colored – usually black - hen chicks.

Pic: Barred Plymouth Rock hen

Barred Plymouth Rock hen matings

Barred/cuckoo hen matings that result in female solid black sex link chickens are many and varied.

To achieve female black sex linked chickens you can mate her with roosters that are of any of the following colors...

• Double Gold Laced (e.g. Barnevelder)

• Solid Lavender (e.g. Australorp)

• Solid Black (e.g. Australorp)

• Black Patterned Silver Laced (e.g. Silver Laced Wyandotte)

• Black Mottled (e.g. Ancona)

• Black Patterned Red Columbian (e.g. Rhode Island Red)

• Silver Columbian (e.g. Sussex)

• Black Patterned Gold Columbian (e.g. New Hampshire)

Brown (e.g. Leghorn) roosters with cuckoo/barred hens will produce:

Cockerel chicks that have yellow beak, shanks and toes, and are black on top of body with a white spot. The pullet chicks have black/dark beak, shanks and toes, and are all black on top.

Pic: Brown Leghorn rooster

Buff (e.g. Buff Orpington) roosters with cuckoo/barred hens will produce:

Cuckoo/barred cockerel chicks (in brown or grey tones). The hens will be either solid brown or solid black sex link chickens.

Similarly, blue roosters (e.g. Blue Orpington or Australorp) mated with the same color hens will produce:

The usual grey tone cuckoo/barred roosters; The hens in this case will be either solid blue or solid black sex link chickens.

To produce female BROWN or BUFF colored sex linked chickens

Mate a Black Patterned Silver Columbian (e.g. Light Sussex) Hen to either:

Pic: Light Sussex Hen

• A Black Patterned Red Columbian (e.g. Rhode Island Red) rooster.

RESULT: Buff pullet chicks; white or pale yellow cockerel chicks

• Brown (e.g. Leghorn) rooster.

RESULT: Pullet chicks have chocolate head and heavy stripes on a light brown background; cockerel chicks are black and white.

Alternatively, mate a white hen (works with white Wyandotte or Leghorn but not all white breeds) with a Rhode Island Red rooster.

RESULT: Brown pullet chicks with dark body stripe; silver cockerel chicks with black markings.

• Buff (e.g. Leghorn or Orpington) rooster.

RESULT: Buff pullet chicks (with slight black marks); yellow/white cockerel chicks (with slight black marks).

Using a Gold Legbar rooster.

The Legbar is produced by crossing the Brown Leghorn with the Barred Plymouth Rock, and is an autosexing breed in its own right.

Pic: Gold Legbar Rooster

This characteristic can be used in crosses too, for example:

• Mated with a Light Sussex hen.

RESULT: Gold pullet chicks; silver cockerel chicks. The pullets also have faster feathering wings.

• Mated with a Rhode Island Red or Brown Leghorn hen.

RESULT: Pullet chicks have brown/grey legs; legs of cockerel chicks are yellow. The pullets also have faster feathering wings.