Black Sexlinks Chicken: Egg Production, Breed Personality and Care

Black Sex Links Chicken Featured
Black Sexlink Chickens are friendly birds that lay up to 350 eggs per year, making them excellent for egg production. They also make for a friendly family pet, although they are noiser than other breeds and may upset your neighbors.

Through this guide, we’ll look at whether this bird would make a great fit for your needs. Let’s begin!

What is a Black Sex Links Chicken?

Black Sexlinks Chickens are adorable hybrid chickens and are sought after by backyard chicken keepers due to their beautiful coloring, quick growth, and their egg-laying ability. They are very popular birds to keep in backyard chicken coops and are both friendly and docile.

Black SexLinks chickens are a first-generation cross between a Rhode Island Red Rooster or New Hampshire Red rooster and a Barred Plymouth Rock hen.

They can also be called Rock Reds, so you may hear them referred to as such.

Black SexLinks chickens are able to be sexed (that is sorted by sex) based on the color of their down. Roosters are black with a white spot on their forehead, and hens will have black down but lack the white forehead marking.

Where do Sex Links Chickens Come From?

Sex-linked chickens are always first-generation hybrid chickens. They are not recognized as an official breed by the American Poultry Association, which only recognizes purebred poultry, and thus do not have a breed standard. There are both Black Sexlink Chickens and Red Sexlink chickens – both of which are considered sex-link hybrid birds.

Crossed birds weren’t considered valuable in the past (and were nicknamed mongrels) because purebred chickens breed true to the parent stock which was more profitable for breeders.

Chickens like the Wyandotte, Barred Plymouth Rock, and Rhode Island Red chickens were popular in the mid 1800’s as they produced baby chicks that had the same look, meat quality, and egg laying ability as their parents.

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Experimenting With Crossbreeds

So what changed? In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, poultrymen began to experiment with crossing popular purebred birds with one another to see what types of results they could achieve.

Some crosses produced birds with better meat quality, one of the first being a cross between a Cornish breed and Plymouth Rock breed, which produced CornRocks, which had better meat quality than any purebred bird at the time.

Another hybrid that gained great popularity was the crossing of a New Hampshire Red and Barred Plymouth Rock which produced a breed they called Delaware, that had excellent egg production.

In crossing these colored birds with one another, it quickly became apparent that the baby chicks had color characteristics that allowed them to be sexed, and thus the ”sex-link chicken” came into existence.

This was a great boon to breeders as they could easily sort and separate their flock.

Generally, red sex-link male chicks hatch white, and females will hatch out buff or red, whereas black sex-link male chicks hatch black with a white spot on their head, with females being entirely black.

Sex Links Chickens in 2022

There are many different types of sex-linked chicken breeds available on the market, and they all will be either red sex-link birds or black sex-link birds.

Some of the most popular include:

black sex links chicken image 1
The ISA Brown is just one of many examples

There are many different hybrid birds available, and depending on the color and characteristics you want, you have plenty of varieties to choose from.

What does a Black Sex Link Chicken look like?

As Black SexLinks chickens are a hybrid breed, there is no official breed standard in place for them.

Black Sexlinks pullets are easily identified by their pure black down. Males are easily separated from females as they will have a characteristic white spot on top of their heads in addition to their black down.

As adults, Black Sexlinks hens have an overall black body with gold hackle and feathers on their breasts. They may have red feathers near their neck.

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Roosters will have banding consistently across their bodies and may have a few red feathers. Both hens and roosters will have red wattles and combs.

Black SexLinks chickens are larger birds weighing between 6 and 9 pounds, with hens weighing 6 to 7 pounds on average, and roosters weighing 8 to 9 pounds.

What kind of personality does a Black Sex Link Chicken have?

Black SexLinks chickens have friendly personalities and get along well with humans. They are an energetic bird with natural curiosity while known for being vigorous. They tend to be noisier than average and won’t suit small backyards with close neighbors.

Black SexLinks hens are average in terms of being broody, but many will make wonderful mothers.

These birds can be stubborn when it comes to putting them back into their coop at night as they prefer to be free-range during the day, and they have little fear of predators which means you should keep a close watch on your flock to ensure their safety.

Foxes, bobcats, wild dogs and even eagles will find these to be an easy meal.

Roosters have been known to be aggressive, and if you have multiple roosters, they will fight for the top spot in the hierarchy.

How many Eggs will a Black Sex Link Chicken Produce?

Black Sexlink hens are average egg layers and produce eggs that have a consistent egg color. These birds typically lay 340-350 eggs per year.

The eggshell color is a light brown, and the egg size tends to be medium, though some owners have said their birds produced large brown eggs.

These birds are one of the few breeds that lay eggs year-round, producing them even in winter.

They start to produce eggs at 18-20 weeks and can produce eggs for five years on average.

Is it Easy to Breed Black Sex Link Chickens?

Backyard chicken breeders may not want to attempt to breed Black Sexlinks chickens as this ”breed” of chicken isn’t truly considered a breed by the APA. Being hybrid birds, they do not breed true, and crossed birds can produce unexpected results.

It may be better to purchase your flock from someone who has consistently crossed the same birds to better your chances of getting birds that have the traits you are looking for.

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However, hybrid breeds of chickens tend to have better health due to a wider gene pool and they will have a lifespan equal to or greater than their purebred parents. They are not overly difficult to cross, though you can never be sure of the outcome of the chicks past the first generation.

What type of Food do Black Sex Link Chickens Eat?

As with any chicken, it is advisable to give them high-quality chicken feed.

Oyster shell should be provided after their first molt for the extra calcium boost. As these birds can suffer from mites, ticks, and lice, you can also provide apple cider vinegar and crushed garlic to help keep these pests away from your flock.

Make sure to offer plenty of fresh, clean water to drink for your backyard chickens. If you notice any signs of dehydration, you can supplement their water with vitamins or electrolytes once a month.

Are Black Sex Link Chickens right for you?

Black Sexlinks chickens are birds that do really well in cold temperatures as their parents are both birds come from the east coast of the United States which can have harsh winters, though they can do well in warmer climates as well.

They are wonderful backyard chickens, that are brown egg layers, with friendly and agreeable personalities. Due to their dual purpose of providing eggs and meat, they are one of the most popular chickens and are easy to obtain. As they are sex link chicks, you will know their sex when you first see them – there is no guesswork involved!

If you are looking to purchase Black Sexlinks chickens, you should look to purchase them from a reputable hatchery. Cackle Hatchery is known for producing high-quality birds, but there are many places to get them including McMurray Hatchery, and Purely Poultry to name just a few others.

As these birds are so popular, they are not at all difficult to find.

These birds are versatile and whether you are looking for a pet or companion, an egg layer, or looking to curate a flock for meat production, these birds can fit the bill.


A longtime resident of Southern California, Christina recently moved across the globe to Austria, where she bought land specifically to build a small house with room for a backyard chicken coop. Christina spent her childhood summers on a farm, raising and caring for a flock of hens owned by her grandparents, which prompted a lifelong love of chickens, and other farm animals. Christina is passionate about writing, having written hundreds of articles for well-known websites, and uses her English degree in service of her love for animal welfare, most recently taking on a writing position at Chicken Care Taker in 2022.

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