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Recognising the sex of chicks: the sex-link breeds
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Which races are sex-link?
In order to recognise the sex of the chicks at birth, it is necessary to breed sex-link races or to make first-generation crosses that show a sex-linked inheritance.
As far as sex-link breeds are concerned, we recommend breeding the following:
- Barred Plymouth Rock
These pure breeds are characterised by a different colouring of the chicks at hatching, which makes it possible to distinguish males from females immediately.
It is also possible to crossbreed and achieve the same result.
For this it is necessary to use hens with barred plumage (Barred Plymouth Rock, Livornese cuca, etc.) or females with ermellinated plumage (Ermellinata di Rovigo, Sussex, etc.) and mate them with cocks with different plumage.
For example, a cross between a Golden Leghorn cock and an Ermellinata di Rovigo female produces self-sexed chicks: silver-herringed males (young chickens of Italian type) and golden-red females (medium-light laying hens that produce excellent eggs with an ivory pinkish shell).