Understanding Sex-Link Chickens Today

Understanding Sex-Link Chickens Today
Add to Favorites By Doug Ottinger – Did you know that even if you have only purebred birds in your flock, they might be sex-links? Wait, don’t panic! Your birds are still purebred!  The hatchery did not pull a “fast one” and sell you some sort of “Franken-chicken”, or a half-breed posing as a purebred. The terms “sex-link” and “sex-linkage” are often misunderstood, and sometimes have unnecessarily bad connotations to poultry keepers. In the purest sense of the term, a sex-linked trait is simply one that is carried on a gene attached, or linked, to either the male or the female sex chromosome. Hence the term, “sex-link.” Sex-link chickens are the result of crossing birds, which have certain sex-linked traits so that the offspring can be differentiated sexually at time of hatching. In the case of chickens and other birds, these are traits which are carried on the male or Z chromosome.

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