Black Sex Link Chickens Breed Guide: Size, Eggs, Care, and Pictures

The Black sex-link chickens are among the oldest breeds that many poultry farmers still prefer to keep in their coop. It is also known as Black star Chickens and Rock Reds.

It is being used since the 1950s to meet the need of both egg and meat chickens. This chicken breed is known for their egg-laying ability and friendly behavior.

Black Sex-Linked chickens are on the list of chicken breeds that are preferred by poultry farmers and customers.

Before adding these wonderful chicken breeds to your flocks, you should know the complete details about them. This guide includes the history, color, eggs, size, temperament, pros, cons and caring information about Black Sex-Link chickens.

Black sex-link chickens are widely famed for their personalities and captivating nature. Their other names are or Black star chicks or Rock Reds.

These are renowned for their friendly and docile behavior and stubborn nature, as well as their laying of nutrition-rich eggs.

They are a hybrid variety formed by crossing a pure breed of Barred Plymouth Rock hen and New Hampshire Red rooster or Rhode Island Red rooster. Black sex link chickens are a type of fowl that are easy to handle. They are beautiful birds.

Black Sex Link Chicken has played a significant role in tackling nutrition-related problems. They have of great nutritional value.

General Information About Black Sex-Link Chickens
  • Save
  • Color – Black
  • Egg productivity -Medium
  • Egg Color -Light Brown
  • Breed Size – same as of Normal hen.
  • Climate Suitability -All climate 
  • Climate tolerance -cold
  • Nature -Energetic, curious, friendly, vigorous 
  • Broodiness – Average
  • Egg size –medium
  • Egg-laying ability – 340-350 light-colored brown eggs in a year 
  • Other names – Black stars and Rock Reds
  • Weight – pullet 6 pounds and 8-9 pounds (Cockerels).
  • Specialty – Can even lay eggs in the winter climate 
  • Purpose –Dual purpose for laying eggs and meat.
  • Environment–hardy and are good foragers.

Pure breed chicken is also a good source of nutrition and has more lifespan, but nowadays, hybrid chicken is preferred over pure chicken as they are more tolerant of weather and disease.

Pure breed chickens need much attention, and they stop laying eggs in winter, but hybrid chickens like Black Star chicks continue to lay eggs throughout the year. Here is the list of few best egg-laying chicken breeds.

They are made to fulfill the desire of growing need, and since they are of great nutritional and economic importance, Sex-link chickens are more endorsed.

Some of them can lay 300-320 eggs throughout the year. Hybrid chickens are made by crossing two different chicken breeds to get the best results. 

Black sex-link chickens have been cultured since the 1950s after the second world war to tackle the shortage of food in America and fill the stocks.

Breeders those work with poultry started trying to cross different breeds. Finally, they crossed a Barred Plymouth Rock hen with a Rhode Island Red rooster or a New Hampshire Red rooster.

The end result was a fantastic chicken breed. They found out quickly that the breed is producing a lot of eggs and that they are sex linked, so they could tell the gender just after they’re hatching.

Starting from the 1950s and still now, these Black star chicks were the major breed for egg production and meat manufacture in America.

They are found in the 1950s. During the 1950s, the population growth was exponential, and to fulfill the nutritional need of this hefty population. Black sex link chickens were developed by crossing the pure breed. 

They are bred to produce a consistently large number of eggs for keeping stock to fulfill the requirement.

They are made to fulfill the massive demand after the Second World War, as many refugees and troops were returning to America to have a better life. 

This has an influx of many people in America lead to a shortage of food. As a result, scientists started experimenting with poultry.

After many unsuccessful attempts, they could make Black Sex-Link chickens by crossing a Rhode Island Red rooster or a New Hampshire Red rooster, with a Barred Plymouth Rock hen.

Problems Associated With Crossing the Breed

The main problem was that they were getting bird hybrids that did great in some areas but fell back in others. The scientist became more frustrate until and unless they get this type of hybrid Black sex-link chickens.

Finding this breed of chicken helped with the rationed food. It also helped fulfill the massive demand created over America in the 1950s after the second world war because of the influx of troops and refugees to America.

Nowadays, Black Star chickens are also found in many commercial farms and many small personal farms. Since they lay a hefty number of eggs, and because of their personalities, many owners have a kin interest in raising them on their farms.

Difference Between Male and Female Black Sex-Link Chickens
  • Save

Both sexes of these sex-link pullets are black, but the only difference between the male and female is that the male has a white dot on its head. Male one has a pattern similar to the Barred Rock breed and has red feathers.

Both sexes have a standard black color, but their color also primarily depends upon the parent breed. 

When their parent’s mate, the barring gene was absent in sex link pullets as the barring gene is only present over the male chromosome.

That’s why from birth, only after hatching gender of chicks was recognized through their color. Although of the same color, they are easily distinguishable from male and female. 

To get a standard and desirable Black Sex-link Chicken crossing should be done between a high-quality parent breed of Barred Plymouth Rock hen and a Rhode Island Red or New Hampshire Red rooster. Barring genes were present over the male one, not on a female. 

Reason Behind Crossing the Breeds

The main goal of crossing the pure breed of Barred Plymouth Rock hen and a New Hampshire Red rooster or a Rhode Island Red rooster and producing them is to separate the female one from the male chicks before hatching.

Also taking care of the female pullets as they are the best and fabulous egg-laying birds among all the breed of chicken. Their flesh can also be used.

When hen attains maturity, they became the best egg-layers. Some of them are so excellent In laying an egg that they will lay 300-320 eggs throughout the year. Their eggs are brown in color. 

Characteristics of Black Sex-Linked Chickens

Color Description

They are black and with breast feathers. Two types of sex-linked chickens are present according to their color – Red Sex-Linked and Black-Sex Linked.

But in both cases, the chicks were black. Black sex-linked chickens are formed by breeding Rhode Island Red roosters and Barred Rock hens. 

Chicks after hatching, the male will have a white patch on their feathers. During the growth, the male will develop some patches of the red and black feather.

Body Type

Since these chickens are made by crossing the two pure breeds, they have the same body structure and body type that of parent one’s but have a quite bit variation.


Pullet weighs about 6-7 pounds while cockerel of about 8-9 pounds.


Black sex-linked chickens are hardier and are more productive than their parent’s respective chicken breed. Chicks are vigorous and high in demand in the Asian community.

Reports from many owners that they are quite a bit less aggressive, but some other reports proclaim that the male is more aggressive than the female one.

  • They are friendly, and are curious, which makes them cute.
  • Because of their temperament and personality, they are lovable and sweet and are people preferred to add them into their flocks.
  • They are quite stubborn and difficult to get back into the coop, especially at night.

They love to wander here and there and are quick and hard to catch. Black Star chickens are quite docile and have a friendly nature, which can be a curse or boon. They are fearless; as a result, they move closer to their predator, they hurt themselves.

Have a lifespan the same as that of pure breed chicken, but they are more tolerant of weather change and have a high immune system, and are silent to disease.

Black sex-linked chickens lay a good number of eggs for 2-3 years, and their lifespan is like other normal breeds.

Egg production

Black Sex-Linked Chickens lay brown eggs around sixteen weeks onward lay one egg per day, but this rate may lower down or even stop in winter climates due to low temperatures.

Female one can lay a hefty amount of egg. Want to know more about chicken breeds that lay colored eggs, then here is the complete guide for you.

Ideal for the colder climate

Can sustain and lay an egg in winter. Easy to handle and have decent qualities. But usually make loud voice, not ideal for keeping at the heavily populated area. Read this complete guide on keeping chickens in freezing cold.

Benefits of Raising Black Sex-linked Chickens

Let’s understand some benefits of raising Black Sex-link chickens-

  • They are good for both meat and eggs. We have published a complete guide on dual purpose chickens here.
  • Lay more eggs in a year, around 320 eggs per year, rather than the pure breed they are made.
  • Eggs are of great nutritional value.
  • Tolerance to cold temperature and can lay eggs in winter.
  • Friendly, easy to handle, and comes with decent qualities.
  • Energetic and curious about nature, that’s why preferred.
  • Male and female can be separated while hatching.

Here are some common problems which you may face during raising Black sex-link chickens:

  • They need the utmost care as they suffer from health issues.
  • It is stubborn in nature, as a result, difficult to handle.
  • Also has Furious nature due to which they are fearless and move towards predator causing harm. You can use good chicken wire or hardware clothing for fencing.
  • Produce heavy noise. So, not preferred to culture in a heavily populated area.

Also Read: Black Chicken Eggs: Real or Fake


Because of their high laying capability and friendly nature, Black Sex-link chickens are great birds. They should be cultured with utmost care so that their products keep on booming.

With the right strategies and proper care, they can be bred to meet the need. I hope you liked this informative breed guide on Black sex-link chickens.

Bijaya Kumar
  • Save

2 thoughts on “Black Sex Link Chickens Breed Guide: Size, Eggs, Care, and Pictures”

  1. We have cinnamon queens i think they are called, but cant be sure we have only hens, wondering if they are hard to tell sex.?

    • The females are yellow with a reddish tint as chicks and the males are solid yellow with no red tint in what I’ve read online about them.


Leave a Comment