Blue sexlinks are a hybrid breed of chicken known for their bright blue plumage and excellent egg laying abilities. As their name suggests, sexlinks are created by crossing a male (rooster) of one breed with a female (hen) of another breed. This cross produces chicks that can be sexed based on their feather color at hatching. Blue sexlinks are the result of crossing a Rhode Island Red rooster with a Barred Plymouth Rock hen.
Egg Production in Blue Sexlinks
One of the key advantages of sexlinks like the blue is their high egg production. Blue sexlinks are extremely productive layers that can produce 4-5 eggs per week consistently. They start laying eggs at around 5-6 months of age and will continue laying eggs regularly for 2-3 years. The average annual egg production for a blue sexlink hen is approximately 250 eggs per year. With their high productivity, steady laying, and ability to produce a high volume of eggs over an extended period, blue sexlinks are a top choice for backyard chicken keepers looking to maximize their egg harvest.
So what color eggs do blue sexlinks lay? Blue sexlinks typically lay light brown or cream-colored eggs. The exact shade can range from a very pale brown or buff color to a richer brownish-tan hue. But in most cases, the shells will appear light brown or cream.
The egg color is determined by the breed of the hen. Barred Plymouth Rock hens, which are one of the parent breeds used to create blue sexlinks, lay light brown eggs. And this trait is passed down to their sexlink offspring. Rhode Island Red chickens lay brown eggs. But the Plymouth Rock’s gene for lighter brown shells is dominant. This results in the pale brown or tan eggs that are characteristic of blue sexlinks.
Why Do They Lay Light Brown Eggs?
The gene that causes a chicken to lay darker brown eggs is a recessive trait. A blue sexlink carries one gene for light brown shells from its Plymouth Rock mother and one gene for brown shells from its Rhode Island Red father. When a chicken inherits both genes for brown egg shells, its eggs will be a rich, dark brown color. The blue sexlink only gets the light brown egg shell gene, so that trait remains dominant and the chicken lays lighter brown eggs.
Typical Egg Size
In addition to laying a high volume of light brown eggs, blue sexlink hens tend to lay large sized eggs. The average weight for a blue sexlink egg is around 2.5 ounces (approximately 70 grams). However, egg size can vary based on the individual hen’s age, diet, and overall health and vitality. Younger pullets just starting to lay will produce smaller eggs initially. As the hen matures and grows, her eggs will increase in size.
Factors Affecting Egg Color
While genetics play the key role in determining egg color, there are some environmental factors that can impact the final color of blue sexlink shells:
- Diet – Diets rich in yellow/orange plant pigments (like marigold petals or red peppers) may produce darker eggs.
- Stress – Stress can sometimes cause lighter-shelled eggs.
- Age of Hen – Younger hens tend to lay lighter eggs than mature hens.
- Season/Light Exposure – Decreasing daylight in fall/winter may minimally impact shell tone.
However, even with these small environmental influences, the egg color remains relatively fixed and true to the breed’s genetics. A blue sexlink will lay light brown or cream-colored eggs throughout most of its productive laying years.
Expected Egg Color Consistency
One benefit of blue sexlinks is that they produce eggs with fairly consistent shell coloration. Some breeds like Ameraucanas, for example, may lay blue, green, pink, or brown eggs randomly. But with blue sexlinks, you can expect each hen’s eggs to look the same in color and tone from one egg to the next. This uniformity is advantageous for selling eggs at market. Customers will know what color eggs to expect.
Other sexlink hybrids like the red sexlink will lay eggs identical in color to the blue sexlink. Black sexlinks may produce slightly darker brown eggs due to their different mix of parent breeds. Additionally, any purebred chicken from egg-laying breeds like Plymouth Rocks, Orpingtons, Australorps, and Wyandottes will lay light brown eggs similar to blue sexlinks.
In summary, blue sexlink chickens lay light brown or creamy beige colored eggs. The light brown shell coloration comes from their Plymouth Rock ancestry. As prolific layers that produce a high volume of large sized eggs consistently, blue sexlinks are an excellent addition to any backyard flock. Their light brown eggs are very uniform in color from hen to hen. So chicken keepers can reliably expect the same light tan egg shells day after day from these friendly and productive hybrid hens.
|Blue Sexlink||Light brown/cream|
|Red Sexlink||Light brown/cream|
|Barred Plymouth Rock||Light brown|
|Rhode Island Red||Brown|
|Ameraucana||Blue, green, pink, brown|
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between a blue sexlink and other sexlinks?
The main difference between blue sexlinks and other sexlink chickens is their feather coloring. Blue sexlinks have distinctive slate blue and barred patterned feathers inherited from their parent breeds. Other sexlinks like the red may have reddish-brown or the black will be mostly black. But they are all hybrid crosses utilizing different purebreds.
Are blue sexlink eggs extra nutritious?
There is no nutritional difference between white, brown, or blue sexlink eggs. The egg’s shell color does not change the quality or contents. Blue sexlink eggs are just as nutritious as any other fresh eggs from backyard chickens.
How long will a blue sexlink live?
On average, a blue sexlink hen can live 5-8 years. With proper care and nutrition, some may live closer to 10 years. Their productive laying lifespan is around 2-3 years on average.
Do blue sexlinks lay blue eggs?
No, blue sexlinks do not lay blue eggs. Despite their name and blue feathers, they lay light brown eggs due to their genetics.
Are blue sexlink chickens friendly?
Yes, blue sexlinks tend to be a very calm, docile, and friendly breed. This makes them a great option for family flocks and backyard chickens. They enjoy human interaction and do well being handled.
Blue sexlink chickens are exceptional brown egg layers that will produce a bounty of large light brown eggs for any backyard flock. Their laidback personalities and cold hardy nature make them an ideal breed for many beginner chicken owners. As a productive dual purpose breed, blue sexlinks provide both ample eggs and meat. Their creamy brown egg shells offer uniformity and appeal to consumers looking for a consistent color. For homesteaders interested in a friendly breed that lays gorgeous light brown eggs, blue sexlinks will certainly satisfy.