Autosexing Breeds

Cream legbar cockerels
Photo courtesy of Ket

Well, genetics is not my strong point, but I'll try to give a minimal idea of what's going on here. When you put a genetically gold cockerel (such as a Rhode Island Red) on a genetically silver pullet (like a Light Sussex) all the female chicks have brown down and the males have yellow down. Then if you add in a barring factor there is a greater definition obtained in the markings on the chicks. (Hey, i said "don't ask me" -- I got all this from books!)

The first Autosexing breed developed was the Cambar, derived from the Campine and the Barred Rock. The breeds get their name from the parental types, as you can see. These birds are not hybrids, like the Sex-linked breeds, but breed true over generations.

It was very handy to have birds which you could sex by color at hatching, but after World War II development of these breeds was mostly discontinued. Some of the birds are still seen at shows in the UK, where they were developed. The Legbar, Rhodebar, Welbar and Wybar are in the British Standard.

The Cream Legbar lays a blue-green egg.

A Welbar pullet
Photo courtesy of Edward Williams

"Moojee," a Cream Legbar pullet
Photo courtesy of Ket

This is a 3-month-old Cream Legbar pullet
Photo courtesy of Ket

Cream Legbar chicks, pullet on the left
Photos courtesy of

[Chickens A-C]


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