Red Wicket Market Farm is a small farm 25 minutes from downtown Columbus, Ohio, near Slate Run Metropark. Breeding Black Ameraucanas and Black Copper Marans to the Standard of Perfection, as well as some Olive Eggers just for fun.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Breed Profile: Golden Buff (AKA Red Sex Link)

There's not much exciting going on here this week. I've sprayed the fruit trees, because if you want peaches in Ohio, you must spray for peach leaf curl, or you won't get any fruit. I've pulled the grass out of the garlic and strawberry beds. I've weeded the front flower bed, although not too thoroughly--I think my flowers fro last year self-seeded so I've left everything that looks flower-ish. I've looked at the flower bed in the front of the barn, all filled with weeds and grass and multiflora rose and...well, let's just say I continue to look. But I know that my adventures in procrastinating weeding aren't very interesting, so I thought I'd profile one of our favorite breeds of chickens, the backbone of our flock: the Golden Buff.
Golden Buff in the snow

Golden Buff is the name of a breed of chicken raised by Meyer Hatchery in Polk, Ohio. While her bloodlines are unique to Meyer Hatchery, she has a lot in common with a lot of other red chickens, whether they are called Cinnamon Queens, Red Stars, or Red Sex Link. All these chickens are mixed-breed chickens that can be sexed at hatch and lay lots and lots of brown eggs. 

Red Sex Link is the generic name for a chicken of this type. They're produced by mating a red factor rooster like a Rhode Island Red or New Hampshire Red with a silver factor hen like a white Rock, Columbian Wyandotte, Delaware, or Silver Laced Wyandotte. The result is that the male chicks are silver and female chicks are red or gold at hatch, so they're easy to sex. Here is a cute video of red sex link chicks at hatch--scroll down to the bottom of the page. If you're interested in genetics, here is a great discussion of the sex-linked traits. One trait that all red sex links share is that, since they are crosses, you can't breed two red sex link chickens together and get chicks that can be sexed at hatch. 

Our Golden Buffs are calm and friendly. They lay the gigantic medium brown eggs you find in our cartons. I call all of them "Henny Penny" because they remind me of the Little Red Hen from the classic story.

That's it for this week. I've got my fingers crossed that we'll get the garden tilled before this blog entry posts, but I'm not holding my breath. Thunderstorms are in the forecast!