A rare hybrid breed of chicken recognized for its excellent egg production and stunning white/amber feathers is the Amberlink chicken. Before purchasing hybrid chickens, keepers must take into account a number of considerations.
So, are you prepared to take care of hybrid breeds like Amberlink chickens? Let’s see what their care requires.
Technically speaking, Amberlink chickens are a hybrid and not a particular breed. These chickens were first produced by crossing an ISA Brown with a Rhode Island Red.
However, the more popular method today is to produce them using white Plymouth Rock hens.
However, not every breeding pair will result in an Amberlink. The chicks may occasionally develop into one of the parent breeds. Therefore, the likelihood that you will receive Amberlink hens is about 50/50.
You won’t always get Amberlinks even if you breed two Amberlinks together. Due to the complexity and randomness of genes, crossing two distinct breeds does not necessarily produce the same offspring.
A hybrid chicken’s lifespan is sadly shorter than that of a purebred chicken. Hybrid chickens only live roughly half as long as purebred chickens, which typically live around 8 years.
Therefore, you should only anticipate your Amberlink hens to survive for three to four years.
It can occasionally be challenging to tell these hens apart from other white-feathered varieties. So, this is how they appear at each stage of life.
Brown is the color of Amberlink chicken eggs. The most typical tint of brown for these eggs is between medium and dark brown. Large eggs that are ideal for using in egg recipes are what they lay.
Whether your young chicks from Amberlink are male or female, they will be covered in soft yellow feathers. Therefore, it can be challenging to identify an Amberlink chick’s sex before it is a few weeks old.
As they grow larger, pullets and cockerels, which are similar to teenage hens and roosters, start to resemble adults more. Their feathers will begin to get amber specks.
The hue will first appear on the males’ neck and back, making them more visibly golden.
These hens appear to have pure white feathers, similar to Delaware chickens, from a distance. They do, however, have flecks of color as well, if you look at them closely.
The hybrid’s name comes from the fact that its white feathers contain a faint tinge of amber-like color.
The color patterns of hens and roosters differ, just like those of pullets and cockerels.
Male chickens are more likely to have colorful spots on their necks and backs, while females are more likely to have color flecks that are more obvious on their wings and tails.
These chickens are regarded as medium-sized, and because the females are bigger than the males, they may lay a lot of eggs. Roosters typically weigh between 4 and 5 pounds, while hens typically weigh around 6 pounds.
However, hybrid chickens can occasionally be unpredictable. Some could be significantly larger or smaller than this range.
However, despite being crossed with large birds like Rhode Island Reds, they rarely inherit that trait from them. One negative aspect of hybrid birds is their smaller sizes.
Temperament and Personality
Some of the reasons why Amberlinks are great for first-time chicken keepers is that they are:
- humorous, and
- excellent foragers.
These chickens are adept at coexisting with avian and equine companions. What’s more, they have wonderful individual skills to boot!
This must be a quality passed down from the ISA Brown ancestors, as Rhodes people are friendly enough to approach, but their true personalities are sometimes hard to guess.
Some will boast that they have a sweet Rhodes in their pen, while others will admit that theirs is a mean piece of work.
With Amberlinks, you can rest easy knowing that your feathered friends won’t sneak up on you while you’re not looking or causing trouble just because they feel like it.
Instead, you can rest assured that tending to your Amberlinks will be a soothing, worry-free activity. Why do they make such great backyard pets?
And if you have any feed on you, expect a swarm of hungry little creatures to descend upon you in a hurry. But you needn’t worry about setting up money for their nourishment.
Amberlinks are happy to go foraging as long as there is a dense field available.
So, are you seeking some hens that are minimal maintenance AND really sweet? Amberlinks is the way to go, man.
It’s also worth noting that these dudes are fantastic in both icy and scorching conditions. You can count on Amberlinks to be perky no matter the weather, whereas the rest of your chickens will likely be resting in their coop during the shorter days.
Fortunately, Amberlink chickens typically have wonderful personalities, making them the perfect choice for novice chicken caretakers. They are regarded as amicable, considerate, and playful.
The sociable and laid-back nature of all the prospective parent breeds for these hybrids explains why Amberlinks are likely to behave well.
No, amberlinks hardly ever go into brood. Because hybrid chickens are engineered to generate large quantities of eggs, they won’t spend the time incubating their own eggs and raising chicks.
An Amberlink hen may exhibit some broody traits, although the majority of hybrids never develop a natural tendency to brood.
So Amberlinks aren’t the ideal birds to rear chicks if you want to. Incubate and hatch the eggs yourself if one of your birds lays fertile eggs.
They may coexist with other birds.
These hybrid birds get along well with other chickens because they are such amiable creatures. So, if you’d like, you can keep them in the same cage as other birds.
They can, however, readily be picked on by more dominant hens due to their docility. It’s preferable to keep them alongside other calm chickens in order to safeguard them.
The following breeds are compatible with Amberlinks:
Despite having a laid-back disposition, these chickens’ actions can vary depending on the level of attention they are receiving.
Fortunately, Amberlinks only need a little amount of care, so as long as you provide them with appropriate food and habitat, they should be happy and healthy.
A balanced diet is the greatest approach to keeping any chicken healthy. As hybrids, Amberlinks are more prone to health issues, making optimum nutrition even more crucial for them.
To aid in their growth, chicks must consume a meal that is high in protein. They should consume a chick diet with 18% to 24% protein for the first six weeks of their existence.
Then, once they’ve begun to mature, you can slightly reduce the protein intake. For adults, a protein intake of 16–18% is optimum.
Even though it might not seem like enough, overfeeding hens can lead to health problems that are less common in purebred birds.
Like the majority of laying hens, mature Amberlink chickens can gain supplemental calcium to maintain the quality of their eggs.
Hens frequently consume crushed oyster shells as a source of protein; nevertheless, they should never be given with their food.
As has been discussed several times in this article, Amberlinks is a type of hybrid chicken that may have improved their egg-laying abilities, but this has simply made them more susceptible to a wide range of health issues.
Providing them with a healthy diet is one thing you can do to alleviate their suffering.
Young chickens, of course, require a massive amount of protein for development.
During the first six weeks of their lives, you can feed them a diet containing 18-24% protein.
They can have as little as 16% and as much as 18% of the material once they reach maturity. Overfeeding egg layers can lead to prolapse, which might not seem like a big deal but actually is.
The most important aspect of chicken care is the ability to offer a safe place for the birds to live. They can use this area as a safe nesting spot, a place to rest, and a location to hide from predators.
Given its intended purposes, it stands to reason that their shelter would benefit from a durable construction out of wood or metal. There will be no easy entry for pests, predators, or any other harmful intruders.
If you really care about the well-being of your hens, you should construct a fence around the area where they take refuge while foraging and install decoys (or netting) so that nothing can sneak up on them and steal them.
Now that we’ve finished inspecting the exterior, let’s proceed to the interior of your housing.
To prevent the hens from becoming irritated or having their egg-laying interrupted by predators, it’s best to keep them in a dry, warm environment while they rest or lay eggs.
In addition to providing a pleasant environment, hens’ nesting boxes should provide you quick and easy access to the eggs without disturbing the hens.
A further factor in a hen’s quality of life is lighting.
The timing of its egg-laying is regulated by the light, which it uses as a kind of clock. Of course, once the cold seasons set in, there won’t be nearly as much daylight, which is one of the main reasons chickens stop laying eggs throughout the winter.
Amberlinks, on the other hand, are sturdy hens that can certainly continue laying eggs right through the cold season.
Both inside and outside of the coop, your chickens should have plenty of room. They should receive a minimum of 4 square feet per bird within the coop and roughly 10 square feet per bird outside as they are medium-sized birds.
However, it couldn’t hurt to offer them more room if you can.
They should be protected from predators by having a safe coop. Since predators are more likely to hunt chickens at night, most keepers confine their flocks inside.
You might also want to think about erecting a fence around their outside space if you are in a region where there are several predators.
The majority of keepers prefer to skip the barrier, though, if it’s safe enough. They chose to let their chickens roam freely. If given insufficient room to roam freely and forage, amberlink chickens may experience stress or ill health.
The nutrients that chickens locate during their free time can be consumed, but they should be added to, not substituted for, their feed.
Because they feel safe and secure in their enclosure, free-range chickens don’t flee. You won’t have to be concerned about losing them without a fence as long as they have access to enough food and nothing frightens them.
Amberlinks can withstand extremes of temperature with ease. In colder climates or on days with less sunlight, some breeds of chicken are less active. However, regardless of how cold it gets, these hybrids typically continue to produce eggs all year long.
However, exposure to extreme heat or cold can cause illness in even the most adapted hens. Therefore, you might want to think about purchasing a coop heater if you reside somewhere in chilly winter.
Make sure your chickens have access to plenty of shade and water during the summer.
Consult a Professional Veterinarian
It’s important to take your mature hens in for a monthly checkup at the vet, especially if they’re a hybrid breed like Amberlinks, because they require more care as they age.
If you’re hesitant to put the advice of your fellow chicken owners to the test, you should consult a veterinarian first to get the straight scoop on all you need to know about caring for hens.
Experts in the field of veterinary medicine aren’t the only people who can help you learn about chickens; hatchery owners have been in the business for far longer. After inquiring into such matters as diet, shelter, etc., it is imperative that you make careful notes and follow up with further investigation.
In general, hybrid chickens are more prone to health issues than purebred chickens. Their exceptional egg-laying prowess comes at a price. So, be mindful of the following health issues.
Effects of Laying Eggs
A chicken’s life can become very stressful when it begins to lay eggs. Therefore, even though increased egg production may be great for chicken caretakers, it can slowly kill the hens.
Hybrid chickens are more prone to experience issues with egg laying because they are bred expressly to produce eggs in large quantities.
Hybrid chickens could experience extreme stress, a lack of nourishment, or poor egg production over time.
While taking good care of them can lessen the likelihood of these problems, since they are hybrids, it is hard to entirely eliminate the possibility. That is one of the key causes of the shorter lifespan of hybrid chickens.
When an egg becomes lodged in a hen’s oviduct, egg binding occurs. If left untreated, it may be fatal. It is frequently sufficient to provide the hen with calcium, water, or a warm bath to assist her to lay the egg.
But it’s advisable to take your hen to the doctor to address the problem because it could have serious consequences.
When an oviduct in a hen turns inside out, prolapse happens. Although it can be cured, if it occurs once, it will probably occur again.
To help the hen, you might need to alter her diet, but it’s a good idea to consult your veterinarian about the best course of action. The chicken might not survive if untreated.
Infection with eggs
This less obvious situation happens when an egg yolk from inside the hen’s body leaks into the bodily cavity. Along with other strange symptoms, it may result in abdominal swelling.
The best course of action for these birds is to visit the veterinarian for hydration and antibiotic treatment. Otherwise, the edema will get worse and kill the patient.
These are only a handful of the numerous issues hybrid chickens may have. Since hybrid chickens are considerably more prone to experience health issues relating to eggs, it is best to have them examined by a veterinarian once a year.
Egg-laying prowess is a hallmark of Amberlink hens. More than most purebreds can lay, the average hen can produce roughly 270 big eggs annually.
Hybrid chickens may not have as long of an egg-laying lifespan as regular chickens due to their shorter lifespans. They only have a short lifespan, and after their second laying season, their annual egg output typically declines by 15% to 20%.
However, they typically continue producing eggs until they pass away.
Even though Amberlink chickens aren’t as hefty as Rhode Island Reds, they are the most productive layer of eggs you’ve ever seen.
Since Amberlinks are a hybrid breed of chicken, once they reach maturity they begin laying an average of 270 big, brown eggs annually.
And as was already noted, these hens keep working even when the weather outside is miserable. The hens are still as healthy as ever, and they’re laying eggs with no problems.
Therefore, Amberlinks is your best bet if you want to collect eggs for a quick buck after raising a bunch of chicks for more than two weeks.
Although Amberlinks are very low-maintenance chickens, you can’t just command one to start laying eggs. The most important thing to remember about raising chickens for their eggs is that you and your hens need to have a mutually beneficial relationship.
Despite having some significant changes, hybrid chickens may appear to be the same as purebred varieties. Although they are frequently simple to maintain, keepers may run into a number of difficulties.
Therefore, think about the advantages and disadvantages of keeping these chickens before making the decision to do so.
- They often produce eggs well.
- They typically continue to lay through the winter.
- They typically have distinctive looks.
- They do not have a long lifespan as purebreds.
- Immediately following their second laying season, their annual egg output begins to decline.
- They are more likely to experience egg-laying issues like prolapse and egg-binding.
- It’s not a given that breeding hybrids will result in more hybrids.
- They’re not suitable for meat.
- The hens are not capable of giving birth.
Hybrid chickens have many more drawbacks than advantages, yet many keepers think the advantages exceed the drawbacks. Overall, without concentrating on other features, hybrids were bred for good egg production.
Therefore, if you’re searching for a temporary egg layer, they might be a good choice, but you should take into account all of the aforementioned criteria before choosing.
Frequently Asked Questions
Before determining if you want this breed, get all of your questions addressed. Here are some questions that new keepers frequently have.
Why Are Hybrid Chickens Not As Long Lived?
The ability of hybrid chickens to lay eggs is altered during breeding in order to increase their egg production. As a result of their rapid egg-laying, hybrids are more likely to experience health issues. As a result, hybrid chickens typically have short lifespans and lay lots of eggs.
Rhode Island Reds and Amberlinks lay eggs at rates that are extremely similar. Typically, Rhode Island Reds lay 5–6 eggs per week, producing 250–300 eggs annually. The outcome is remarkably similar because Amberlinks typically lay about 270 eggs per year.
Indeed, Plymouth Rocks often lay fewer eggs than Amberlinks do. 210 eggs are typically laid by Plymouth Rocks each year, which is a respectable number but not quite as many as these hybrids.
An Amberlink chicken can be a nice option if you’re searching for a laid-back bird that can lay lots of eggs.
However, if you’re interested in one of these hybrid birds, you should be ready to deal with any potential health issues and other issues that might come up.
Not everyone should use hybrids. Therefore, there are many docile purebreds who also lay a lot of eggs if you don’t want to deal with the drawbacks of hybrids.
Some egg-laying breeds to take into account are Rhode Island Reds, Australorps, and Orpingtons.
Even though Amberlink chickens are among the friendliest birds you’ll ever meet, don’t expect them to be low maintenance.
Make sure you have provided for their basic needs, such as food and shelter. Not only are these hens lovely, but they are a demanding breed, therefore you need to do your homework before deciding to take them in.
They will lay eggs for you because they know you care about them and appreciate the effort they put into their care.