Habib's Hens
08445887786
10am-4pm
 
07943140831
10am-8pm 
History :
 
Auto sexing birds were ‘made’ because of three main people, namely William Bateson, (1861-1962), Professor Punnett (1875 – 1967) and Michael Pease. William Bateson was based in Cambridge; Professor Punnett joined William Bateson in 1904 and they worked together until 1910.
Professor Punnett gained his interest in biology through books that his father had which led to him gaining a first class degree in Natural Science, specializing in zoology. Professor Punnett followed the theories of an obscure monk, Johann Gregor Mendel (1822 – 1884) who was actually the founder of modern genetics
William Bateson left Cambridge for horticulture in 1909 but not before the team had tested the theory of various genetics on sex determination, sex linkage, and autosomal linkage. When William Bateson left Cambridge, Professor Punnett became Head of Department.
Whilst the first World War was occurring Professor Punnett was busy proving the theory of sex linkage meaning that chicks could be sexed on hatch from the colour of their downs allowing the less useful boys to be dispatched and retaining the more useful girls for their egg laying ability. This was deemed to be of high importance during the war years for practical reasons and was of great use to the poultry industry at that time; in fact the majority of their work was funded by the government.
In 1922 Michael Pease joined the team in Cambridge and they went on to prove the Gold/Silver sex linked gene.
 
 
All of these birds are autosexing, this means that on hatch the girls and boys (hens & cockerels) can be told apart (sexed) by the colour of their down, generally the boys hatch yellow with muted patches of brown and the girls hatch brown with clear stripes on their backs, the girls also have much clearer eye flashes. These birds are all pure breeds and will breed true - these are not hybrids!
 
Amrock :
The Amrock is a breed of chicken from Germany. The birds are characterised by a bell-shaped body with the back line sweeping upwards towards a high tail; single comb; orange to red eyes; red earlobes; and yellow beak and legs. They are an autosexing breed and only available in the barred variety. Cocks weigh from 3-4 kilos and hens from 2.5-3 kilos. Hens lay about 240 large pale brown eggs per year.
Amrock is short for American Rock. They originated from the old type of Barred Rocks imported by the Germans before the breed was perfected and recognised as Plymouth Rock. The Amrocks were developed for both egg and meat production and was accepted into the German Poultry Standard in 1958. They differ from the Plymouth Rocks in their markings which are not as refined. Today, they are popular as exhibition birds.
 
Ancobar :
Ancona x Barred Plymouth Rock
Made in early 1950’s with all the attributes of Ancona’s
The Ancobar was the auto-sexing version of the Ancona and is another breed that also died out long ago. It was originally ‘made’ in America but was then made afresh in Cambridge. The Ancobar’s feathering was paler than the ‘mother’ bird with some gold in the neck hackles with the rest of the body being black, pied and barred
 
Barnebar :
Barnvelder x Barred Plymouth Rock, pure breed autosexing The Barnebar is the auto-sexing version of the Barnevelder, which comes from Holland. There are now some in this country but egg laying is poor at the moment and the breed really needs some fresh Barnevelder blood put into it to reduce the inbreeding. The Brown Leghorn was used in the making of this breed. These birds lay a lovely dark brown egg and are good hardy, friendly birds suitable for free range and enclosures. The 'mother’ of this breed has a bit of a reputation for being prone to mareks disease but I don’t know whether this trait has been passed onto the Barnebar or not. They hatch with males being lighter than females with clear stripes and head patches.

Bielefelder Kennhuhn :
Cuckoo Malines x Welsummer
The Bielefelder is a new breed of German origin. It was created in the early 1970s, and a bantam variety appeared in 1983. They were seeking to develop a large, quiet, cold-resistant bird that was a good egg producer. This is an auto-sexing breed. They breed true, but chicks are sexable by color at one day of age. Among the breeds used to develop the Bielefelder were the New Hampshire, Rhode Island Red and Welsummer. The birds are recognised only in the Legbar color. 
 
Brockbar :
The Brockbar is another of the auto-sexing breeds that never really caught on, like the Buffbar, again mainly due to lack of distinction on hatch. This breed also follows the ‘mother’ bird, the Buff Rock and was yellow skinned and yellow legged with the father being Barred Plymouth Rock. They were made around the mid 1940’s but had died out by the end of the 1950’s. 
 
Brussbar :
The Brussbar used to be available in both gold and silver but at the moment, to my knowledge, only the gold exists. The Brussbar is the auto-sexing version of the Brown Sussex, itself a rare breed, and with careful breeding it should surpass the Brown Sussex on egg laying ability but finding a good utility egg laying Brown Sussex isn’t easy due to the numbers involved..
When putting fresh blood into the Gold Brussbar, using the Light Sussex will not work it must be the Brown Sussex hen put to a Brussbar Cockerel although using a Light Sussex can improve ‘type’ and will also give you the Silver version but it is much more complex than it is with the Legbars. This breed has the added advantage of being a good meat bird as well as a good layer and has all the advantages of the pure Sussex. A couple of people have developed Brussbars in the past; Pease and Punnett in Cambridge in the early 1940’s used a Brown Sussex and also a gentleman in Buckinghamshire who used a Gold Dorbar and Barred Plymouth Rock hen, he also tried a Dorbar cockerel with Light Sussex and managed to make both Gold and silver Brussbars
 
Buffbar :
The Buffbar is the auto-sexing version of the Buff Orpington and shares the same characteristics as the ‘mother’ breed. The Buffbar has long died out as a breed mainly because of poor sex distinction and bad laying ability but with the popularity of the Buff Orpington returning I think now would be a good time to reintroduce it – all the advantages of an Orpington but auto-sexing meaning that chicks can be sexed on hatch due to their colouring with the males being creamy tint and the females a salmon/gold tint so not nearly as easy to sex as the majority of the other well known auto-sexing breeds.
Any one thinking of recreating this pure breed must pick the Orpington to be used on egg laying ability
 
Cambar :
Campine x Barred Plymouth Rock
exceedingly rare,large fowl lays white eggs,pure breed, friendly, inquisitive birds, very friendly, delicate feathering
 
Cobar :
Cochin x Barred Plymouth Rock
Autosexing large breed, pure breed
The Cobar is the auto sexing version of the Cochin and holds the same characteristics as the ‘mother’ bird.
It is quiet and placid and lays light brown eggs but I don’t know yet whether it is also a good broody like the Cochin or not, but it should be. It is one of the rarer auto sexing breeds and it’s type needs improvement along with it’s egg laying before it will become more popular
 
Cream Legbar :
breed1 x breed2
autosexing, pure breed lays blue eggs, Brown Leghorn, Gold Legbar, Araucana cross, breeds true, friendly pretty, crest
 
Dorbar :
Silver Gray Dorking(m) x Barred Plymouth Rock(f)
The Dorbar was based on the silver grey Dorking but with greater improvement in the egg laying ability of the Dorking. It should have the same five toes and lay large white eggs with a waxy surface and should have red ear lobes and white skin. It surpasses the Dorking in egg laying but still doesn’t beat the Legbars or Cambars on numbers. The Dorbar was primarily created to produce a good meat bird in the early 1940’s in Cambridge
On hatch both the silver and gold varieties show the same sex distinction as the Legbars only clearer. The breed had mainly died out by the 1950’s because the Dorbar didn’t give show enough signs of being able to compete with the more popular auto-sexing breeds. If anyone decides to recreate this breed then it must only be bred from single combs and not rosecombs
The Dorbar is used to create the following autosexing breeds: Brussbar
 
Gold Legbar :
Brown Leghorn x Barred Plymouth Rock Large fowl pure breed, good eggs layer, bright white eggs, upright stance, inquisitive
 
Hambar :
Rhodebar x New Hampshire Red
The Hambar was ‘made’ in Canada and to my knowledge never made it over to the UK. They were the result of careful crosses between Redbars/Rhodebars and New Hampshire Reds during the late 40’s early 50’s. They probably died out in the 60’s with the most likely reason being that they did not show clear enough auto-sexing differences on hatch
 
Niederrheiner :
This is a dual-purpose German breed from the Lower Rhine area. It is somewhat like an Australorp in type, with the roosters weighing 4 kg (10 pounds) and the hens 3 kg (7 pounds). Calm, non-setting birds, they lay around 200 eggs per year. Niederrheiners are found in Blue, Cuckoo, Birchen and Partridge varieties.
There is also a bantam form.
 
Norske Jærhøns :
The Norwegian Jærhøne (Norske Jærhøns) or Jaerhon, is a breed of chicken from Norway. It was developed in the 1920s from native stock around the town of Stavanger on the southern Atlantic coast of Norway. The breed was first imported to North America in 1998 by Dr Bjorn Netland in Washington state. Jaerhons are small, hardy, and active birds that can fly well. Hens don't tend to go broody, and can wear themselves out by laying lots of large white eggs. The standard cock is 5 pounds, and the hen can weigh 3.5 pounds. There are two standard varieties: dark and light (brown-yellow and yellow-brown), and the color patterns are unique for this breed.
 
Oklabar :
 
Polbar :
 
Rhodebar :
Rhode Island Red x Barred Plymouth Rock
Large fowl, pure breed autosexing lays pale brown eggs, feathering is colour of Rhode Island Red a lovely friendly breed
If egg numbers are low, fresh blood can be introduced into your Rhodebar strain if you find some good utility Rhode Island Red hens and you can put your Rhodebar cockerel over these hens. The offspring from this mating will give you pure Rhodebar hens but the cockerels will not breed true. Next, put your Rhodebar cockerel over these pure Rhodebar hens. The offspring will now all be pure and you can continue with your line, hopefully now with increased egg numbers.
 
Welbar :
Lays brown eggs, large fowl, pure breed autosexing on hatch, lovely bird with light pastel colouring. Sometimes spelt (wrongly) as Wellbar.
Welbar's first started hatching out in 1942 from crosses of Welsummers and Barred Plymouth Rocks giving a barred version of the Welsummer which is auto sexing. At the time of writing there is only a Gold Welbar version but I know that there are people looking to recreate the Silver version as well.
The Welbar chicks are easy to distinguish on hatching with clear markings. These birds were bred for utility so if egg numbers start falling then fresh blood needs to be put back into them to increase the eggs laid. The only problem with trying to increase the egg numbers of this breed is that Welsummers are generally poor layers and a lot of people use the darkest egg laying Welsummers who happen to generally lay the poorest amount of eggs. Welsummers need to be picked for their egg laying ability rather than the colour of the egg so please pick the utility of the strain before picking the egg colour because although you can get a strain of Welbar's to lay exceedingly dark eggs by doing this you will reduce the amount of eggs laid and therefore they will become as well known as the Welsummer for being poor layers, which is not what the breed was developed for.
The birds also used to be know as pretty good table birds with the cocks reaching 6 ½ to 7lbs so therefore the autosexing advantage is doubled as you will know from day one how many boys you want to raise for the freezer rather then having to grow on Welsummers, feeding them all until they reach an age where you can distinguish between the sexes and then having to cull them because you have 80% boys so there really is every advantage to breeding Welbar's - good eggs layers of pretty brown eggs and they make good table birds.
A bantam Welbar was also developed and is being brought back again and I am hoping that these will also gain in popularity as the word gets around about how lovely these birds are
 
Whealbar :
 
Wybar :
Bantam Silver Laced Wyandotte x Bantam Barred Plymouth Rock
pure breed bantams, lays off white eggs, pure breed, beautifull laced feathering and can go broody
The Wybar comes in gold and silver although I have never seen a gold I believe they are being created at the moment and they also come in bantam form along with the majority of the auto sexing breeds. This breed is derived from the laced Wyandotte and Barred Plymouth Rock and shares the same characteristics as the ‘mother’ bird along with her rosecomb. They were ‘graded up’ using Light Sussex and Rhode Island Red to give them more utility and egg numbers, which are tinted, used to score over 200 although with so few of them left now this has declined and they could certainly do with a fresh dose of Wyandotte from good utility stock to get their present numbers back up again.
As there are so few of them around it is hard to say whether they will go broody but as they share the same characteristics as the ‘mother’ bird it hopefully means they will. They are friendly birds and do well whether free ranging or in pens and are very pretty with gentle lacing
 
 
 
What is Difference between Sex Link and Auto Sexing
 
There appears to be much confusion over the difference between auto sexing and sex linked birds. Although both are sexed by the colour of their down, for a sex linked combination you need to keep both the parent breeds for example; if you wanted a gold/silver cross of Rhode Island Red (being gold) and Light Sussex (being silver) then you will need to keep both of those breeds to produce a chick that can be sexed on hatch because the sex linkage will not work for a second generation, only on the first generation crosses. If you put the adult chicks back to the father you will not be able to tell the difference between the boys and girls on hatch as you will simply have a hybrid
With an auto sexing breed because it is a pure breed ie. it breeds true, then whichever way you do the cross, father to daughter, mother to brother, aunts, uncles, whichever way you cross you will always be able to distinguish the boys from the girls on hatch because they are a pure breed.
There is a bonus to keeping more than one auto sexing bred and that is crosses of auto sexing birds. Virtually any cross of an auto sexing breed, in either way, will give you birds that can be distinguished on hatch by the colours of their downs and give a very good hybrid with excellent laying ability. There is only one cross that isn’t recommended and that is the Buff to Silver cross