Are you an enthusiast poultry farmer that’s looking to invest or venture into the eggs business? Well, in this regard, you need to find a prolific egg layer that’s capable of producing hundreds of eggs each year. One of the chickens you can count on for this endeavor is the Amberlink chicken. Now, someone must have recommended this chicken to you. That means you don’t know much about it.
So, what’s the Amberlink chicken, and are its traits, features, and characteristics? Well, that’s exactly what this guide will be discussing. But first, the Amberlink chicken breed is a well-balanced all-around performing bird that has a great likable temperament.
This chicken is a hybrid breed that results from crossing the Rhode Island Red or the White Island Red with a White Plymouth Rock or an ISA Brown. This bird has a unique complexion and a beautiful plumage that consists of cream feathers with red stains on the neck wings and tail. The Amberlink is an excellent forager and a hardy breed that tolerates most northern climates. So, if you’re planning to raise it as a backyard chicken, this bird will tolerate such an environment without ever complaining.
A Short History of Amberlink Chicken
Although the Amberlink chicken is a hybrid, that doesn’t mean it lacks history or substance. This chicken has a rich history that dates back to the time when poultry farmers decided to cross different breeds to quench their curiosity.
The Amberlink, for instance, is a member of the ISA Brown genetic line and is a result of crossing Rhode Island Reds with ISA Brown or White Plymouth Rocks. However, you need to note that crossing the pure breeds we’ve mentioned above doesn’t always guarantee to get Amberlink chicks.
Sometimes, the results are different. Also, crossing two Amberlinks doesn’t guarantee Amberlinks chicks. Sometimes, the chicks might completely resemble any of the parent breeds, which are Rhode Island Reds, White Plymouth Rock, or ISA Browns.
Due to this setback, most hybrids, including the Amberlink are not recognized by any poultry organization. These birds are not consistent hence making it impossible to set a standard. Lastly, Amberlinks have a very short lifespan that ranges from 2 – 4 years.
The reason for their short lifespan is due to their high egg production. Since they never rest or stop laying, they tend to strain their systems by depleting their energy resources and high immunity leading to exhaustion and death at an early stage.
Specifications of Amberlink Chicken
|lifespan||3 – 4 Years|
|weight||Roosters: 6 Pounds; Hens: 4 – 5 Pounds|
|egg production||270 – 300 Eggs Annually|
|egg size & color||Large Brownish Eggs|
|temperament||Docile, Friendly, and Easy Going|
|appearance||Roosters: White Undercoat with Amber Flecks From Neck to Back; Hens: White Undercoat with Amber Flecks on Wings and Tail|
Physical Appearance and Breed Standard of Amberlink Chicken
If you’re planning to raise this unique hybrid, the first thing you’ll do is learn about their physical appearance. This involves understanding the plumage and weight of both males and females. Now, from afar, the Amberlink appears like a Delaware or any other chicken breed with white plumage. However, when you get closer, you’ll start to realize other dormant colors.
Starting with the chicks, Amberlink chicks have a fuzzy yellow down regardless of whether they’re male or female. Since they’re not sexlinks chicken, it’s not possible to differentiate males from females by just looking at the color. For this reason, farmers are advised to wait for a few weeks until the chicks molt their downs and develop feathers.
The next stage is the teenage stage where cockerels and pullets begin to appear like adult chickens. Here, a lot is bound to happen. As for the pullets, you’ll notice amber-colored speckles on various parts of their feathers. Cockerels, on their side, will develop amber flecks on their necks and backs. These amber flecks usually appear rusty.
As adults, Amberlink hens will have more pronounced amber flecks on their feathers, which is different from roosters. Roosters only have amber flecks on their necks and backs. It’s because of these amber colors that this chicken is called the AMBLER-Link. As for the size, Amberlink roosters weigh around 6 pounds while hens weigh around 4 – 5 pounds.
Productivity of Amberlink Chicken (Egg Laying and Meat)
Regarding their productivity, Amberlink chickens tend to follow in the footsteps of their egg-laying parents by being prolific layers. If you consider the egg productivity of their parents, you’ll realize that this hybrid was specifically bred for one specific purpose—to lay eggs throughout the year.
That’s exactly what Amberlink has done. This hybrid is an excellent layer that manages around 270 eggs annually. About Amberlink chicken egg color, you’ll mostly find them in brown. These eggs are usually large and very nutritious making them a great choice for consumption. This chicken is a year-round layer that manages to give you good produce even in cold dreary weather.
However, you need to note that this bird is a hybrid. What this means is that you’ll enjoy a high egg production during the first two years after which the numbers will drop by 15 – 20% from the 2nd or 3rd season of egg laying.
So, if you’re raising these chickens to produce eggs for commercial use, then you have to strategize by adding a new flock after the third year to maintain consistency.
About meat produce, the Amberlink is a medium-sized chicken with less weight. The roosters are the heaviest weighing around 6 pounds. Again, this weight is not enough to count this chicken as an excellent choice for meat production.
Amberlink Chicken Characteristics (Personality and Temperament)
In case it’s your first time raising a flock, Amberlinks are the type of chickens that will guarantee you a stress-free experience. These chickens are among the easiest to raise due to several facts. One of them is the hardiness that allows them to tolerate both hot and cold climates.
Another characteristic of these chickens, which is quite admirable, is their docile, friendly, and playful temperament. By the way, these qualities are pretty obvious as some of their parents do possess them. They’re also intelligent and tend to get along with other animals in the backyard.
If you happen to form a good social bond with the Amberlinks, you’ll notice these little guys will always follow you around to have a chat and possibly get some treats from you.
While amid other chickens, Amberlinks will remain friendly, easygoing, and well-behaved. You’ll never see them start a fight, and in most cases, they’ll mind their own business of foraging in case you have a large run or ample backyard space. This quality is a huge plus to poultry owners who own docile chickens such as Rhode Island Red, Silkie, Plymouth Rock, Cochin, and Buff Orpington among others.
Lastly, the Amberlink chicken is a hybrid with a specific purpose of mass-producing eggs. Since most of their energy is used in laying eggs, these chickens rarely go broody. So, if you have roosters available, then you can collect fertilized eggs and incubate them yourself instead of relying on the hens.
Amberlink Rooster vs Hen
|Weight||6 Pounds||4 – 5 Pounds|
|Appearance||White with reddish tints from the neck to the back||White with reddish brown tints|
|Temperament||Calm but quite territorial||Calm and docile|
|Purpose||For meat produce despite being medium-sized||Prolific egg layers|
|Comb & Wattles||Their combs and wattles are larger with bright red colors||Comb and wattles are smaller|
Common Health Issues of Amberlink Chicken
Although the Amberlink chicken is considered hardy and able to tolerate cold and warm climates, they’re hybrids. This means that they’re intended for one purpose only—to lay eggs at a super high rate. Although this is a huge advantage to farmers, this chicken is exposed to serious health issues. In fact, some of these health problems are the main reason why hybrids have a short life expectancy.
Now, most of the problems suffered by the Amberlink are related to egg laying. They include egg binding, prolapse, and egg peritonitis.
Since these chickens strain their bodies excessively to lay eggs, they also suffer several long-term health issues. Some of these problems include low calcium and weak immunity. This leaves them highly vulnerable to diseases hence early death.
Required Environment for Amberlink Chicken
As a poultry farmer looking to raise the Amberlink for the first time, you’re likely to wonder which type of environment is best suited for this chicken hybrid. In most cases, the Amberlink is suited to both cold and warm climates. This chicken is considered hardy meaning it can perform in almost any weather condition.
However, looking at its comb, you’ll notice it’s a single comb. A single comb means that a chicken is best suited for warm climates. So, in the case of the Amberlink, this chicken will tolerate heat better.
Another feature of the Amberlink is its excellent foraging instincts. Since it can fend for itself by free-ranging, this bird demands a large backyard space where it can roam around in search of nutrient-rich foods such as seeds, vegetables, insects, and worms. While foraging, keepers are recommended to feed these birds high-quality chicken feed to restore their depleted energy levels.
Lastly, we have the Amberlink chicken temperament. The reason why we’ve mentioned this point is because of the docile, friendly, and easy-going personality of the Amberlink. Since these chickens are well behaved, they can live in harmony with other docile breeds meaning you won’t have to find a separate place to keep them.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Raising Amberlink Chicken
Now, Amberlinks are hybrids. Although they may appear similar to purebreds in terms of appearance and temperament, these chickens have noticeable differences that must be addressed. At least knowing their strengths and weaknesses is important as a poultry beginner. So, before committing yourself to own these chickens, here are some pros and cons you should be aware of.
- Amberlinks are excellent layers that produce a high amount of eggs
- They have a beautiful plumage that’s quite unique
- They lay eggs throughout the year
- Just like most hybrids, Amberlinks are docile, gentle, and very friendly
- Lastly, these birds love to forage
- They have a short lifespan as compared to purebreds
- They rarely go broody
- Breeding two Amberlinks doesn’t guarantee Amberlink chicks
- Their egg reproductive system is susceptible to various problems
- Egg production drops annually from 2nd or 3rd year
As you can see, the negatives tend to outweigh the positives when it comes to Amberlink chickens. However, considering these chickens are hybrids, they’re bred for one specific purpose, which is laying eggs. So, factors such as broodiness or lifespan should not disappoint you here.
Instead, you should prepare yourself with purebreds that go broody so that they can incubate the egg. Otherwise, an incubator would be ideal if you’re planning to raise an Amberlink-only flock. About their short lifespan, you should have a strategy where you can be introducing a new flock of pullets each year to keep up with the high egg production.
Raising Tips for Amberlink Chicken
Although Amberlinks are easy to manage, their behavior can sometimes change depending on the level of care they receive from their caretakers. So, to keep them happy and content, Amberlinks demand proper care in terms of diet and housing.
Speaking of housing, Amberlinks demands plenty of space both inside the coop and outside for them to thrive. Inside the coop, these birds demand around 4 square feet of space per bird considering they’re medium-sized. Outside the coop, they demand at least 10 square feet of space. If you’re in a rural setting with ample space, then it’s okay to free them.
Now, we’ve mentioned that Amberlinks are prolific foragers. So, by allowing them to free range, they’re able to collect and consume nutrients from the ground. When allowed to free range, Amberlink chickens won’t run away. However, they may fall as easy targets to predators. Therefore, it’s important to erect a high fence around your backyard to keep chickens in and predators out.
Back inside the coop, Amberlinks need special nesting boxes to lay eggs. Here, you can provide them with at least one nesting box for every four birds. The boxes should be at least 12 x 12 x 12 inches to accommodate them. Also, install removable roosting rods and droppings boards. By taking these rods and boards off, you’ll manage to create enough space for cleaning the coop.
When it comes to feeding Amberlinks, a healthy balanced diet is essential in maintaining their health. To begin, you should feed these birds chick feed that contains 18% – 24% protein during the first 6 weeks. As they reach maturity, lower the amount of protein in their feed to around 16% – 18%.
But, other than proteins, Amberlinks require calcium, nutrients, vitamins, and oils to stay healthy and well nourished. Here, you can consider giving them enough space to forage. While foraging, you can feed them with herbs such as mint, parsley, basil, thyme, and oregano to improve digestion.
You can also ferment your own food to give them vital nutrients. Oils such as wheat germ oil, cod liver oil, and soybean oil are rich in omega 3 and 6 for skin improvement. Fruits and vegetables are important for boosting their immunity while natural Pickstone has essential minerals that help to restore the calcium used during egg laying.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: When Do Amberlinks Start Laying Eggs?
Now, most chickens that are specifically bred for laying eggs usually start their egg-laying journey as early as 17 or 18 weeks. As for the Amberlink, this chicken begins laying eggs at around 20 – 21 weeks after hatching. So, if you’re buying young pullets to use as layers, then you should buy them when they’re around 18 or 19 weeks old. To those asking about Amberlink chicken egg color, their eggs are usually brown and large.
Q2: Can I Mix Amberlinks with Purebreds in The Same Backyard?
Yes, you can. Mixing Amberlinks with other chicken breeds on the same farm is okay. Provided the rest of the chickens are docile and friendly, then you won’t have any problem. The best thing about Amberlinks is that they’re gentle. So, adding them to a flock that contains other docile birds will not create any chaos. However, you need to understand the demands of each chicken breed. While some are easy to handle, others are quite complex and demand extra care.
Q3: Which Temperatures Are Ideal for Raising Amberlinks?
Amberlink chickens are hardy and can tolerate both hot and cold climates. However, considering they’re single combs, these chickens tend to perform well in hot climates and struggle in cold climates. Therefore, you should insulate their coops during cold weather to keep them warm.
Q4: Do Amberlinks Produce More Eggs Than Their Parent Breeds?
Now, Amberlinks result from crossing Rhode Island Reds, White Plymouth Rocks, or ISA Browns. To know how many eggs these hybrid chickens produce, let’s take a look at the production rate of their parent breeds.
- Rhode Island Reds produce around 260 eggs annually
- White Plymouth Rocks produce around 210 eggs annually
- ISA Browns produce around 300 – 350 eggs annually
- Amberlinks produce around 270 – 300 eggs annually
So, by comparing their level of production, it’s fair to say that Amberlinks produce almost the same number of eggs as their parent breeds. What makes Amberlinks better is how they maintain productivity even in cold chilly weather.
Q5: My Amberlinks Aren’t Laying Eggs. What’s The Problem?
Now, many factors can cause your Amberlinks to lower egg production. While some are easy to handle, others are way beyond your capability. Factors such as poor coop conditions, poor diet, and disease are within your reach as you only need to improve the level of care you give to your chickens. Factors such as old age, molting, and a decrease in daylight are beyond your capability. However, speaking of daylight, you can supplement it by adding artificial lightings such as incandescent or LED bulbs.
In conclusion, Amberlinks are hybrid chickens. Although they’re excellent layers, these chickens suffer the same setbacks as the rest of their hybrid cousins. So, if you’re asking whether Amberlinks is the best for you, then it will depend on how equipped you are in handling some of their setbacks.
Otherwise, these birds are docile, friendly, and very easy to raise. They have low maintenance costs and good egg production. So, if you’re planning to start an egg-laying chicken farm, then these birds are excellent picks.
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Hello, I am John Reid. I have been raising chickens for the last 15 years. I have got my experience from my father. My father is the owner of a large chicken farm. This is our family business that has been continuing for over 35 years. I am very interested in backyard chickens and I know how to take care of them. You can learn more About Us here. Happy Reading!!