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The amberlink chicken species – also known as the DeKalb Amberlink – is closely related to the Isa Brown species of chicken – so you will probably find it in the same hatcheries that sell Isa Browns. They are characterized by white feathers with hues of golden-brown or amber-red coloring on the tail and wing areas. Amberlink chickens are quiet, calm, productive, and cold-and-heat hardy birds that are fairly easy to raise.
Let us study everything one needs to know about this species.
Amberlink Chicken Facts
What is an amberlink chicken?
Amberlink chickens are related to the Isa Brown chickens. Hybrid amberlinks (cross of Rhode Island reds and White Plymouth Rocks) are known to produce large number of medium-to-large sized, brown eggs. (There is also an Amberlink white chicken which is the cross between Rhode Island Red and Rhode Island White.)
Although they are a close cousin of the Isa Brown and their eggs are very similar and almost indistinguishable there are significant differences between the two species. These are:
- Amberlink chickens have better feather retention than Isa Brown species
- They are better foragers than Isa Brown
- Amberlinks adapt better to the non-cage lifestyle than their distant cousins.
The DeKalb Amberlink Chickens were developed by Isa Hendrix
As their name indicates, amberlinks are mainly white in color with hues of red or amber. (Females have tints of red or amber in the wings and tail region while males have red plumages and brownish red feathers with some white underneath).
Amberlink chickens weigh an average of 5 to 6 lb. and a hen is considered mature for laying once her weight is about 4 to 5 lb. Male amberlinks weigh about 4.25 lb.
At birth, it may be difficult to tell the differences between the two genders. You need to wait a few weeks until the hens are grown so as to tell the difference. At this point, the colors develop and you can distinguish between genders easily.
The lifespan of amberlink chickens is 8 to 10 years. The hybrid amberlink species has a shorter lifespan compared to other purebred chickens thanks to their higher egg production. The higher egg production results in stress on their bodies as it ends up using all of the nutrient reserves from their bones. This leads to greater health issues as well.
The amberlink chicken temperament is calm, hardy, and friendly. They are also docile foragers which is why they make good backyard pets.
Amberlinks are friendly birds and since they forage, the cost of feeding them is lot lesser compared to the non-foraging species. Also, they handle cold and hot weather well – another feature that makes them easy to raise.
The main purpose of the hybrid amberlinks is egg production. Since each hen can lay about 270 eggs annually, it is no wonder that these birds are much in demand not only in commercial egg production but also as pets.
Also, their foraging natures make them cheaper to feed – a win-win situation for backyard chicken coop keepers and commercial farms.
Potential health issues
Compared to other species, the amberlink chicken does not live too long (about 8 years). This is due to their high egg production. Since egg production is very high in this species, the chances that something can go wrong during the production are also high. That is also why you might see issues like egg binding, egg prolapse, etc. in these birds.
The process of laying eggs uses up all of the calcium reserves in the bird’s body, especially during the harsh winter season. Resultantly, they don’t live as long as some of their fewer-egg-producing counterparts. The egg laying process also weakens their immune system making them vulnerable to diseases. Gradually, it causes a decline in their health leading to early death.
Amberlink Chicken Egg Facts
Are amberlinks good layers?
Yes, you can expect an average of 200-300 eggs per year from this breed.
Amberlink chicken eggs size and color
The amberlink chicken eggs are medium to large sized and have a brown coloring. These birds are good layers and you can expect a good number of eggs in the first year at least. Later on, the egg production could slow down a bit and by the time the hen is about 6-7 years, it can even wither away entirely.
The size of your amberlink chicken eggs will depend on several factors mainly the laying hen’s size and the feed she eats. Lighting programs also influence egg size and egg production.
How many eggs can you expect?
In general, you can expect about 200-300 eggs per year from a single Amberlink hen. Each egg is medium to large with brown color. The bigger the mother hen, the larger the egg.
When do amberlink chickens start laying?
Most Amberlink chickens start laying eggs by the age of 20-21 weeks. So you can rest assured that you will get some eggs in this period.
How long do amberlinks lay?
Amberlinks have a lifespan of 8 to 10 years. They start laying around the age of 20 weeks but egg production declines steadily each year. The massive egg production is also what causes a decline in their health.
How to Take Care of Amberlink Chickens?
Tips to know before you buy your amberlink chickens and for setting up the coop.
- Do your homework. Know what this breed likes and needs. Keeping chickens is a commitment and these birds live for 8 years at least. So make sure you are committed to it.
- Research permits and legal requirements of your area regarding chicken keeping.
- Don’t expect to see eggs every day. Many factors influence egg-laying – some you can control and some you cannot.
- Coop placement is important – it should be shaded and dry from the rain.
- Install removable roosts and droppings boards for easier cleanup.
- Plan for 8-12 inches of roost space per bird.
- Keep the coop easy to access – both for the birds and for daily cleaning.
- Provide one nest box per four birds. Size of 12 x 12 x 12 is ideal.
- Install as much ventilation high up on the coops for airflow.
- Buy your birds from reputed breeders only.
- While Amberlink chickens forage, you can also choose organic, Non-GMO, pellet feed for them.
- Fermenting your own food also stretches your budget while providing vital nutrients to your birds.
- Adding herbs to your chickens’ diet can help improve digestion. Thyme, oregano, mint, parsley, basil, etc. are good additions.
- To boost their immune system, provide them with bananas, blueberries, and strawberries.
- In general, fruits, vegetables, and non-cereal grains are great choices for chickens.
- For 25 chicks, provide one gallon of fresh drinking water. You can also add nutritional booster water additives once a month.
What Supplements to Give Amberlink Chickens?
You can speak to your vet and add one or more of the following supplements:
Vitamins and electrolytes
- Vitamin A 2500 IU
- Complex of B-vitamins
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin D 1000 IU
Cod liver oil or soybean oil can improve appetite. You can also provide wheat germ oil which contains omegas 3 and 6. These are especially beneficial for feather and skin improvement for show birds.
To improve digestion and immunity.
These provide proteins to the chickens.
Natural pickstone is filled with important nutrients like magnesium, oyster shells, etc.
Speak to your vet or breeder before adding these supplements.
FAQs on Amberlink Chicken
How is amberlink chicken personality?
Amberlink chicken personality is friendly. They are fairly easy to take care of as they are foragers. They also are good layers.
What is the best feed for laying amberlink chickens?
Your vet or breeder can recommend the best feed for these forager species. You can also opt for Manna Pro Organic High protein pellets as they are GMO-free and certified organic. They are also known to increase egg production.
What not to feed your amberlink chickens?
Avoid feeding avocadoes, chocolates, coffee beans or coffee grounds, candies, dry beans, junk and salty foods, as well as moldy or rotten foods to your birds.
At what time do amberlink chickens lay eggs?
Most chickens lay eggs in the early morning hours or within 6 hours of sunrise. Artificial lighting can increase egg production.
How can I increase egg production in my amberlink chicken?
By providing artificial lighting, improving the quality of feed, and providing good vitamin and mineral supplements, you can increase egg production in your amberlink chickens.
Why are my amberlink chickens not laying?
Several factors can reduce or stop egg production in your amberlink chickens: old age, stress, poor diet, inadequate light (natural and artificial), molt, diseases, etc. Please speak to your vet or breeder and have your birds examined.
Do amberlink chickens eat their own eggs?
If your chicken coop is crowded and an egg breaks, your amberlink chicken could eat its yolk. If it develops a taste for it, then there is a high chance it might start eating its own eggs.
Amberlink chicken are a breed of hybrid chickens related to Isa Brown. On average, each amberlink chicken can lay about 270 eggs per year. These are medium to large sized eggs having a rich brown color.
These foraging species of chickens are fairly easy to maintain since their temperament and personality are friendly and docile. They are also cold and hot-weather hardy.
We wish you luck in maintaining your amberlink chicken coop!