In the past, we showed differences in heterophil function between parental broilers (A [fast feathering] > B [slow feathering]) and their F1 reciprocal crosses (D [fast feathering] > C [slow feathering]). In the present study, we evaluated the linkage of the feathering gene to heterophil function, pro-inflammatory cytokine/chemokine mRNA expression levels, and resistance to Salmonella enteritidis organ invasion. Heterophils were isolated from 2-day-old chickens (C and D) separated into males and females-slow males and females (SM and SF), and fast males and females (FM and FF). Heterophil functions of degranulation and oxidative burst were measured. Heterophils from FF chickens (183±8.9) released more (P <0.05) β-d-glucuronidase (μM) than heterophils from SF chickens (149 ± 3.7); FF heterophils (4.6 × 10 ) generated a significantly (P <0.05) greater oxidative burst (mean relative fluorescent units) compared with SF heterophils (4.2 × 10 ). Interleukin-6, CXCLi2, and interferon-α mRNA expression levels were quantitated by real-time quantitative reverse transcriptase- polymerase chain reaction. No differences were observed between SM and FM or between SF and FF heterophils. Finally, 1-day-old chickens were administered S. enteritidis and liver/spleen organ invasion was quantitated. No differences were observed between the number of S. enteritidis-positive FF and SF chickens, but FM were significantly (P <0.05) more resistant to S. enteritidis organ invasion than SM chickens. The data indicate degranulation and oxidative burst were linked with the feathering gene; however, interleukin-6, CXCLi2, and interferon-α mRNA expression levels were not. Furthermore, susceptibility to in vitro S. enteritidis organ invasion was not linked to the feathering gene.