If you ask a child to think about the look of a chicken, chances are that they are going to think about the Rhode Island Red Chicken. This is the chicken that took the world by storm. One of the biggest chicken breeds in the world. Probably one that you are going to encounter a lot if you decide to opt for some backyard chickens. So, what is so special about this breed?
That is what we are going to take a little look at on this page!
Rhode Island Red Facts at a Glance
|Eggs||200–300 per year|
|Use||Eggs + Meat (dual Purpose)|
|Comb Type||Single or Rose|
|Weight||Male Standard: 3.9 kg (8.6 lb) |
Male Bantam: 965 g (34.0 oz)
Female Standard: 3 kg (6.6 lb)
Female Bantam: 850 g (30 oz)
|Country of origin||Untied States|
Where Do They Come From?
The Rhode Island Red was cross-bred between the Brown Leghorn chicken and several different breeds like Java chicken, Brahma, Cochin and Red Malays, near the end of the 18th century by William Tripp. As the name suggests, the original chicken came from Rhode Island.
Nobody actually knows what William Tripp was trying to do when he bred the Rhode Island Red. For all we know, he was trying to create a utility bird with excellent egg-laying ability and an awesome-looking chicken.
However, he ended up making something that would stand the test of time. Why? Because the chicken that he bred could actually lay eggs a lot more frequently than any other chicken bred previously.
This meant that this chicken breed was absolutely perfect for those who wanted a chicken that would lay a lot of eggs. Of course, the chicken was also fairly large.
This meant that when the egg-laying days were over, it could be slaughtered for a bit of meat. It is no wonder that the chicken became so popular around the world.
The Look of the Chicken
Chances are that if you buy a Rhode Island Red as a backyard breeder, you are probably not going to get a full Rhode Red. This is because a lot of people have cross-bred the breed with others.
However, if you have a pure breed, then you are going to be getting a chicken that is a nice, dark red color (although, this can change, even if it is a purebred). In fact, nearly everything about the chicken will have a reddish tinge to it. This includes the eyes, the comb, and even the ears.
If you could take the feathers off of the chicken, then it would be yellow. The feet and the legs are going to be bright yellow.
Rhode Island Red Egg Laying Capabilities
As we said before; the Rhode Red is well-known for its egg-laying capabilities. It is probably the ‘go-to’ chicken breed for farms around the world.
The chicken that we know today when it is found in commercial farms, is actually not the same as the original chicken. Due to a shortage of eggs after World War II, a few breeders decided to see if they could make a chicken which produced even more eggs than before.
The result is a chicken that is capable of laying around 300 eggs per year.
You literally can’t find a more productive bird. It really helps that the look of the bird looks good too.
If you are looking for backyard chickens, bear in mind that if you want high egg-laying capabilities, then you are going to want to opt for the Commercial Rhode Island Red. Sure, the heritage version will stay a lot of eggs, but it isn’t going to be anywhere near as many as the standard Red would lay!
Rhode Island Red Meat
The chicken has yellow skin and grows nice and large, and it is a fairly decent grower too. In one of our other articles you can see the Rhode Island Red growth chart week by week.
With roosters weighing up to 8.5 lb. and hens reaching 6.5 lb., you will get a decent amount of meat.
Maybe, it is not the best meat chicken breed in the world, but it isn’t going to repulse you!
Anyway, this is one of the best dual-purpose breeds and it will be definitely an excellent choice for your backyard.
Rhode Island Red Temperament
If you get a Rhode Island Red, then bear in mind that you are going to be getting a chicken that has a lot of personalities. It is a bird that loves to try and take control of a situation.
As a result, you may find that it is more than happy to bully other chickens that you may have in the coop with it. Oh, and if you do not like noise, then this is absolutely not a chicken that you want to get. It is going to be incredibly noisy.
Your neighbors are certainly not going to like it, so this may not be a chicken that you would want to have running around if you live in a city.
However, in general they are docile chicken breed, but the roosters are aggressive sometimes.
The Rhode Island Red (or a chicken bred from this) is actually a fantastic starter chicken. They are easy to look after, with minimum health issues. It is a virtual no-brainer if you want a chicken that produces a ton of eggs.