Rhode Island Red chickens are on the rise. What does it take to have a successful flock of these red hens? In this article, we will discuss the growth of Rhode Island Red chicks week by week. As well as provide a complete Rhode Island Red growth chart for you to follow.
This way you can have a rough idea of what you can expect or if you already have Rhode Island Red chickens then you can keep track and know when your baby chicks are due!
The Use of the Chicken
Rhode Island Red chickens are one of the most popular breeds in the United States. The breed was developed in the 1800’s, and is still one of the most popular breeds in America.
They were originally bred to be a dual-purpose breed: they produce eggs with good production levels, as well as meat that has excellent flavor.
It is not uncommon for a fully grown Rhode Island Red hen to lay a whooping 250-300 eggs per year. They are also good for meat production because their breast muscles become larger and more developed over time. They have yellow skin and grows nice and large.
Maybe, this is not the best meat chicken breed in the world, but it isn’t going to repulse you!
Please keep in mind that this is a dual-purpose heritage chicken, which means it will grow slow. It is not a broiler chicken. Broilers grow at a rapid rate; in fact, a broiler grows twice as fast as the heritage chickens.
One of the unfortunate (or awesome, depending on your point-of-view) consequences of slow maturing chicken breeds is that they take nearly 2 years to reach their full size.
Rhode Island Red Growth Chart
The Rhode Island Red growth chart bellow shows the expected weight of Rhode Island Red pullets from time of hatching to 40 weeks (in 4-week periods). The study was made by The College of Agriculture at the University of Missouri.
|Age in Weeks||Weight of Rhode Island Red |
Pullets in Pounds
The second growth chart bellow shows the expected gains of Rhode Island Red pullets in each of the four week periods.
|Age in Weeks||Gains by 4 weeks of|
Pullets in Pounds
The above charts will give you an idea how much longer until your chicken matures into a full grown chicken ready to breed or lay eggs. The hen will typically start laying eggs between 18-20 week.
Your Rhode Island Red chicks should grow on average 0.55 pounds every four weeks, so for example if it’s been 14 days since their first weighing then they would weigh around 0.25 pounds!
At full maturity these chickens can weigh up to about 8.6 lb (3.9 kg) for roosters and 6.6 lb (3 kg) for hens.
Rhode Island Red Growth Chart – Cockerel vs Pullet
From the Rhode Island Red weight chart bellow, we can see the difference in the growth rate between Rhode Island Red cockerel and pullet of the same age.
|Age in Weeks||Cockerel||Pullet|
We can notice that during the first four weeks there was very little difference between them. It’s been shown that the greatest gains in all cases were during the 9-12 week interval.
Just for clarification, a male chicken is called a cockerel when it is younger than one year, while the female counterpart is called a pullet before it turns one year, after that it is called a hen.
Influence on the Growth Rate of Rhode Island Red
There are many factors that can be influential on the growth rate of Rhode Island Red chicks.
Depending on the temperature, humidity, or when the chick was hatched influences how quickly they grow. For example a chick hatched in early February will grow faster then a chick hatched in late April.
By referencing the weight charts, you can see if your chicks are on par with an average from the study by the University of Missouri.
I think it will be interesting for you to check the rate at which Plymouth Rock pullets are growing.
If you’re looking to raise chickens for eggs or meat, we would recommend starting with this breed!
We hope that this article about the growth and weight chart of Rhode Islanders has been informative and helpful in your journey to start keeping this beautiful breed.