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  • Writer's pictureAnnie

All About the Rhode Island Red Chicken

Updated: Feb 29

All About the Rhode Island Red Chicken

Photo Credit: Hoover’s Hatchery

We’ve all read the story of the “Little Red Hen”. I have always loved this story. The moral of the story is hard work will get you far in life and laziness will keep you hungry, right? Well, I feel like this sums up the Rhode Island Red breed of chicken perfectly. Haha! They are energetic, friendly with people and can be fairly dominant in a flock.

History of the Rhode Island Red

Originating from Rhode Island and Massachusetts in the 1840s, the Rhode Island Red breed is an iconic chicken in America. Think about all the chickens you see on agricultural information…it’s the Rhode Island Red! They’re a cross between a Malay and a Brown Leghorn. A fun fact about them is that they are the state bird for Rhode Island. How awesome! They have non-feathered feet and are a large-sized breed of chicken.

All About the Rhode Island Red Chicken

Photo Credit: Hoover’s Hatchery

How Many Eggs Do Rhode Island Reds Lay?

Rhode Island Reds are good egg layers. They lay a large light brown egg. These eggs are your classic brown eggs in color. Hens will lay up to 5-6 eggs a week (up to 300 a year!) making them a great layer for a multipurpose bird. Hens will start laying eggs around 18-20 weeks with adequate diet, light and calcium. The RIR lifespan is 5-8 years if well taken care of.

Traits of Rhode Island Reds

Rhode Island Reds are a hearty breed and have been known to do well in harsher environments. They thrive in cold and warm climates and can withstand less-than-ideal living situations. I’m not encouraging this, however! Raising backyard chickens comes with a responsibility by the owners to give our birds the best living conditions possible. They deserve it!

Rhode Island Reds have rich dark red feathers, a single red comb and they’re super hearty. Additionally, they’re dual-purpose birds, meaning they can be used for meat or egg production. Out of all the dual-purpose chickens, RIR’s are said to be the best layers. This makes them a very attractive breed in the backyard chicken world.

Their few downfalls are that they can be quite energetic, sometimes loud and usually the head of the pecking order. These aren’t necessarily even downfalls in my opinion…just areas to watch for. I personally don’t have this breed….yet! I will likely add 1-2 of this beautiful breed this spring.

Until next time,

–The Wing Lady


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