Other common names: RIR
The Rhode Island Red Chicken is a heritage breed which is one of the most popular backyard chickens because of its friendly nature, hardiness and egg laying ability. The breed originated in Massachusetts and Rhode Island during the 1880's and 1890's. It's ancestors include Brown Leghorns, Javas, Malays, and Shanghai.
Note: today, many Rhode Island Red Chickens sold by hatcheries are actually Production Red Chickens. These birds are smaller in size, lighter in color, lay more eggs, are less likely to brood, and the males are known to be aggressive.
Types: Bantam, Largefowl
Varieties (Single & Rosecomb): Red
Uses: Eggs, Meat
Bantam: 30 - 34 oz
Largefowl: 6.5 - 8.5
Personality: Friendly and social, makes a great backyard pet
Preferred climate: Any
Handles confinement: Yes
Egg production: Excellent (5/week)
Egg color: Brown
Egg size: Extra Large
What else you should know:
Rose comb fowl are less likely to suffer from frostbitten combs, and should be considered if you live in a colder climate.
calm, novice chicken ownerbreeder, steady layers, excellent meat chickens, free range chickens
mean rooster, little flighty, aggressive tendencies
Super friendly bird, heritage lines, dark mahogany color, beautiful brown eggs, small working farmstead
Rhode Island Red - a consistently producing brown layer
Rhode Island Red (RIR) chickens are commonly seen as production chickens, though there is a heritage breed Rhode Island Red. Typically, this breed is a consistent layer, about five eggs a week for a hen and also a meat producer if you choose. They lay brown eggs, which are fairly popular. The hens are less likely to become broody and be motherly. They are a hardier breed, which is likely why they have become so common. They aren't necessarily the most engaging of chickens, and may even completely run the flock in your barnyard. They do have a bit of a tendency to be more independent and bossy at times. We have had a fair amount of Rhode Island Reds over the years, currently, have three hens in our flock. Our rooster is a cross breed with RIR in his bloodlines. He is very handsome! Our hens came to us from another flock and were quite pecked over when they came. They have developed the standard red plumage and they free range well, use feed well for what they make in egg production! The RIR in my flock do tend to stick together, but as we let them free range over several acres, we find that they have not been aggressive. Caveat: Some RIR owners find that their RIRs are aggressive towards their less dominant flockmates and can really beat them up. The only time we have had trouble is with our first two young roosters. They ended up challenging each other daily, and you got a really good look at "cockfights". Later they became territorial and would try to chase the children away from the horse barn that they claimed as their own. Other than that, I would say we have not seen excessive aggression from this breed..
From christyoz Sep 15 2016 1:54AM
Great for laying eggs and insect control
I bought several chickens to help with pest control around our property, so my chickens were free range. I was pleasantly surprised with how many eggs we were getting from them each day. I had 3 chickens and I got 3 eggs a day. We did end up getting rid of them in the winter though because it seemed to be a lot of maintenance because we did not have a barn to keep them in and they need to have fresh water and heated hen house. Something else about free range chickens that I did not like was that they pooped on the front porch or in the front yard where my little boy played. Overall They were good for insect control and laying eggs but I would not want them again. .
From Dmlydic Jun 12 2017 8:42PM
Good Layers but Challenging
Where do I begin? Owning chickens was a nightmare! Keep in mind I used to love chickens, but that was before we acquired two full coops of the feathery beasts. My mom thought it would be a great idea to raise chickens from eggs, then eventually sell their eggs to a local co-op for some extra money.
It was exciting to bring home the boxes of fertilized eggs and even more exciting when those eggs eventually hatched and we had tons of fluffy chicks running about. It was when they were old enough to be transported to their chicken coops that things got hairy (erm, feathery?).
It was my job to collect the eggs and tend to the chickens. The biggest downsides to this was 1) chickens are the most stupid animals I’ve ever encountered and were constantly fighting with each other or escaping from their pen 2) it’s really hard to keep chickens safe from prey when on a farm.
The egg business was going well and I begrudgingly kept taking care of all the chickens’ needs until one night foxes from our nearby woods broke into the coops and killed every last chicken!
If you’re considering keeping some hens for their eggs, make sure they are completely secure so you don’t have a similar massacre on your hands..
From BethMiller May 26 2015 11:47AM