Acquired: Bred animal myself
Posted Aug 13, 2014
I owned Rhodies all the way to the end of my raising period before moving to another state. These birds are about as hardy as you can get. Winter or summer are both easy and they will still lay eggs. I rarely even used a light and they still produced. These hens never failed me and I don't ever recalling them being broody or fighting among themselves.
I've had a few different breeds of chickens over the years and some, like the Cubalaya, are quite difficult to deal with. The Rhode Island Red was never high maintenance, always produced, and some even looked forward to seeing me. They would peck food right out of my hand and greet me at the gate.
We had the Heritage type of Rhode Island Red, not the production kind. There IS a difference. Ours were harder to get but were much more gentle and easy to work with. I've heard stories about some aggressive production reds. That's something I wouldn't want to deal with.
One of the only things I noticed is that my Reds didn't like ducks very much. They would attack the ducks if they got too close to their grounds. So, if you have ducks you might want to keep them separate. Otherwise Rhode Island Reds are the best all around chicken I think a person could own.