A Guide to Chicken Breeds: Rhode Island Red

One of the most common and well known chicken breeds is The Rhode Island Red. When you think of chickens, a Rhode Island Red (or Rhodes for short) is usually the image that comes to mind. Rhodes were first developed around the turn of the century in the American state from which they take their name (they are also the state bird of Rhode Island as of 1954).

The Rhode Island Red is a large (between 2-4 kg) and hardy breed, yet can be surprisingly active and really enjoy foraging. Their colouring ranges from a light brown to dark brown and black. They are intelligent and alert creatures while remaining fairly calm and relatively quiet. They rarely get broody but are still good mothers. They are docile yet sociable birds with great characters that get along well with both humans and animals.

They are some of the most excellent egg producers; a healthy Rhode Island Red can produce 6-7 eggs a week. During their first year of free ranging, you’ll find they produce eggs far too large for a traditional egg box but these changes to a medium size egg then onwards. They’re eggs are the colour you’d expect; browny pink. Due to their size as well as their egg producing abilities; they are reared as dual purpose birds.