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Rhode Island Red

Average User Rating:
  • Breed Purpose:
    Dual Purpose
    Climate Tolerance:
    Egg Productivity:
    Egg Size:
    Egg Color:
    Breed Temperament:
    Friendly, Easily handled, Calm,
    Breed Colors/Varieties:
    The Rhode Island Red is only recognised in Red.
    Breed Size:
    Large Fowl
    APA/ABA Class:
    Red or white

    Most often when one thinks of Rhode Island Red they are thinking of the Large Fowl Rhode Island Red, as it is one of the oldest known breeds of chicken and was developed mainly in Rhode Island and Massachusetts in the mid 1840's. The first birds were bred in Little Compton, RI with the use of a Black Breasted Red Malay cock who was imported from England. This Rooster can actually still be seen on display in the Smithsonian Institution as the father of the breed.

    The breed was accepted into the American Poultry Association in 1904.

    The breed was developed to withstand the harsh New England winters and be a very hardy bird who produced hens with excellent large egg yields and who also would dress out well and look nice on the table, a true dual purpose bird. While the names and places of origin are the same, the Rhode Island White is actually a distinct breed separate from the Rhode Island Red per the American Poultry Association and will be featured in another Breed Focus thread.

    The Rhode Island Red breed comes in both large fowl and bantam size and and single as well as rose comb varieties can be found readily.

    Rhode Island Red eggs

    Rhode Island Red chicks

    Rhode Island Red rooster

    Rhode Island Red juvenile

    Rhode Island Red hen

    For more info on Rhode Island Reds and their owners' and breeders' experiences with them, see our breed discussion here:

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  • Chicken Breed Info:
    Breed Purpose:
    Dual Purpose
    Comb: Rose/Single
    Broodiness: Average
    Climate Tolerance: Cold

    General Egg Info:
    Egg Productivity:
    Egg Size: Large
    Egg Color: Brown

    Breed Temperament:
    Aggressive,Friendly,Flighty,Easily handled,Calm,Noisy

    Breed Colors / Varieties:
    The Rhode Island Red is only recognized in Red.
    Breed Details:
    The Rhode Island Red- Large Fowl and Bantam are available as both Single Combed and Rose Combed. The red should be a deep, dark Mahogany or Rust color, the darker the better. Some birds can be so dark as to appear black from a distance, both sexes have black tails with a "beetle" green sheen. The body is best known as being "Brick" shaped for both Rhode Island Reds and Rhode Islands Whites for both Large Fowl and Bantam. The legs are clean and feather free. The skin and feet are yellow. The eyes are red orange. The beak for the Rhode Island Red LF and Bantam is Reddish Brown. Large Fowl weights as follows: Pullet 5 1/2 pounds, cockeral 7 1/2 pounds, hen 6 1/2 pounds and cock 8 1/2 pounds. Bantam weights: 34 ounces for a cock and 30 ounces for a hen at eighteen months of age Eggs- Eggs are always brown (From all varieties) and range from light to dark in color, large in size for the Large Fowl. Not uncommon for first year LF laying hens to have eggs too big to shut into a carton. Eggs are known for hatching well. Rhode Island Reds can be fiesty and a little hot tempered. Especially the cockeral but if handled a lot from early on and won over with treats they can make lovely back yard chickens who tolerate roomy confinement well. Temperments differ greatly between induvidual birds depending on sex, and method of raising.

    The Ideal Flock






Recent User Reviews

  1. Zombieattackready
    "My love"
    Pros - I cannot say enough how much I love and admire this hen. She is affectionate, calm, independent, spunky, and funny.
    Cons - She poops... A lot.
    Purchase Price:
    Purchase Date:
    June 5, 2018


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  2. ageranger361
    "You Can’t Go Wrong with These!"
    Pros - Friendly, Docile, Hardy, Heat Tolerant, Egg Laying Machines, Good Forage and Free Range, Aware of Predators
    Cons - Small Frames for Meat, Medium Sized Eggs
    All around good birds. Very docile and easy to manage. I fell in love with chickens all over again when I got them. I also learned more about handling them and taking care of them when I got this breed. Because they’re so easy to manipulate I learned how to palpate the birds to determine breast size, girth at wings, breast bone width, and laying bone!? spacing, lol.

    It’s a perfect starting out breed. If you’re not sure what breed to go with, you almost can’t go wrong with RIR’s. Even the rooster is fairly docile. Very prolific eggs layers of medium to large brown eggs. One thing they don’t like is being interrupted in the nest box, and they will actually YELL at you in sort of an angrily surprised yet comical high pitched voice, almost like you walked in on a butt naked woman in the rest room. Haha! Smallish frame for meat, but could do in a pinch, but the real bonus of these birds is how friendly and mild mannered they are. Two thumbs up. Get some!!
    Purchase Price:
    Purchase Date:


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    BlackHackle likes this.
  3. SimplyLivinthatFarmLife
    "Rhode Island Red-Poppy"
    Pros - Great layer, very friendly, likes attention
    Cons - Can be bossy
    I love my RIR- Poppy. She has lots of personality, but can be a bit bossy.
    BlackHackle likes this.

User Comments

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  1. Robin K.
    I love my RIR’s very friendly.
  2. Thomas Lamprogiorgos
  3. carlsonbwin
    Our Henny-Penny was our best egg layer but this spring she has been laying soft shell eggs for about a month and we can't figure out why. She has oyster shells available and also we feed layer feed with oyster shells in the feed. Anybody got any ideas or has had this problem?
      rodrigo mello likes this.
    1. farmgirlinok
      How old is she? When they get over 2 years old the egg quality reduces a lot and the egg shell is where you will see it. I have had this happen in hens 2-3 years old.
      farmgirlinok, Apr 15, 2018
      carlsonbwin likes this.
  4. hannahgood
    These are the birds I grew up with. I definitely want to incorporate a few into my flock!
  5. kariejohnson
    I loved every Rhode Island we've had! I have one now I love so much her name is actually Favorite. :)
      chesapeakesun likes this.
  6. millermcnutt
    I found a good home for my RIR rooster. He was too aggressive so someone took him and made a pet of him. They didn't have any other chickens, so he is becoming a PET whether he likes it or not.
  7. ShaggyRay
    Rhode Island Reds come in Rose comb as well as single comb. The first picture in the gallery is one.
  8. ScottKelly1974
    My 5 month old rooster is being stubborn. He wants to still sleep in the nest boxes. The rest are sleeping on the perches.
      Lkcoop66 and black_dove2 like this.
    1. farmgirlinok
      Cover your nest boxes so he can't get in...
      farmgirlinok, Apr 15, 2018
  9. Sue E.
    Mine like to have their backs scratched.
    1. Sipplchicks
      Mine love it too!
      Sipplchicks, Jan 1, 2018
  10. moco27
    I got rid of mine. They are too aggressive in my flock. They laid well, I like the color and foraged fine.
      black_dove2 likes this.

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