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. G Mitch
    "Another good egg producer ."
    Pros - Large brown eggs , Fairly quick growth , can make a good roaster if fed well .
    Cons - Roosters can be aggressive .
    Another one of those good duel purpose breeds . Will lay plenty of large and jumbo large brown eggs . These are in my top 5 of favorite breeds . We keep careful records of feed to egg ratios here because of the sheer number of birds we have in egg production and the Rhode Island red does very well . Roosters are nice looking and very protective of their hens but can be aggressive at times . They will supply you with lots of fertile eggs for the incubator if you like hatching out chicks .
  2. gnine0326
    "RI Red"
    Pros - Good layers. Friendly. Get along with other breeds.
    I recently saved a few Reds. They have just started laying and as they are getting the hang of it the eggs are getting larger and a glossy brown. Mine are free ranged during the day and locked up at night. They are friendly and allow me to pick them up to check them out.
    Purchase Price:
    Purchase Date:
    flwrldy likes this.
  3. OneAndTwoOfFour
    "A New Favorite"
    Pros - Extra-large to jumbo cafe au lait eggs daily
    Good foragers and free rangers
    One of the first of our flock to run for cover when arial predators are present
    Reliably return to the coop on time every night
    Cons - None
    There aren't enough words to describe how wonderful these chickens are. We have six hens in our flock of over 150 chickens. These were the first hens I placed in our cart earlier this year from a major hatchery in Iowa. They seem to be on the smaller size when compared to our Buff Orpingtons and Barred Plymouth Rocks, which is fine for us since we run a no-kill farm.

    The Rhode Island Reds were not my favorites or even close when we first got them. They seemed a bit blank in the personality department, especially when compared to the Barred Rocks, which are ALL personality and winners. But over these last few months, the RIRs have really won me over.

    They began laying at 20 weeks. Their eggs started out quite small in a friendly café au lait color. At about six months old, their eggs went from petite to grande. Always extra-large or jumbo, these eggs have firm whites that hold their shape and yolks that are bright orange and stand at attention. They are truly fabulous layers of works of art.

    The hens are soft and personable, loving their cuddle time. They are independent and not beggars for food and treats but more so lovers of affection. They jump into my arms when I bend over and never try to get free. They used to be a bit skittish but not anymore. They were hatched March 26th and it's now November 4th. I'd say this growth in affectionate personality began about a month ago, at about six months of age.

    We never see them pecking at other hens or having any pecking order issues. They are just perfect hens in our peaceful flock. All of our hens and roosters love them.

    As far as free ranging, they range a respectable distance from the coop without worrying us. Our Buffs tend to range a bit far for our liking. They are always home in the coop safely before the threat of darkness falls upon the farm. This brings peace to our family as we can always depend on the Rhode Island Reds to be counted in full first. They're home early to reserve their nightly roost.

    And their plumage...GORGEOUS! They look as though they've been to the salon to get a cellophane treatment. Their feathers shine like the sun with what looks like a liquid gloss. They're dark brown with flame red highlights. To some, they might seem boring. But to a more piercing eye, they are brilliantly shaded and designed to sheer perfection.

    I honestly can't say enough good about these hens. They are certainly one of my favorite breeds and well worth the reputation they've earned.
    Purchase Price:
    Purchase Date:
    March, 2018
    TLHloveschicks likes this.

User Comments

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  1. beati
    I love my Rhode Island Red:) She is so sweet and funny. When I go out to our yard, she always comes running to me, chatting away.
  2. Chickielady
    I LOVE my Rhoddies ! They lay like crazy and are easy to get along with !
  3. Chilly Lizard
    We loved our girl, she was so friendly & spunky.
  4. Robin K.
    I love my RIR’s very friendly.
  5. Thomas Lamprogiorgos
  6. 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?
    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
    2. Thomas Lamprogiorgos
      She needs some antioxidants too. Be patient. She will lay good shells again. I had leghorns 14 ys old capable of laying excellent shells.
      Thomas Lamprogiorgos, Sep 5, 2018
      Robin K. likes this.
  7. hannahgood
    These are the birds I grew up with. I definitely want to incorporate a few into my flock!
      Charlenesmom, beati and Robin K. like this.
  8. kariejohnson
    I loved every Rhode Island we've had! I have one now I love so much her name is actually Favorite. :)
  9. 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.
      Charlenesmom and beati like this.
  10. ShaggyRay
    Rhode Island Reds come in Rose comb as well as single comb. The first picture in the gallery is one.
      beati and Robin K. like this.

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