Rhode Island

Average User Rating:
  • Breed Purpose:
    Dual Purpose
    Climate Tolerance:
    Egg Productivity:
    Egg Size:
    Egg Color:
    Breed Temperament:
    Aggressive,Friendly,Flighty,Easily handled,Calm,Noisy
    Breed Colors/Varieties:
    The Rhode Island Red is only recognised in Red.
    Breed Size:
    Large Fowl
    APA/ABA Class:
    Most often when one thinks of Rhode Island Reds 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.
    A monument funded by the Rhode Island Red Club of America was erected in Little Compton and today is listed on the national register of historic places. It can be seen here:
    The Rhode Island Red is the State Bird of Rhode Island.
    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.
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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. Chickenllady
    "Good eggs, big personalities!"
    Pros - Wonderful egg-layers
    Wonderful broody hens
    Very hardy birds
    Good personalities
    Cons - Can be aggressive
    Aggressive to new flock additions
    Roosters can be aggressive if not handled properly from hatch to adult
    Go broody often
    Take long breaks without laying eggs
    I've had Rhode Island Reds all my life, since 7 years ago. While they're a good, hardy egg-laying breed and can be quite tame when you handle them a lot, they can be quite aggressive to new additions to the flock and stick to a very intense pecking order.
    When Roosters are not handled properly - as in they are not picked up and petted a lot - they can be prone to attacking strangers. Roosters should be raised from chicks to adults to prevent attacking, and if you have more than one rooster, they should be raised together, too, to prevent fighting.
    The Roosters also grow very long spurs which can sometimes cut into the hen's back, and can be quite aggressive and protective over the hens to people and to other roosters.
    While this is being said, Rhode Island Reds are also very great when it comes to being broody moms. I've had quite a few hens go broody and they can raise chicks that they've hatched, and even adopt chicks that aren't their own.


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  2. millermcnutt
    "My 2 male RIR's are very aggressive"
    Pros - Healthy, meaty birds.
    Cons - They are aggressive and at 6 months old, just plain MEAN!!
    Mine both turned out to be ROOSTERS, and they are large, healthy, meaty birds but mine are just pets, we don't eat them. They will attack and flog anyone. Mean to my flock of younger birds. Beautiful but NOT a good PET chicken (the males anyway...I cannot report on the females, I don't have any)
    Purchase Price:
    Purchase Date:


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  3. Duckstruck
    "Bad Reputation, Good at Heart!"
    Pros - Curious, Very Friendly, Great Egg Layer
    Cons - Not the flashiest hen
    Maybe my situation is rare and uncommon, but I've found my RIR, Alice, to be a sweet chicken. She is always first in line to follow me and has a natural curious nature. Alice, unlike other accounts of a power-hungry, aggressive RIRs, is not close to it. If anything, I'd say my Jersey Giants are more dominant than she is! Additional points for being a prolific egg layer!

    Now, that's just the hen. My RIR rooster was a horrible bird. Regardless of breed, sometimes roosters are just mean.

User Comments

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  1. ScottKelly1974
    Mine are just about nine weeks old. One is a male and the others are females. They seem to get along just fine and allow me to come near and pick them up. I have a Cinnamon Queen hen. That is produced from breeding a RIR and White RIR. I think they would make a great starter flock.
  2. Cult-of-Trajan
    I have 2 RIR hens (Ginger & Ruby). They are VERY aggressive when the bag of mealworms comes out! Ginger lays a very light brown almost-spherical egg, Ruby lays a more oval medium-brown egg. They're both 6mos old & very entertaining. Ginger will fall asleep if I put her in my lap and stroke her throat gently.
  3. robinSnest63
    My 3 RIR are very good girls you can pet and hold them...they all follow my granddaughter and loves her attention...beautiful hens
  4. black_dove2
    My RIR and Danish Brown are the same age. My friend bought two for herself as well as mine from C& J Feed Barn in Yucca Valley at a week old.

    The RIR has always been a quite bird but did bully the Brown as pullets. Brown is very vocal and has been laying for a month and has been allowing me to handle her. Red 'sister' at friends started laying last week 22 weeks old. Mine not yet.

    She doesn't like to be handled any more and now the brown is the dominant one. She is also very protective of the red. If I am handling the red she tries to interfere especially if red is distressed. I also think it may be similar to interfering with the attention of a rooster towards a different hen.

    I made a great choice and am very pleased with her. Just getting a little tired of twiddling my thumbs while waiting on eggs.
  5. kdim71
    My reds do not really like being handled. I have held them alot from 1wk old and spend alot of time with them but when it comes to me handling them they are not having it. Now at sundown now appox 7:50 pm they want to be all over me i think if i slept in a lounge chair in coop/pen area they would probably sleep on me all night. I dont get them. Smh
  6. poultry person
    Are Rhode Island's also and Red crosses the same?
      Diannastarr likes this.
  7. Crazyredhead
    I have 3 and they are all different. One is very aggressive,but to me in a funny way. She is also friendly. They other 2 just normal. I mean they don't have anything that jumps out of being bad or good. They get along with the other 14 plus the other 16 when I let them out to graze and enjoy the world.
      Diannastarr and feather13 like this.
  8. feather13
    We have two RIRs that we raised from chicks (we got them from Chickens Galore in Norco, CA). I was hesitant to get them since I'd read so many posts about this being an aggressive breed. Ours are incredibly curious, good layers, friendly, and not very loud. They are neither at the top nor at the bottom of the pecking order, although they are more slight than some of our much larger and pudgier breeds.
      Diannastarr and black_dove2 like this.
  9. MossyOaks
    We have 3 RIR and I love them! We started out with 6 chicks, 1 white leghorn, 2 black sex links and the 3 RIR. I'm new to raising hens and so far RIR & the Black Sex Links are my favorite. But that's the only breeds I have raised. Our leghorn got sick with Respiratory illness and we put her down. As she would have became a carrier even if we had used antibiotics. And that's not something I wanted to do. My reason for raining hens for eggs was to keep them free range and free of all that crap they give to hens in factories.
      black_dove2, beo and feather13 like this.
  10. waltonwannabe
    My newest RIR's in the flock started layin' at 4 months old. Itty bitty eggs, but I've never been prouder.

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