- Breed Purpose:
- Dual Purpose
- Climate Tolerance:
- All Climates
- Egg Productivity:
- Egg Size:
- Egg Color:
- Light brown to tan
- Breed Temperament:
- Extremely friendly
- Breed Colors/Varieties:
- Only one variety which is almost red barred in roosters and a mix of brown and some interesting patterns in hens
- Breed Size:
- Large Fowl
The Rhodebar is a rare British breed developed around 1950. There were apparently several strains developed at that time by a number of breeders, all of whom had the objective of creating an auto-sexing breed that was also an excellent egg layer. Breeds used in the creation of the Rhodebar included primarily Rhode Island Reds, Barred Plymouth Rocks and Golden Brussbars, Brussbars themselves being an auto-sexing breed developed from Barred Plymouth Rocks and Brown Sussex. Rhode Island Reds have been used again more recently to improve egg laying ability and type in the breed.
Because the Rhodebar was developed at the beginning of the commercial hybrid era, it only had a brief period of popularity before fading into obscurity. They are a very rare breed today in both the UK and in the US, to where they were imported around 2011.
Rhodebars are sturdy single combed, yellow skinned birds. Adult hens are primarily reddish barred in color and the males are very attractive multi-colored barred birds. The chicks should be easily sexable at hatch, with the males having lighter blond colored spotted down and females brown chipmunk striped down.
Rhodebar hens are excellent layers, producing 250 or so large brown eggs a year. They have calm temperaments and are generally not aggressive. They are considered a good choice for the small homesteader or for free ranging flocks, and especially anyone who wishes to be able to identify cockerels early on. The cockerels do make a fine, slow growing table bird.
For more information on this breed and their owner's and breeders' experiences with them, see our breed discussion here: https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/chicken-breed-focus-rhodebar.1038085/
Recent User Reviews
Pros - Amazing layers of extra large to jumbo sized eggs; rooster is very caring and attentive; great foragers
Cons - A little on the loud side.
We have only had these chooks for a month+, but they have already won me over. Daily layers of huge eggs, sweet dispositions, big, beautiful birds! And, even though ours were raised in breeding pens, they are awesome foragers. If they were as quiet as our Australorps, I think I'd have a new favorite.
"Not so sure...."
Pros - Neat coloring, Get along with most other breeds well
Cons - 1 rooster very mean
When I first got my chicks I was told 2 of the 12, were Orpingtons, as they got bigger and grew different colored feathers, we found out they were actually 2 Rhodebars, Blanche & Biggie. Biggie grew faster than all the other chickens, and started growing a comb quickly as well, so we figured she was actually a he. However, Blanche did not grow very fast so we assumed she was still a she, and she was mine and my 3 year old daughter's favorite. Blanche was the first to come running for treats, would follow us around, even the only one who didnt have much problem with me picking her up. Biggie was very docile, but skittish. As they got older, Biggie began crowing at 8 weeks, and was starting to act like a rooster, always circled around the girls when they free ranged, let them get treats first, if he heard something he would try to get them back to the run. Blanche continued to act like one of the girls. Then Blanche started growing a comb and wattles and began to crow at 12 weeks. It was almost like a switch had been flipped, as soon as she realized she was actually a he, he became mean. He pecked at me constantly, not too big of deal since I was usually wearring pants when he pecked my legs, but one day he pecked my daughters leg and drew blood. Then he kept attacking Biggie, and started jumping on, and pecking at the other girls to get to the treats. So we had to get rid of him. I find it odd how different the 2 boys turned out, being the same breed from the same hatch.
In summary, both boys from same hatch:
Biggie - docile, skittish, but looked out for his girls
Blanche - became mean to chickens and humans, not very good rooster
"Best Breed Ever!!!"
Pros - Great layers, amazing temperament, and beautiful!
Cons - WAY less common than they should be and in cold climates can get frostbite.
Rhodebars are the perfect breed for almost anyone! I have raised Silkies, Australorps, Easter Eggers, Marans, Brahmas, English Orpingtons, Cream Legbars, Plymouth Rocks, Rhode Island Reds, and Polish and none of them even compare to Rhodebars. They are my best layers of brown eggs and although I have never personally butchered them, could be used for meat production. My roosters have never been aggressive and will tolerate little kids invading their turf. The hens LOVE to sit on your lap and be petted. To get your attention they will bite your legs playfully and will run all the way up a large hill to our house which is far away from the coop. They are even beautiful, the hens have mixes of different shades of brown with eye catching patterns and the roosters look like more colorful versions of Barred Plymouth Rocks. To top it off they are auto-sexing so the female chicks will look like chipmunks and the male chicks are a lighter color and have an obvious white spot on their head! The only downsides are that in the winter the roosters will get frostbite and they are hard to find breeders that sell them. To sum it up they are perfect for about any purpose!