All about RIR

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Maximus, May 12, 2011.

  1. Maximus

    Maximus Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 9, 2011
    Altha Florida
    LOVE my RIR any other fans out there
  2. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

    Jun 1, 2009
    This should get you started.. [​IMG]

    R.I. Reds should carry its body perfectly horizontal and should be long, approaching in shape when viewed from the side as nearly as possible to rectangle or “Brick Shape”. The line of back and keel should be both be level and parallel to one another. The base line of the wing should be parallel to the back and keel and the wing should never have a tendency to drop, as the is a defect. The back should not only be flat from front to rear, but should be flat side to side. There should be no tendency to slope from the backbone to the side, and show no indication of a ridge along the backbone. The breast must project outward in order to fill out the rectangular shape. If a line was dropped through the base of the beak it should just clear the front of the breast. The tail should be well spread and carried what would be considered low at 20* for males and 10* for females, and should not be drooping.

    A red eye in R.I. Reds is very desirable in the breeders of both males and females.
    However, a male good in other traits should not be discarded as a breeder if his eye is bright, healthy and on the bay order. A hens eye color will tend to fade with laying, and it is rather hard to find good eyes in a old hen. However, a hen has a bright, healthy bay color eye probably had a strong eye as a pullet and can be used as a breeder.
    The beak on breeders should be reddish horn in color. A beak that is dark black and streaky is not desired and should be selected against.
    Breeders should have red ear lobes and birds showing white in there ear lobes is not desired and should be selected against.

    To avoid the double mating, do not use a the extremely dark males, as the females from them can often be poor in color and tending to be mottled.
    The mating should consist of a rich color male with even shade in hackle, wing bows, back and saddle.
    The females should be dark, rich and even in color. Hens color should also be lustrous, bright, alive and not a flat, dead color which shows as brown or chocolate color.
    Birds of even color are especially desired as breeding stock. The females that are to be used in the mating should not show too much black in the hackles and wing. In fact, hens that are free from black ticking in the hackle and wings in which the black markings are faint are preferred as the males with dark black markings in the wing will give about the right amount of ticking in the pullets hackles. If the black is dark in both males and females then there is a tendency to produce black lacing in the hackles of the male offspring.

    Information below from varies R.I. Red sites and Books
    The Rhode Island Red’s origin can be dated back to the middle 1840’s and one of the oldest breed of chicken to be developed in America.
    The States of Rhode Island and Massachusetts should get the most credit for the development of the
    Rhode Island Red breed. Poultry farmers in the area wanted a breed of hen that would produce a good amount of eggs a year and still dress out nice as a meat breed.
    Breeds that make up the R.I. Red are the Chittagong (Light Brahma Brahmas), Red Shanghai (Cochin), Black Breasted Malay and the Red Malay.
    Historians believe that a man by the name Captain Richard Wheatland that lived in Rhode Island around 1846 is the person responsible for the rich red color of the Rhode Island Red we see today.
    The early Rhode Island Red sported three types of combs, two of which we still have today.
    The first is the Pea comb that may owe its pea comb to the Chittagong, second the Single comb that got it’s comb from the Cochin and the third is the Rose comb that received it’s combed from the Shanghai.

    In 1954 the governor of Rhode Island signed into law that the Rhode Island Red chicken would be the state bird of Rhode Island.

    Information below from The Rhode Island Chronicles.
    The Rhode Island Red color pattern is a modified Columbian color pattern that may have came from the Brahma blood that was used in the making of this breed.
    The first modification to the Columbian color pattern in the development of the Rhode Island Red was to replace the white with red. Note that in the American Standard of Perfection, it says any bird with a entirely white feather showing in the surface is a disqualification. The second modification was to remove the black pigmentation from all but the wing and tail in the male; and the same for the female with some black ticking remaining at the base of her hackles almost like a necklace. At the end what we have is a Rhode Island Red that has become entirely a rich red with black pigmentation left only in the tail and on one side of the wing feathers and some black ticking remaining at the base of the hens hackles.


    Surface Color
    To begin with the plumage must be dark; most everybody knows that but here is where the trouble lurks. The dark dirty, musty chocolate color, is not red, neither is the
    dark dead appearing color red, but the kind of red we want is the bright but rich, deep looking, with plenty of strength and of the lasting kind. Both in female and male this is
    true as the female is just as important as the male in the breeding yard. The color must be uniform, must be even with no light straw hackles; with no two or three shades on the surface of the male; he must have the solid black tail that sets him off. We must work up on the wing question, get the black, but get it in the right place. Never breed from a bird that
    shows the slightest touch of peppering in the wing bows as that is a very bad feature. A bird with this defect will throw at least ninety per cent of the chicks full of black.

    Under Color
    Last of all but most important—under color. It must be red as the day of smut has passed. Many breeders think smut helps to get the rich surface color but they are sadly
    mistaken. Smut will help you to get a dirty dark surface color, but not the clean rich shade that we are after. A smutty feather here and there will not do very much harm
    but if a bird shows smut so strong that you cannot look at the undercolor without seeing it, discard such a bird at once. Mr. Breeder, smut will not help but it will do harm, so
    cut the bird heavily that has it, no matter how good he may be otherwise. It is worse in a male than in the female. White of course is out of the question, as a bird that
    shows white, no matter how perfect he may be otherwise is simply a cull. This we think most every breeder knows. Through all this color madness, however, do not let your
    birds run down small but keep up the size because color and size make the Rhode Island Red and no matter if you should have all the other qualifications combined you would have
    nothing if these two are left out. We have followed the above laws as closely as possible over sixteen long years and the record that our birds have made in the show room
    is well known to every Rhode Island Red breeder in the country.

    DR. N. B. ALDRICH [​IMG]1911
    ( Editor's Note:—After exhaustive research and study for authentic information regarding the history of the origin of R.
    I. Beds, we have decided the following article written in 1903 for the club book, "Red Hen Tales" by the late Dr. N. B. Aldrich,
    Fall River, Mass., one of the most prominent Rhode Island Red breeders in America, is the most interesting and authentic ac account of the early history of the breed.—Ed. )
    I am not one of those who is willing to say, "Never mind the origin of the 'Reds' or any other worthy variety of fowls." I have been breeding poultry for twenty odd years, and I am always interested in the origin of every breed. Go back in history with me fifty years, and we find that, at that time, 1846-1850, different Asiatic breeds were introduced into this country, especially in the neighborhoods
    that were near the coast. One variety, the Shanghai fowl (yellow and white) was introduced, just after the Cochin China, and the two breeds for a time became confused, and "many farmers and poulterers declare, spite of feathers or no feathers (on their legs) that their fowls are Cochin Chinas or Shanghais, just as they please." At this time, Bennett, in his poultry book, says: "There are but few, if any, bona fide Shanghai fowls now for sale." These Shanghai fowls (Simon pure) were heavily feathered on the legs. Not so with the Cochin China. At this time the Cochin Chinas were bred extensively in Southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Dr. Alfred Baylies, of Taunton, Mass., imported in July, 1846, specimens of the yellow Cochin Chinas. "The cockerels were generally red."
    These were not specimens of what were called the Royal Cochin Chinas, as bred by the Queen of England, but direct importations. "The Royal Cochin Chinas were one-third larger." The Shanghais were heavily feathered in the legs; these imported Cochin Chinas lightly feathered, if at all. The ship Huntress, in May 1847, direct from Cochin China brought a pair of this variety of fowl, and Mr. Taylor, in speaking of them, says: The imported cock was a peculiar red and yellowish Dominique, and the hen a bay or reddish brown;" that the young stock varied "only in shade of color."
    Bennett says, "The|*,legs of both sexes are of reddish yellow, sometimes, especially in the cocks, decidedly red more so than in any other variety."
    How many times I have called attention to the red pigment in a R. I. Red cock's legs. So much, then, for the Red Cochin China cock of fifty years ago. The sea captains brought home just such specimens
    to Little Compton, R. I., but a little later came the great Malay fowl, with its knotty knob of a comb a comb that even today occasionally is to be seen on the R. I. Reds.
    The Jersey Blues Bucks County and Boodies—were inferior varieties of Malays. These Malays were spoken of as "serpent headed." Their color was dark brown or reddish, streaked with
    yellow; some varieties of Ma'ays'ran more red than others. In Little Compton was introduced what was spoken of as the Red Malay. The Red Cochin China cocks and the Red Malay cocks
    were selected, and crossed with the flocks"of fowls in Little Compton, forty and fifty years ago, the same as today. Later, before the Wyandotte fever, the R. C. Brown Leghorn was introduced into many flocks in this neighborhood. Even at the time of the introduction of the Leghorn blood, the Red fowls were spoken of as R. I. Reds. In a certain section where the Leghorn blood was not used, today
    old settlers speak of their fowls as Red Malays; in this section ten years ago, the Reds were all single combs, where as, ten or twelve miles further south were to be found rose combs in abundance.


    The Red Malay Fowl
    The Red Malay as it was called by many was also known as the Malay or Wild Indian fowl. It could not be said that this was a variety of, or that it was in any way related to, the breed now recognized as Black Breasted Red Malay Games. Recently Dr. P. T. Woods saw and photographed a specimen of this variety (the Red Malay) in the museum of the Peabody Academy of Science, East India Marine Hall, Salem, Mass. This specimen was brought alive to this country from Malay about the year 1846 by Captain Richard Wheatland. The illustration made from photos of this specimen proves that the Red Malay, or Wild Indian fowl, did exist and also that it was a distinct breed which could not possibly be confused with any other. This specimen had a short strong neck, a rather long slender body with a round full breast, a medium sized, well furnished tail, rather long thighs and shanks, a short round head with a cruel expression and a small pea comb. In color it was a rich red including solid red tail and wings, excepting the first two primary feathers on one wing which were part white. Under-color was slate and in some sections almost black. This Red Malay, in all probability, was also known as
    the Buff Malay and was the breed that was largely responsible for fixing the color in Rhode Island Reds. It is generally conceded, however, that each one of the above five named breeds was a factor in mating the Reds. Evidence of this is found in many instances and includes the fact that time after time the three styles of combs have been found in flocks that have been kept for egg production or as
    market fowl, the single comb showing its ancestry principally in the Cochin China, the rose comb in the Black Breasted Red Malay and the pea comb in the Chittagong and Wild Indian. Strong evidence of the use of Malay blood is also indicated in the wheaten color found in many Rhode Island Red females, even down to the present time. For a long time, evidence of the Cochin China was found in Rhode
    Island Red females having pronounced cushions and loose Cochin feathering.



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