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confused about RIR vs production reds

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by sunflowerpeeps, Feb 23, 2014.

  1. sunflowerpeeps

    sunflowerpeeps Hatching

    Feb 23, 2014
    Hello I am new here and new to raising chickens. I have done some research here plus some other sites online and read a little about production reds being a "fake" version of road island reds and tending to be more aggressive. I have 4 RIRs and yesterday they had pecked 2 of my buff's tails so bad they were bleeding. The buffs are separated now and healing but I noticed one of the RIRs pecking over and over at one of my ameraucanas too. That stopped and there was no blood. Anyway, I was wondering if hubby and I got the more aggressive production reds and didn't know any better? I read a thread here last night about RIRs being aggressive but I can't find that thread again otherwise I would have posted in there. Can anyone explain the difference between production reds and RIRs more to me and if they have had aggression issues with them?? Thank You [​IMG]

  2. sunflowerpeeps

    sunflowerpeeps Hatching

    Feb 23, 2014
    I forgot to add their age, they are a month and a half old, I got them at a month old and were doing fine until yesterday.
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    If you click on subscribe in blue down below and change that so it says subscribed, the “subscriptions” at the top right will indicate when you have a response. Click on the subscriptions and you can find your thread. You can set your profile up to receive these messages different ways and to automatically subscribe. I actually thought that was the default.

    There is no hard and fast description of what a production red is. It might be a cross between a Rhode Island Red and a New Hampshire. It might be based on the commercial egg laying hybrids, probably with some Rhode Island Red blood mixed in. It might be something else entirely. It’s just a marketing name that doesn’t mean much more than they will be some version of red and will probably lay really well. There is no poultry police going from hatchery to hatchery issuing fines and prison terms if someone uses the marketing term “production reds” inappropriately. There’s not even an agreed on definition.

    Rhode Island Reds (RIR) were developed a long time ago as a dual purpose bird but with emphasis on egg laying. There were no aggression issues associated with them then. If a rooster or a hen showed too much aggression, they were eaten. Problem solved, then and in future generations.

    With chickens unless you continuously reinforce a certain trait in the chickens you choose to allow to breed, the chickens lose that trait. For example, by removing the aggressive chickens before they were allowed to breed, excessive aggression was pretty much bred out of the flock.

    Hatcheries and most breeders are no longer keeping RIR’s in a small flock in somebodies back yard or on a small farm where they interact with the family. Aggression is no longer a trait considered when choosing which chickens to breed. Since it is not a criteria, it is certainly more possible that you can get aggressive chickens in any breed, not just RIR’s. It’s also possible you will get some that are not aggressive. It’s just luck more than anything.

    Before I get some people mad at me, there are some breeders of RIR’s and other breeds where behavior is a criteria. They don’t have aggressive chickens. It’s not a breed trait as much as it is a flock trait.

    With all that said, how much space do they have? Picking like that is often associated with them being too crowded. You can look in my signature down below and follow the link to get my opinions on space.

    What are you feeding them? It’s possible they are suffering from a protein deficiency. Feathers are mostly protein. If you are feeding them a feed with 15% to 16% protein (look at the tag on the feed bag for analysis), more is OK, that’s probably not the cause but some people have reported success by providing a higher protein snack, like a little cat food.

    Another possibility is just boredom. That can be related to space, but maybe provide them something to do, like hang a cabbage for them to peck at or give them some scratch to dig for. But I’d consider space before anything else.

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