My Mystery Hen


11 Years
Sep 23, 2008
Los Alamos, NM
I got this lady a couple years ago as part of a trio that I rescued from a family whose landlord suddenly changed their opinion of backyard chickens. They didn't know the breeds or ages of any of the hens but said they laid regularly. The other two were white leghorns who laid regular but loved to escape. Both WL have passed but this lady (who doesn't actually lay much) remains. I've never figured out her breed. Thought she was RIR but she doesn't match my current RIR at all.

Here's her between my black australorp and my rhode island red:

Any ideas?
She looks like a RIR while you're looks like a Production red. There are many different like side breeds of RIR to be more productive, but actual RIR are very dark, nearly mahogany, the ones they sell in stores are really Production Reds, which are a strain bred specifically for egg production.
Do they have black tail feathers? That was the only part that still had me wondering before I got my new Red.

(Figures what was labelled RIR was actually slightly off. Got her from a feed store I've since stopped trusting.)
Yours may be a New Hampshire Red because they have black tail feathers and red feathers (although there do seem to be darker and lighter New Hampshire Reds when you google them).
Here's a pic of my newer red that I got from the feed store. She's not quite a year old yet. It's a bit clearer than the group shot above...

I agree, your older bird looks to be a truer to standard RIR. They're supposed to be a mahogany color, not really red. Hatcheries don't breed for that quality, though, so many different shades are sold by hatcheries as RIR.
Ok, thanks. Looked up New Hampshire Red and did a little research based on your comments. Sounds like my rescue hen (the older) is a NH Red while my feed store hen (the younger) is a Production Red. Good to know.

Also going to start asking where feed stores are getting their chicks so I can get better breed info in the future.

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