In the Brooder
Mar 15, 2018
My family is thinking about getting some Rhode Island reds for eggs. I’ve got a couple basic questions:

1) I know some breeds differ from others in their foraging behaviors. Do the reds eat the garden, or are they pretty garden friendly. Would I need to protect my garden or just let them roam through it? I remember reading about a breed that is good with the garden...have y’all heard of that or is that crazy...a chicken is a chicken?

2) I’ve got about a 12’x17’ area of my yard (200 sq ft) that is fenced off to serve as a run and I’ll have a coop in there that I can enclose at night for predators. How many hens could that house happily if I kept them in there at all times and didn’t free range into the yard?

3) Do they lay all year or is there times of the year they stop producing?

I really appreciate all your help and this forum’s wealth of info! Thank you!!!
My Rhode Island Reds did eat my garden. I would protect your garden if I were you.

I've read you need 4sqft per chicken, but I could be wrong. You can never have too much space, because eventually you'll want to get new pullets when your current ones' production starts dropping as they age.

In my personal experience, after the first freeze of winter my RIRs' egg production dropped. They still laid eggs, but not as often as they do during spring. :)
They will probably reduce in egg production in fall/or middle or early winterwhen they molt and start back again come end of winter or spring
i just rescued an older rhode island red hen, because she wasn't laying anymore.. well, i was surprised that she gives me maybe 2 eggs a week, so i am wondering, how old would be a good estimate of her?

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