Rhode Island Red or Production Red?


9 Years
Aug 30, 2013
These are my pullet and rooster about 12 weeks old. Not sure if they are RIR or production Red? The pullet seems to be dark/mahogny enough to be a RIR and is a similar colour to RIR on post #27 here but no where near as dark enough as post #12 here. So is my Roo and pullet RIR or production Red?

If they are production red, then what exactly is the distinguishing line in colour, because that is the only real difference (and Productions maybe a bit smaller)?

To be a Rhode Island Red, or to BE any breed for that matter, the bird must be bred to the Standard written for it.

The color alone never makes any bird the breed it is said to be. The type must be right. Type is the body shape, but feathering, leg color, comb shape and color, tail formation and much more must reflect what is proper for the breed.

I would say that these birds could be called either production reds or hatchery grade reds. They look young. Give them some more time to finish. It is virtually impossible to get birds that properly reflect the breed except from preservationists or breeders dedicated to producing true bred examples of the breed.

Feed stores and hatcheries simply do not sell true bred birds. Hope that helps.
Thanks again. That does actually make a lot of things clearer for me.

So would you say for any breed, when a particular strain gets so far away from the standard, it can (and perhaps should) be classified as a separate breed? In this case from RIR to production Reds.

I would have thought it would just be simpler to call them RIR but very far from the set standard, instead of coming up with an entirely new name as if it is an entirely new breed (unless the differences are so vast that it would be silly to call them the same breed, but in this case a lot of people still have trouble distinguishing between RIR and PR, so I really do not see the need for having "Production Reds".)

(noob trying to have his 2 pence worth
It is likely that 95% of the chickens in the world aren't any breed. They're just chickens. Even though they get sold with a marketing name, like production red, easter egger, cinnamon queen, etc, there are no breeds by those names.

There are 8 billion meat birds being grown daily and they aren't any breed, just a meat hybrid mix. 98% of the world's eggs are produced by 9 or 10 billion commercial egg laying hens that are also not any breed, just specialized mixed layers.

The hatcheries and the feed stores sell birds that kind of, sort of, mimic or look similar to the breeds. But, upon closer inspection, you get what you pay for. Body shape is way off, coloration is off, leg coloring is sometimes wrong, combs aren't right, tails are whacked out, they aren't big enough or weigh enough and on and on.

The hatchery birds are generally healthy, cheap, and easily available. That's the up side and that's about all most folks even care about. But almost none of them meet even minimal standards for the breeds they are said to represent.
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