Rhode Island Reds or mix? Quality birds?

Discussion in 'What Breed Or Gender is This?' started by redislandreds, Oct 3, 2016.

  1. Hi Backyardchickens.Com!

    Long time lurker first time poster! I've acquired 8 hens from a farmer down the road from me after building a coop and searching the local classified for some hens.

    The farmer was a very nice man but definitely kept them as a side project to his dairy cow herd, they were kept in small dark dirty hutches with no option to graze outside.

    They are very happy to be at my house now where they have an enclosed pen inside our horse barn, which they have free range of during the day while the horses are outside, and we've also enclosed around the front door of the barn with snow fence so they can graze some grass if they choose (still a bit too nervous to travel away from the coop though!)

    The farmer said they are Rhode Island Reds however in my research of the breed standard I am not sure if they are purebred RIRS. I've been looking at Red Sex Linked breeds and they look more similar to the flock I have.

    I'm also a bit concearned about the health of a few of the hens feathers. Their necks are pretty bare - is this due to poor nutrition/living conditions, or is it normal appearance for molting season?

    Any insight on the breed and condition of my hens would be greatly appreciated! I'm excited to have my own birds now so I can contribute more frequently to this community :)

  2. ambe0487

    ambe0487 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 6, 2015
    Urbandale, IA
    It would be helpful if you post a few photos of your ladies so we can see what they are for sure.
  3. Oops! My first post was from mobile and it seems the photos didn't attach. Let me try this again.... :)




  4. Cel45

    Cel45 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 28, 2015
    Houston, Tx
    Not RIRs. Look like red sex links to me. As for the feather condotion I will let the experts speak to that. I have one of my Production Reds that has had missing feathers on the neck and breast for months and I have been wondering the same thing.
  5. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    All Red Sex Links. Personally I say you did good - they're better layers than typical Production Reds and don't have the aggressive personality those birds can.

    As for feather condition, I'd say it's a combination of molting and picking. With any luck, a new environment with plenty of space should solve the picking issue. Given their current condition, I'd recommend feeding them a flock raiser or grower ration (18-20% protein, ~1% calcium) until they are completely done with molt.
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2016
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon

    Agree they're red sex links, and you'll be very happy with them.

    How old are they? If they're around the 18 month mark, I'm thinking molting. That's what most of it looks like to me, but that more bare necked hen could be pecking.

    I agree with Misha on feed. You don't say what you're feeding, but layer is a lower protein feed. Go with starter (unmedicated), grower or an all-flock. Give them a little boost until they've regrown feathers.

    They don't look bad, really.
  7. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    red sex links, almost thought the pecked one was a turken.
  8. Thanks for your responses everyone :) I have been feeding "layers mash" as my local feed store calls it, but I will switch them over to a growth mix to help their moulting along. The farmer I got them from gets rid of his hens once they reach 2 years old due to the slowdown in laying during molting... his lack of patience is my gain of some friendly, easy-keeping beginner birds. :)

    As for the hen that has her neck pecked to bits, she just arrived this morning and I had her out for a walk around the barn once she settled in for a few hours - sadly I've discovered she hops around with a horrible limp. :( I've taken video and it appears she has her back "toe" fractured or broken on her left foot. She hobbles around quite painfully and would like to stay cooped up in the corner... perhaps this is the reason she has been picked on? Has anyone had experience with a broken toe before?!
  9. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    I'd recommend posting a full account and photos of the issue in the emergencies/diseases/injuries forum. And yes, birds who are sick or injured are often picked on more. Broken toes don't usually cause much strife, and will generally heal on their own; have you checked the area for swelling, infection, or bumblefoot?
  10. I've been doing some research and further examination of this hen - which we've called Limp Biscuit for the time being, lol - and we do believe it is bumblefoot! Her left foot has a dime-sized black/brown growth on it and she has all the symptoms of a bumblefoot'd chicken. I'm glad that you mentioned this possibly being the cause, because I was sure it was a bone/tendon/ligament of some sort, but now I am able to see why she is rotating that left leg so much, and it is to avoid stepping on the painful inspection. We have her separated for the evening and I have been looking up treatment options for the infection on this site. Thanks again for your guidance QueenMisha. :)

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