RIR vs sex link vs production red?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by hensonly, May 28, 2008.

  1. hensonly

    hensonly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 15, 2008
    upstate NY
    HI,

    I'm confused a bit. I ordered RIR pullets from the feed store. From the start, one was a dark red while the rest were yellow-tan with red markings on the backs of the wings, except one who had a tan stripe down her back. As they started to feather out, the dark red one stayed dark red, but acquired lovely bars on the ends of her wing feathers. The rest of the flock became cream colored, or tan, or cream with red, or tan with red, or just red. Since I expected RIR chicks to turn red, I posted to the "What breed or gender" topic to ask why my RIRs were not R. I was told that the dark one with barred wings was probably a "production red", and that the rest were probably sex-links. I did some research and read that this is done to keep the production levels high.

    My question is, why would birds be sold as RIR, actually be mixed breeds? And how do I know what I'm getting the next time I order? And what is a production red - how is it different from a plain RIR?

    Mind you, I just want eggs, so I don't really care what color the hens are. They are lovely, by the way, and it's nice that I might be able to tell them apart!

    Thanks for any education you can give me!
     
  2. bangor777

    bangor777 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm no expert, but I do have two production red roosters (packing peanuts) so I was interested in what they were. They are evidently a mix of RIR and new hampshire red (please someone correct me if i'm wrong) bred to maximize egg production. The hens are reputed to be great layers, the roosters are often used as reptile food or packing peanuts. I still think if you buy a chicken they should tell you exactly what you are getting. I'd be interested in other's feedback because I'm new at all this. Hope that helps, I'll check back and see what others have to say!
     
  3. ruby

    ruby Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I guess my first question is where did you get your biddies from? I have had all three, RIR, production red, and New Hampshire. All my true RIR are a dark red, what they call in the books "brick red" and it is a real red, some variations of course. I would have to look it up, but the info is out there how they mix the breeds. Production Red is a Leghorn, and RIR. I don't remember if those girls were victims of varmets or early deaths like my New Hampshires. This last spring I decided to go back to the RIR. I got two girls that are now nine years old. I'm sure they don't lay eggs, but they deserve a retirement.[​IMG]
     
  4. bangor777

    bangor777 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    here is the info re: production reds on Ideal's website.

    Production Reds are a brown egg layer that was developed for efficient production of large brown eggs. Crosses utilizing Rhode Island Reds and New Hampshire Reds were used in the development of this breed, which is Ideal's most efficient producer of large brown eggs. Since they have brittle feathers and because their body size is relatively small for the size eggs that they produce, they are more susceptible to cannibalism and are not recommended for high-density wire laying facilities.


    Hope that helps!
     
  5. hensonly

    hensonly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    upstate NY
    Quote:Yep, I had found info on sex links, but didn't know just what the production red was. Thanks for your input.

    I don't care that my birds apparently aren't true RIRs, in the sense that I never thought I was getting show or breeding quality birds from the feed store! I wanted eggs, and hopefully eggs I will get with these girls. But, like you, I was taken aback that when I ordered RIRs, I got mixed breeds and nothing was said.

    I have spent years involved in the world of dog training and showing, and I have had several mixed breeds that I loved dearly - but by golly if I contract with a breeder for a purebred, I'd be darned cranky if I ended up with a mutt!

    That being said, my birds are very pretty, and I like the variety better than having them all one color - this way I can tell them apart! And their personalities are as varied as their feathers. They're fun!
     
  6. seriousbill

    seriousbill Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 4, 2008
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    I'm sorry to say that you're far from the first person who's ordered from a hatchery (hatchery via feedstore) and gotten birds that were mixed to one degree or another. It's not typical, but it is relatively common, if that makes sense. Some are better than others. It might pay to ask which hatchery your feedstore orders from. Maybe order the birds direct from a different hatchery or get some eggs or birds from a breeder next time? Only if you want pure stock, of course. Sounds like you got some good layers.
     

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