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The Imported English Rhodebar Thread

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by cherylcohen, Oct 7, 2011.

  1. cherylcohen

    cherylcohen The Omelet Ranch

    Sep 18, 2009
    SF East Bay CA
    I'll be breeding Rhodebars in 2012, eggs in the incubator now!!!

    Some info about them from the Greenfire farms website....

    Rhodebars are the uniquely wonderful offspring of a shotgun marriage between the Yanks and the Brits. In 1947, British geneticists crossed Rhode Island reds (the quintessential America barnyard chicken) with golden brussbars (a rare British breed) to create an auto-sexing chicken breed with striking red barring and the ability to annually lay hundreds of extra large eggs. (To learn more about auto-sexing chickens please read about Greenfire Farms’ cream legbars on this website.) Rhodebars enjoyed brief favor in Britain’s commercial poultry flocks until they were bypassed by more modern hybrids.

    Despite their unusual good looks and solid record of production, today rhodebars are virtually extinct. It is estimated that fewer than a hundred hens remain in Britain, and until now none were known to exist outside that country. The threat to this breed potentially creates the loss of a wonderful genetic treasure since a hen from a good strain of rhodebars will produce over two hundred very large tinted eggs a year. And, rhodebars are perhaps more effective at auto-sexing than any chicken breed in the world: Yellow chicks are males and chicks with ‘chipmunk’ stripes on their backs are females. The visual distinction between the two sexes is striking.

    Greenfire Farms was able to import some of the last remaining rhodebars, and we introduced into the breeding flock both production and traditional strains of American Rhode Island reds. These American birds injected some much-needed genetic diversity into the rhodebar line and produced birds that are extremely prolific egg layers. By back-breeding these crosses to pure rhodebars we were eventually able to produce a rhodebar bloodline with all the characteristics of pure rhodebars (including auto-sexing) and the productivity of a modern commercial chicken. Arguably, this makes our rhodebars the ultimate fowl for homesteaders and small-scale producers: a bird that is prolific as it is beautiful with the enormous added benefit of being auto-sexing. These traits are sure to quickly endear the rhodebar to America’s poultry enthusiasts.

    Males weigh in at around 8 lbs while females are 6 lbs.

    Here is a picture of the parent roo and a pic of the what the hens look like


    Last edited: Oct 7, 2011

  2. gootziecat

    gootziecat Songster

    Nov 27, 2007
    Hampshire Co, WV
    Keep us all posted on the development of these birds, Cheryl. There's nothing like hands-on experience.
  3. BBrock

    BBrock Chirping

    Jul 5, 2011
    cairo ga.
    Does these birds breed true
  4. cherylcohen

    cherylcohen The Omelet Ranch

    Sep 18, 2009
    SF East Bay CA
    Absolutely. The hens from this hatch will breed pure and then l will breed them back to a the pure rooster from the UK then everything that hatches from then on is pure and will breed true
  5. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

    Jun 1, 2009
    No disrespect to any one but there seem to be some differences of opinions on just what is the make up of the Rhodebar is.

    Here is what I found on the Rhodebar,

    The Rhodebar is an extremely rare breed, it was originally created from the Barred Plymouth Rock and the Rhode Island Red in the 1940's and belongs to the small group of breeds known as 'Autosexing Breeds'. It is a heavy breed which should have all the characteristics of the Rhode Island Red, it was created as a utility laying breed with dual purpose qualities; or perhaps more simply an autosexing version of the Rhode Island Red itself. The Poultry Club of Great Britain approved a Breed Standard for the Rhodebar in 1952, though it has never been popular as a show breed, and like the other Autosexing breeds is now rarely seen.

    Because of the importance of the Rhode Island Red as a utility breed, and the the interest in autosexing breeds during the 1940's, there were attempts to establish the Rhodebar, or 'Redbar' as it was also known, in several parts of the world. The University of British Columbia in Vancouver made the first cross between utility strains of Barred Plymouth Rock and Rhode Island Red and by 1947/8 had established the Rhodebar, but unfortunately 20% of the chicks could not be reliably sexed at day-old; ten years later there were still 2% of all chicks that could not be sexed at day old. At day old the male chicks are yellow and the females more golden with some brown markings down their backs and an eye-line.

    In Britain several independent breeders are known to have created the Rhodebar. In 1947 two breeders in Essex made a strain of 'Redbars' from a cross between the Brussbar and the Rhode Island Red; whilst in Sussex another breeder used the Barred Plymouth Rock and the Rhode Island Red to create his Rhodebars, and continued to breed them for almost 20 years. The intention was that the laying ability of the Rhodebar should be equal to that of the best Rhode Island Reds, and in some instances this was achieved; but of course so much was dependent on the abilities and qualities of the strain of Rhode Island Red used. Of the few Rodebars that still exist in Britain it is not known whether they are descended from the 'Essex' or 'Sussex' strain, or are indeed the result of another cross though due to the lack of interest in the breed the last is rather questionable.

    John is currently re-creating the Rhodebar utilising the Welbar and Utility Rhode Island Reds, to date the results are interesting, but a little disappointing! Whilst birds resembling the Rhodebar have been produced, the autosexing is very unreliable ... there is some doubt whether this breeding programme will be continued!

    In all respects other than colour and markings the Rhodebar should resemble a Rhode Island Red. The cock is a very handsome chap indeed giving the overall impression of being red and white barred on the body except for the tail which shows black and white barring, though in reality there is black and grey colouring included in the hackle and saddle hackle. The Rhodebar hen is very similar to a Rhode Island Red hen with slight, almost indiscernible, barring; and the overall effect is not dissimilar to some of the hybrid commercial layers of Rhode Island Red descent.

    The Poultry Club of Great Britain
    Breed Standard for the Rhodebar


    Carriage: Upright and graceful.

    Type: Body large, fairly deep, broad and long. Back broad, long and somewhat horizontal in outline. Breast broad, full and well rounded. Wings carried well up, the bows and tips covered by breast feathers and saddle hackle. Tail rather small, rising slightly from the saddle, the sickle of medium length, well spread and nicely curved, the coverts being sufficiently abundant to cover the stiff feathers.

    Head: Strong, but not thick. Beak moderately curved, short and stout. Eyes large and bright. Comb single, medium size, straight, upright, well set on, with well-defined serrations, and free from side sprigs. Face smooth. Ear-lobes of fine texture, well developed and pendant. Wattles to correspond with size of comb and moderately rounded.

    Neck: Of medium length and profusely covered with feathers flowing over the shoulders, but not too loosely carried.

    Legs and feet: Legs wide apart and of medium length, stout and strong and free from feathers. Thighs large with well rounded shanks of medium length. Toes four, strong, straight and well spread.

    Plumage: Of silky texture, free from coarse or excessive feather.

    Handling : Firm with abundance of muscle.

    The general characteristics are similar to those of the male, allowing for the natural sexual differences.

    Plumage, Male: Hackle deep red-gold barred, with centres black and grey-white barred, the black centre portions rather longer than the grey-white; the front of the cape showing less black, the feathers towards the tips of the cape lying on the back showing wider black and grey-white barring. Wing primaries, lower web red-gold, faintly barred, upper grey and white barred, slightly gold tinted; secondaries, the whole alternately black, white and gold barred, lower web showing more gold; flight coverts very bright red-gold and white barred, tips red-gold. Wing bows very brilliant chestnut red and gold barred. Tail, including sickles, uniform black and white barring from tip to base, including the shaft. Tips black. Saddle hackle deed red-gold and grey-white and narrower black barring towards the tips. Back and saddle deep red-gold barred, with occasional black bars towards the end of the feathers. Undercolour light creamy buff. Breast uniformly barred, deep red-gold and creamy white and black.

    Plumage, Female : Hackle deep buff red with bright chestnut edges, each feather with deep buff, gold, black and white narrow barring, the barring becoming narrower as it approaches the lower cape feathers. Tail feathers black with reddish tinge. Wing primaries, upper web red-buff, lower black; secondaries buff-red. Remainder, general surface dark buff-red barred with buff and buff-red, the tips of the feathers of the lighter colour. Undercolour creamy buff-red, as deep as possible. Quills yellow.

    In both sexes: Beak red-horn or yellow. Eyes orange or red, pupils clearly defined. Comb, face, ear lobes and wattles bright red. Legs and feet bright yellow.

    Standard Weights :
    Cock: 8½lb (minimum); Cockerel 8lb .
    Hen: 6½lb (minimum); Pullet 5½lb

    Type 30
    Colour 20
    Legs 10
    Condition 15
    Head 20
    Weight 5

    100 Points

    Serious Defects : Male's comb twisted or falling over. Ear-lobes other than red. Legs other than yellow, orange or light willow. Squirrel or wry tail. Side sprigs on the comb. Eye pupils other than round and clearly defined. Crooked breast or any bodily deformity.


    Basically the same thin said here also http://www.britannicrarebreeds.co.uk/breedinfo/chicken_rhodebar.php

  6. cherylcohen

    cherylcohen The Omelet Ranch

    Sep 18, 2009
    SF East Bay CA
    I've read the same articles. Let me get the original importer to weigh in on this...
  7. jeremy

    jeremy CA Royal Blues

    Mar 23, 2008
    Oakland, CA

  8. kathyinmo

    kathyinmo Nothing In Moderation

    So, they are not really a recognized breed, but more of a cross-bred, a hybrid? Sounds like they would be easy enough to make with our own American stock. I don't understand why one would even need to import them. [​IMG]
  9. Goose and Fig

    Goose and Fig Grateful Geese

    Apr 19, 2009
    Fall Creek Falls TN
    Ha - I have always said she looks like a Rhodebar:

    Except that she'll lay chocolate colored eggs.
  10. cherylcohen

    cherylcohen The Omelet Ranch

    Sep 18, 2009
    SF East Bay CA
    Quote:What a pretty little one, what is she?

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