The Rhode Island Red
The Rhode Island Red chicken breed is one that frequents as a top 10 best seller. They are excellent layers of large, brown eggs and the hens are generally friendly and curious. The roosters watch over their flock carefully, and therefore can sometimes become aggressive with some humans and animals other than poultry.
The Rhode Island Red originated in Little Compton, Rhode Island in the mid 1800’s, making it one of the oldest American-bred chicken breeds. It began in farmers’ homestead flocks, where a highly productive egg layer was needed, but whose excess roosters could still dress out as decent table birds. The Light Brown Leghorn genes gave the Rhode Island Red its laying ability, while the Shanghai gave it the meat characteristics. The Red Maylay and the Java are the breeds that gave the Rhode Island Red its hardiness, lightweight body weight, red color and hard feathering. The Rhode Island Red is therefore considered the original dual-purpose breed.
The single-combed Rhode Island Red was inducted into the Standard of Perfection in 1904. There is also a rose-combed Rhode Island Red, although it is no longer a common breed.
If you have never owned a Rhode Island Red, consider adding a few to your flock. You may be surprised at how many eggs this little gem of American homestead history can produce for you!
Related Posts You Might Like
Renee writes her first Meyer Hatchery Blog and talks about how she began with her backyard chickens. It’s not what you would expect!
The Delaware chicken breed has a rich history that begins in the early 1940’s in Ocean View, Delaware. Learn more about the Delaware here!
The desire to have as many female chicks as possible is so great that there are specific breeds of chickens that have been bred so that the flock owner or hatchery can determine the gender of day-old chicks more easily. Breeds that are either autosexing breeds or sex-linked hybrid breeds produce chicks that are slightly different colors between the genders at hatch.