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Rhode Island Red Chicken


The Rhode Island Red is an American breed of chicken. They were developed in the 18th - 19th century in Rhode Island and Massachusetts by cross breeding between between Oriental origin birds such as Malay with Italian origin birds such as Leghorn.

Origin

Origin of Rhode Island Red dates back to a fowl bred in Rhode Island in the mid 18th century, hence the name of the breed. The breed was developed by cross breeding between Red Malay Game, Leghorn and Asiatic stock.

There are usually two varieties of Rhode Island Red - single comb and rose comb. The early flocks often have both single and rose combed individuals due to the influence of Malay blood. Till today, there is still debate over whether single comb or rose comb is the original breed.

The Rhode Island Red was recognised by the APA in the year 1904 for the single comb type and again in 1906 for the rose comb type.

Characteristics

  • Bird's feathers are rust-coloured, however darker shades such as black or maroon are known.

  • They have red-orange eyes, reddish-brown beaks and yellow feet.

  • Chicks are usually light red to tan colour.

  • Roosters typically weigh around 8.7 pounds (3.9kg)

  • Hens typically weigh around 6.5 pounds (2.9kg)

  • Egg shell colour is brown.

  • They are able to handle poor diet and housing conditions and still continue to produce eggs.

  • Some male Red Rhode Island may be very aggressive.

  • Easy to handle.

Use

The Rhode Island Red were initially developed for dual purpose - to provide both meat and eggs. Since the 1940s, it has been selectively breed for laying eggs due to its superior egg-laying qualities. The modern industrial Rhode Island Red is a layer breed.

Back in the days, dual purpose Rhode Island Red are able to lay around 200 - 300 eggs per year and the meat is very rich in flavour.

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