Poultrymad Rhode Island Red

The Rhode Island Red is recorded as originating on Rhode Island, Massachusetts, USA around 1895. This breed was developed from a wide variety of other breeds including Black Red Malay, Buff Cochin, Langshan, Hamburgh and rose combed Leghorns.

Rhode Island Red cock ©John Kay and Son

This is another of the breeds developed to satisfy the demands for eggs and meat for the rapidly increasing population of the USA in the late 19th century.

Also around this time the Gold Wyandotte breed was developed in Wisconsin, USA, using a similar cross breeding to that of the Rhode Island birds, for the same commercial reasons.

Around the end of the 19th century, a group of R.I.R breeders formed a club and by 1901 a standard of perfection was devised and in 1904 the Rhode Island Red was accepted by the American Standards organisation originally in the rosecomb variety to be followed by the single comb later.

The breed arrived in the UK in 1903 and by 1906 interest in the breed had increased so much that the magazine 'Feathered World' featured the breed with photo's of the first imports. The further rise in the popularity of the breed over the next 3 years resulted in the formation of the UK R.I.R. Club.

The Rhode Island Red Hen became Rhode Island, Massachusett, USA's official state bird on May 3, 1954. A picture of a Rhode Island Red was presented to Governor Roberts. ( painted in the 1920's by Arthur O. Schilling, the United States leading poultry artist ). Governor Roberts stated that The Rhode Island Red, had become a symbol of Rhode Islanders all over the world.

The Rhode Island Red is a good choice for the small flock owner. Relatively hardy, they are probably the best egg layers of the dual purpose breeds. Reds handle marginal diets and poor housing conditions better than other breeds and still continue to produce eggs. A good dual purpose medium heavy fowl which is used more for egg production than meat production because of its dark colored pin feathers and its good rate of lay.

Rhode Island Red Varieties:

  • Single Comb
  • Rose Comb

Standard Weights

  •  Cock 3.90 Kgs (8lbs-8ozs)
  •  Hen 2.96 Kgs (6lbs-8ozs)
  •  Cockerel 3.42 Kgs (7lbs-8ozs)
  •  Pullet 2.5 Kgs (5lbs-8ozs)
For further detailed information on this breed and its care, consider buying from our books section.
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