Keeping Pet Chickens

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A Guide To Keeping Chickens At Home

Rhode Island Red Chickens

August 17th, 2010 at 22:28

Rhode Island Red Chickens, Great Egg Layers?

Rhode Island Red Chickens, Appearance & Background.

Rhode Island Red Chicken

Rhode Island Red Chickens or simply Rhode Island Chickens as they are known in their native U.S.A. have rust coloured feathers, but in some countries there is a white variety. In the red strain the comb can either be the more commonly seen single or it can be a rose comb. The rose comb is considered more correct in the white strain.

Their eyes are red-orange and they have yellow feet, with reddish-brown beaks. The hens weigh on average about 3kg and the cocks around 3.5kg.

The bird originates from (you guessed it) Rhode Island and was developed by farmers as an excellent egg layer in the early part of the twentieth century. The original sire of the breed was a black breasted red Malay cock from the UK.

Caring For Your Rhode Island Red Chickens

Rhode Island Reds are on the whole a friendly bird to familiar people and do make excellent pet chickens when raised from young chicks. However the cocks can become aggressive towards strangers and it’s even been known for the hens to get flighty when being chased or annoyed. They also may act aggresively toward other chicken breeds if the space isn’t adequate..

But if you show them love and attention they will return that affection and quietly follow you around the garden.

Keep the coop temperature above freezing to prevent frostbite in their combs, but on the whole they are a very hardy breed and are resistant to a lot of fowl illnesses.

Eggs And Brooding.

Poultry Show standards have trended to Rhode Island Red Chickens becoming a darker colour and this selection of strains towards colour and form has in most cases drastically eroded the previously excellent egg laying qualities.

In the good old days Rhode Islands produced between 250 – 300 eggs per year, but a lot of strains these days only manage a paltry 100 – 200. Therfore when selecting your birds ensure the breeder can estimate a good number of eggs per year.

Otherwise consider getting hybrid birds which are commonly sired by Rhode Island Reds as the egg producing qualities are passed down through the male side. Common hybrids are with White leghorns, White Wyandotte and Light Sussex hens.

The eggs are light to dark brown and are usually above ‘medium size’ especially when they are allowed to ‘free range’.

Rhodies do become broody but not as much as more heavily feathered breeds.

Feeding Rhode Island Chickens

The best feed to give Rhode Island Red chickens of egg laying age is called layer complete or layer mash. The well balanced meal has just the optimum balance of vitamins and minerals for good egg production in starter pullets and is suitable for cockerel growth as well.

Also if you can let them forage around your garden or backyard as they love all bugs and greens, this will also help you save a bit on commercial feed.

Health & Lifespan

Rhode Island Chickens are generally a healthy and hardy bird. But of course you have a large part to play in looking after your pet chickens. Regularly checking for mites and lice and other common ailments. Keeping their coops and feeding implements clean and tidy.

You can then expect your girls to live a happy life of 5 – 8 years. Although you may be lucky and get upto 10 years from a content and healthy old girl.

All Said And Done A Rhode Island Red Chicken Or Hybrid Of RIR’s Are Great Chooks To Own & Will Provide You With Many A Fresh Breakfast…

Here’s a flock of 6 Rhode Island Red Chickens, Doing There Thing…

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Buff Orpington Chickens
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Maran Chickens
Poland Chickens
Sussex Chickens
Welsummer Chickens

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14 Responses to “Rhode Island Red Chickens”

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