Rhode Island Reds are incredibly versatile, hardy and even historically important! But, are they for you? Here are some of the reasons why we love the Rhode Island Reds (and whites!) and why you should love them too.
Rhode Island Reds lay many, many large brown eggs! In fact they made the list of our best egg layers because they can produce practically an egg a day!
Their egg laying capabilities are legendary, making Reds a breed that’s hard to beat. They usually start early too, starting when they’re around 18-20 weeks old, although some start as young as 16 weeks old. They don’t go broody often so they’ll usually make a better egg layer than a mother.
If you want an egg laying machine, a Rhode Island Red is definitely a breed to consider.
Cold Hardy Chickens
Rhode Island Reds are incredibly winter hardy. And they are very hardy in general, making it perfect for almost any type of weather. In fact they’re so resilient they’re amazing for beginners that aren’t sure which breed they should get for their climate.
They’re large, making them harder to fall victim to flying predators and are highly adaptable, bearing confinement well.
Gorgeous and Unique Feathers
The Rhode Island Reds have an amazing and iconic appearance. Their striking red feathers contrast with their yellow, unfeathered feet. And, since they’re big, they tend to stand out from your flock.
Their feathers are usually single comb on a yellow skin. These chickens have been accepted in the American Poultry Association for over a hundred years, making them a standard American breed. But this status isn’t the only thing that makes them a classic American chicken.
An American Chicken Pet
Rhode Island Reds’ history go all the way back to the mid 1800s, when captain William Trip brought a Malay rooster to his own flock in Rhode Island and mated him with his other chickens. He noted that their offspring seemed to lay eggs more often.
With the help of his friend John Macomber he started mixing different breeds, reportedly Leghorns and Red Malay Game although some other accounts also report breeds like Plymouth Rock and some Asian varieties.
Regardless of the breeds, the result was a breed that laid large eggs constantly. But that wasn’t the only thing people looked for when breeding Rhode Island Reds. As their name implies, their color was highly important, leading to competitions during the mid 1900s based exclusively on the shades of red.
Their historical importance, their striking appearance and the public’s adoration made the Rhode Island state to adopt the Rhode Island Red as their official bird.
A Chicken That’ll Win Your Heart
Rhode Island Reds are quite docile and friendly! They’re great companions that enjoy being around you. You can usually trust your kids around them, as long as you supervise them of course. The roosters can be more aggressive, as usual, but that’s great if you want a flock guardian.
They’re not only friendly but they’re very talkative. These birds will love to explore and forage, so even if you’re planning to keep them in confinement you might want to make sure they can go about and explore your garden every now and then
Rhode Island Reds are easy-going, resilient and egg-laying machines. They adapt to almost anything and they may even become your favorite breed. Get some here!
Do you have RIRs? What has been your experience?