Rhode Island Red Chicken Breed Information and Photos

Gold Post Medal for All Time! 858 Posts
February 4, 2014

Rhode Island Red: America's Classic Backyard ChickenThe Rhode Island Red is one of the most popular breeds among backyard hobbyists. Although they can also be raised and eaten for meat, these rust-feathered fowl have earned their popularity mostly due to their prolific egg laying ability, calm temperament, and their ability to adapt to nearly any environment.


Rhode Island Red Quick Facts

  • Use: meat and eggs

  • Body shape: rectangular and rather long

  • Feathers: Adults are rust to deep maroon in color (feathers fade with sun exposure), with a blackish to dark green sheen on their tail feathers; chicks are light red to tan.

  • Eyes: red-orange

  • Beak: reddish-brown

  • Feet: yellow

  • Weight: Medium to heavy. Roosters average 8.5 pounds (3.9 kg), Hens slightly less at 6.5 pounds (2.9 kg), cockerels (young males) 7.5 pounds (3.4 kg), and pullets (young females) 5.5 pounds (2.5 kg).

  • Eggs per week: 5 to 6

  • Egg color: brown

  • Egg size: large

  • Hardiness: considered generally hardy

  • Broodiness: infrequent

  • Confinement tolerance: Tolerates confinement well.

  • Temperament: Calm and curious; roosters may be aggressive
    American Poultry Association (APA) classifications: American Class, Single Comb Clean Legged

A Bird of New England Origins

Rhode Island Reds were developed in Rhode Island and Massachusetts in the 1830s by poultry farmers looking for a meaty bird that also had excellent egg-laying abilities. One of the foundation sires of the breed was a black-breasted red Malay cock imported from England. (This cock is actually still kept on display at the Smithsonian Museum). It is from its Malay heritage that Rhode Island Reds get their deep color, hardy constitution, and relatively hard feathers. The breed was first admitted to the APA in 1904, and was held in such high esteem that it garnered the unusual honor of being named Rhode Islands state bird in 1954, the only breed in the APA Standard of Perfection to receive such an award.


Rhode Island Reds, along with the Sussex breed, have been used to develop many modern hybrid breeds due to their prolific egg-laying ability. Exported to countries around the world, the Rhode Island Red is one of the most widely distributed breeds of chicken on the planet.

Characteristics and Temperament

The Rhode Island Red is a wonderful dual-purpose breed for the small flock owner. The hens are prolific egg layers, and although they are not considered meat specialists, their size and confirmation do make for good eating. Not only are they good free-range foragers, but they also tolerate confinement and have the ability to adapt to a less-than-ideal diet while continuing to produce eggs. The hens are reported to be calm and loving, although they are likely to be the more chatty and dominant chickens in your coop. Those that go broody, which seldom happens among the well-developed egg-laying strains, act as caring mothers to their chicks. Many of the Rhode Island Red males (not all) may be quite aggressive at times. Overall, Reds are hardy to extreme temperatures and considered a healthy, long-lived breed.


Egg Production: The Rhode Island Red is noted for their large brown eggs. They have earned their reputation as one of the best egg-layers of the dual-purpose breeds by laying in the range of 250 to 275 eggs or more per year an average of 5 to 6 eggs per week depending on the quality of their care. When allowed to range freely, eggs produced the first year may be too large to fit standard or medium egg cartons. The hens seldom show broodiness, especially in the strains heavily developed to egg production.

No matter which breed of chicken you choose for your backyard flock, each will have its own unique characteristics. If youre looking for a reliable all-around bird, one that marries outstanding egg production with a meaty frame, then the Rhode Island Red definitely deserves a spot near the top of your list.

Comment Pin it! Was this helpful? 3
Read More Comments


Share on ThriftyFunCheck out these photos. Click at right to share your own photo in this page.

Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 163 Posts
April 12, 2010

Whitey and Lucky are 3 days old in this picture. They are Rhode Island Red Mix. Imagine the surprise of going to feed the chickens on January 2, 2010 when my grandson yells "babies."

Two chicks.

Comment Pin it! Like this photo? 7
Pets Birds ChickensJune 26, 2013
Thanksgiving Ideas!
Halloween Ideas!
Ask a Question
Share a Post
Better LivingBudget & FinanceBusiness and LegalComputersConsumer AdviceCoronavirusCraftsEducationEntertainmentFood and RecipesHealth & BeautyHolidays and PartiesHome and GardenMake Your OwnOrganizingParentingPetsPhotosTravel and RecreationWeddings
Published by ThriftyFun.
Desktop Page | View Mobile
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact Us
Generated 2022-10-17 18:53:21 in 3 secs. ⛅️️
© 1997-2022 by Cumuli, Inc. All Rights Reserved.