An American icon in the chicken breeders world, the Rhode Island Red

Rhode Island Reds are one of the most popular and best known breeds of standard chickens because they are such a versatile breed.  Originally they were bred for laying and for meat but since the 1940’s breeders have been focusing on the egg laying traits.




The red and black feathers and the red comb mark the iconic symbol of American farming, the Rhode Island Red.   The breed originally came out of Massachusetts and Rhode Island in the 1880’s as a productive and well tempered brown egg laying bird. 

It is considered the best layer of all of the dual purpose breeds and can lay two to three hundred eggs per year.   The bird has Malay, Shanghai, Java, and Brown Leghorn blood in it.

There are two main types, the single comb variety and the rose combed variety.

The original breeders wanted a bird that was a good layer and also make a good meat bird but since the mid 1940’s breeders have focused on egg production and the bird has become smaller, less broody, and lighter colored.  The old strains can still be found and are larger, more broody, and darker red.



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