Rhode Island Red
Overview
The Rhode Island Red is a breed of chicken
Chicken
The chicken is a domesticated fowl, a subspecies of the Red Junglefowl. As one of the most common and widespread domestic animals, and with a population of more than 24 billion in 2003, there are more chickens in the world than any other species of bird...

 (Gallus gallus domesticus). They are a utility bird
Bird
Birds are feathered, winged, bipedal, endothermic , egg-laying, vertebrate animals. Around 10,000 living species and 188 families makes them the most speciose class of tetrapod vertebrates. They inhabit ecosystems across the globe, from the Arctic to the Antarctic. Extant birds range in size from...

, raised for meat and eggs
Egg (food)
Eggs are laid by females of many different species, including birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish, and have probably been eaten by mankind for millennia. Bird and reptile eggs consist of a protective eggshell, albumen , and vitellus , contained within various thin membranes...

, and also as show birds. They are a popular choice for backyard flocks because of their egg laying abilities and hardiness. Non-industrial strains of the Rhode Island Red are listed as recovering by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy. Three vital variations appeared to have had the largest impact around the Rhode Island Red: Asiatics, Game, and Mediterranean.

The Rhode Island Red is the state bird of Rhode Island
Rhode Island
The state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, more commonly referred to as Rhode Island , is a state in the New England region of the United States. It is the smallest U.S. state by area...

.
The bird's feathers are rust-colored, but darker shades are known, including maroon bordering on black.
Encyclopedia
The Rhode Island Red is a breed of chicken
Chicken
The chicken is a domesticated fowl, a subspecies of the Red Junglefowl. As one of the most common and widespread domestic animals, and with a population of more than 24 billion in 2003, there are more chickens in the world than any other species of bird...

 (Gallus gallus domesticus). They are a utility bird
Bird
Birds are feathered, winged, bipedal, endothermic , egg-laying, vertebrate animals. Around 10,000 living species and 188 families makes them the most speciose class of tetrapod vertebrates. They inhabit ecosystems across the globe, from the Arctic to the Antarctic. Extant birds range in size from...

, raised for meat and eggs
Egg (food)
Eggs are laid by females of many different species, including birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish, and have probably been eaten by mankind for millennia. Bird and reptile eggs consist of a protective eggshell, albumen , and vitellus , contained within various thin membranes...

, and also as show birds. They are a popular choice for backyard flocks because of their egg laying abilities and hardiness. Non-industrial strains of the Rhode Island Red are listed as recovering by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy. Three vital variations appeared to have had the largest impact around the Rhode Island Red: Asiatics, Game, and Mediterranean.

The Rhode Island Red is the state bird of Rhode Island
Rhode Island
The state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, more commonly referred to as Rhode Island , is a state in the New England region of the United States. It is the smallest U.S. state by area...

.

Appearance

The bird's feathers are rust-colored, but darker shades are known, including maroon bordering on black. Their eyes are red-orange and they have yellow feet, with reddish-brown beaks. Chicks are a light red to tan color with two dark brown bars running down
their backs. The Roosters usually weigh in at 8.5 pounds (3.9 kg), the Hens slightly less at 6.5 pounds (2.9 kg), cockerel at 7.5 pounds (3.4 kg), and pullets at 5.5 pounds (2.5 kg).

History

Developed in Rhode Island & Massachusetts, early flocks often had both single and rose combed individuals because of the influence of Malay blood. It was from the Malay
Malay (chicken)
The Malay is a breed of chicken originating in Asia, most likely in northern Pakistan . These birds are cousins of Asil. It is unknown why they were called Malay, but perhaps because of a mistake by the former East India Company, when they introduced that exotic new breed around 1570. In Asia, the...

 that the Rhode Island Red got its deep color, strong constitution, and relatively hard feathers.

The Rhode Island Red were originally bred in Adamsville
Adamsville, Rhode Island
Adamsville, Rhode Island is a historic village in Little Compton, Rhode Island. It was first settled in 1675 around the time of King Phillip's War.-Historic Sites:...

, a village which is part of Little Compton
Little Compton, Rhode Island
Little Compton is a town in Newport County, Rhode Island, United States. Its population was 3,492 at the time of the 2010 census. Little Compton is located in southeastern Rhode Island, between the Sakonnet River and the Massachusetts state border...

, Rhode Island
Rhode Island
The state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, more commonly referred to as Rhode Island , is a state in the New England region of the United States. It is the smallest U.S. state by area...

. One of the foundation sires of the breed was a black-breasted red Malay
Malay (chicken)
The Malay is a breed of chicken originating in Asia, most likely in northern Pakistan . These birds are cousins of Asil. It is unknown why they were called Malay, but perhaps because of a mistake by the former East India Company, when they introduced that exotic new breed around 1570. In Asia, the...

 cock which was imported from England. This cock is on display at the Smithsonian Institution as the father of the Rhode Island Red breed.

In 1925, the Rhode Island Red Club of America donated funds for an elegant monument to the Rhode Island Red in Adamsville, near the baseball field and across the street from what used to be Abraham Manchester's restaurant. (The monument is now on the National Register of Historic Places
National Register of Historic Places
The National Register of Historic Places is the United States government's official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects deemed worthy of preservation...

.) A competing monument to the Rhode Island Red, claiming its creation not for the poultry fanciers, but for the farmers who grew them commercially in great numbers in Little Compton, was erected by the state in 1954 a mile or so (about two kilometers) south of Adamsville.

Rhode Island Reds and Sussex
Sussex (chicken)
The Sussex chicken is a dual purpose breed that originating in England around the time of the Roman conquest of Britain in AD 43 that is a popular backyard chicken in many countries...

 are also used for many modern hybrid breeds. Many modern hybrid hens have Rhode Island Red fathers, mainly due to the prolific egg laying characteristic of the Rhode Island Red, which is passed down through the males. Rhode Island Reds cocks were hybridised with Black Shumen chicken
Black Shumen chicken
Black Shumen chicken is an old breed of chicken originating in Shumen region of Bulgaria. In the middle of the 20th century it was crossed with Minorca and Rhode Island red chickens.Nowadays it is considered to be a rare breed...

 and Starozagorska red chicken
Starozagorska red chicken
Starozagorska red chicken is an old breed of chicken originating in Stara Zagora region in Bulgaria. In the middle of the 20th century it was crossed with local chikens of Stara Zagora and Rhode Island red chickens.Nowadays it is considered to be a rare breed...

.

Characteristics

The Reds are friendly chickens with a good nature. They are good pets for children, but they can get aggressive when annoyed (especially roosters).
Rhode Island Reds are tough birds, resistant to illness
Illness
Illness is a state of poor health. Illness is sometimes considered another word for disease. Others maintain that fine distinctions exist...

, good at foraging and free ranging, and typically docile, quiet, and friendly. Although they are widely known as good layers through cold periods, if the coop temperature drops below freezing (0 °C (32 °F)), their output drops considerably, and the tips of their combs become very susceptible to frostbite.

Although usually friendly, Rhode Island Red roosters, and sometimes hens, can be quite aggressive towards young children and adults. Most roosters will also attack strangers (humans or animals) if they feel nervous or have never seen the intruder. They are usually friendlier with familiar people, such as those responsible for feeding. Both hens and roosters are known to be aggressive with other chickens, especially in confinement.Rhode Island Red roosters have been known to kill intruding foxes or dogs.

Even though they can have an aggressive nature, if raised properly and lovingly, they can be very loving, even affectionate. They will come when called or when they can see their owner and will walk with him/her just as a dog would. Rhode Island Reds and their hybrid descendants will happily sit on their owners laps, arms or even shoulders. These chickens care for each other as well, and often stay in a group.

Eggs

Frequent layers, Rhode Island Reds are noted for their brown eggs. Although they can sometimes be stubborn, they can end up producing up to 200 eggs a year but a healthy one can lay more. When free ranged, their first year eggs can be too large to fit comfortably in standard or medium egg carton
Egg carton
An egg carton is a carton designed for carrying and transporting whole eggs. These cartons have a dimpled form in which each dimple accommodates an individual egg and isolates that egg from eggs in adjacent dimples...

s. Healthy hens can lay up to 6-7 eggs per week depending on their care and treatment. Rhode Island Red hens lay many more eggs than an average hen if provided plenty of quality feed.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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