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Rhode Island Red
, Rhode Island Reds in a lithograph, c. 1915.
Country of origin
Male: 8.5 pounds (3.9 kg)
Female: 6.5 pounds (2.9 kg; 0.46 st)
Dual purpose layer breed
Chicken, Gallus gallus domesticus
The Rhode Island Red is a breed of chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus). They are a utility bird, raised for meat and eggs, 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.
3.1 Approximate weight,
4 See also,
7 External links,
The bird's feathers are rust-colored, however 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. 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).
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 that the Rhode Island Red got its deep color, strong constitution, and relatively hard feathers.
The Rhode Island Red were originally bred in Adamsville, a village which is part of Little Compton, Rhode Island. One of the foundation sires of the breed was a black-breasted red Malay 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.) 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 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 and Starozagorska red chicken.
Frequent layers, Rhode Island Reds are noted for their brown eggs. Although they can sometimes be stubborn, they can end up producing up to 275 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 cartons. Healthy hens can lay up to 5-6 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.
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