Rhode Island Red Chickens: Breed Profile, Care Guide and More…

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Last Updated on April 20, 2022 by Pauline G. Carter

The Rhode Island Red chicken is considered to be one of the most successful chicken breeds – across the world! It’s an American breed, developed in Rhode Island and Massachusetts as way back as the middle 1840s.

This bird came about from cross-breeding birds of Oriental origin with the brown Leghorn chicken from Italy.  Since 1954, the Rhode Island Red is the state bird of Rhode Island. Today, it has spread from areas of origin all over the world. 

It still takes its place amongst modern industrial-type laying hens and rapidly changing farming practices. It is an excellent egg layer but is also bred for its meat. They are considered all-rounders because they make magnificent show birds as well.

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Rhode Island Red Chicken | Breed Profile


Country of origin:United States
Primary use:Dual-purpose meat/eggs
Weight:Male: 8.7 pounds (3.9 kg)Female: 6.5 pounds (2.9 kg)
Recognized Varieties:Rose Comb, Single Comb
Egg production (annual):260
Egg color:Brown
Egg size:Large
Comb type:Single

Characteristics of the Rhode Island Red

A quick summary of the Rhode Island Red would be to say it looks like a longish ‘brick’ – a rectangular, solid brick. But let’s take a look at what it all comprises:

Feathers are ‘hard’, inherited from their Javanese and Malayan genes.

Colour: the colour of this bird has varied over time, from deep mahogany to dark rust in colour. There can be some black feathers appearing in the tail and the wings. This is perfectly normal. Some judges call it ‘smutty’ if they are from the American Poultry Association.

Wattles, ear lobes, and comb: Red. The comb is generally a single upright. But you can expect to find rose-combed Rhode Islands as well – they are just less frequent.

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Eyes: Red/orange in colour

Skin: This bird is yellow-skinned, seen in the legs, feet and beak. Each of its feet should have four toes.

Bantam Rhode Island Reds: They do exist, but are not as popular at the moment.

Weight: A large rooster weighs in at around 8.5 lb and a hen will reach around6.5 lb. The rose-combed variety weighs a bit less than the single-comb. Bantams weigh about 2.1 lb for a rooster and about 1.9 lb for the hen.

Egg laying: Probably the best layers out of the dual-purpose breed chickens.

Chicks: Are tan to light red in color.


The Rhode Island Red can range in temperament from being docile to raucous, even pushy. But they are curious, friendly, exuberant birds, never quiet, even noisy. But all these temperaments add up to just two words – extremely lovable!

Even though they do put up with being confined, they just love wandering around the yard, investigating for any tasty titbits they can find. They enjoy having company from people as well.

The roosters can get aggressive and should preferably not be around children if they did tend to get on the aggressive side. They are not really broody type hens, but when they are broody, they are excellent nest-sitters and mothers.

What to like (love) and not to like (hardly anything) about the Rhode Island Red:

We Liked

  • Easy going, happy laid back chicken.
  • Attractive to look at.
  • Tough and hardy, but sweet-natured.
  • Great for backyard pest control, being active foragers.
  • Eggs all year round.
  • Good breed for small flock owners.
  • Calm.
  • Care for other chicks.
  • Large eggs were laid.
  • Forage well.
  • Sturdy.
  • Not flighty.
  • Curious.

We Don’t Like

  • They love attention. Being perceptive, if you don’t treat them well, they can become aggressive.
  • The above aggressiveness can affects the entire flock.
  • As there are not many of this wonderful breed left, it makes them a bit more on the expensive side.
  • Difficult to find a good breeder source.
  • Roosters are a bit aggressive.
  • Sometimes bossy.
  • Can be very loud.

Is the Rhode Island Red a good choice for you?

  • Yes, they are if you want to have high egg-producing hens and you want large brown eggs. If you want to utilize your kitchen wastes, The Rhode Island Red Chicken isn’t a fussy eater.
  • Yes, if you are searching for the right chicken breed which forages well.
  • Yes, if you want sturdy hardy chickens that are able to survive in any kind of climate.
  • Yes, if you want a dual-purpose type breed that produces more eggs than they do meat.

If you’re looking for a good egg layer, and a chicken with loads of personality, you can never go wrong with this delightful ‘farm’ bird. They are simply gorgeous, brimming with enthusiasm and individuality.

They just seem to thrive wherever they go, being tolerant and easy-going. It has often been said by many people that if you are ever wondering about what type of chicken will suit you the best, then get a Rhode Island Red.

That’s the truth. They do not seem phased by hot or cold, but that does not mean they do not require absolutely the right accommodation and care – that’s important.

These amazing birds have left their mark on the poultry world. They are now a renowned pillar of light in the egg-laying industry.

Can Rhode island red chickens fly?

Can Rhode island red chickens fly

No, Rhode Island Red chickens cannot fly. Their wings are too short and their bodies too heavy. However, they can flutter for a short distance if they need to. So, if you have a Rhode Island Red chicken that seems to be trying to take flight, don’t worry – they’re not going anywhere!

Are Rhode island red chickens noisy?

No, Rhode Island Red chickens are not noisy. They are docile and quiet, making them great for backyard chicken coops. However, they can get excited and make noise if they feel threatened or try to protect their territory. If your Rhode Island Red chicken is making noise, try to figure out what is causing the disturbance and remove it.

Do Rhode island red chickens like to be petted?

Do Rhode island red chickens like to be petted

Yes, Rhode Island Red chickens do like to be petted. They are very social creatures and enjoy human interaction. However, they can get startled easily, so it’s important to approach them slowly and let them get used to your presence before trying to pet them. Once they are comfortable with you, they will enjoy being petted and may even come to you for some attention!

Are Rhode island red chickens quiet?

No, Rhode Island Red chickens are not quiet. They are docile and quiet, making them great for backyard chicken coops. However, they can get excited and make noise if they feel threatened or try to protect their territory. If your Rhode Island Red chicken is making noise, try to figure out what is causing the disturbance and remove it.

How much space do Rhode island red chickens need?

How much space do Rhode island red chickens need

Rhode Island Red chickens need about four square feet of space per chicken. This is, so they have enough room to move around and stretch their wings. If you have a smaller space, you can still keep Rhode Island Red chickens, but you will need to keep the area clean and free of potential hazards.

Rhode Island Red Chickens: Final Thoughts

The Rhode Island Red chicken is an excellent breed for those looking for a versatile chicken that can be used for both egg production and meat. They are also a popular choice for backyard chicken keepers due to their friendly personality and hardiness. While they may not be the most beautiful breed of chicken, their usefulness more than makes up for it.

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