Rhode Island Red Chicken Characteristics & Uses Info

Rhode Island Red chicken is an American dual purpose chicken breed which was developed in Rhode Island and Massachusetts in the mid 1840s. Rhode Island Red chickens are good egg layers but can be raised for both meat and eggs production.

They are also good as show bird. This breed is among the most popular chicken breeds for backyard flocks. They are highly popular mainly for their hardiness and egg laying abilities. Rhode Island Red chicken was from the Malay that it got it’s deep color, strong constitution and relatively hard feathers.

The early flocks often had both rose and single combed birds. The first Rhode Island Red chickens were originally bred in Adamsville (a village which is part of Little Compton, Rhode Island).

A black breasted red Malay cock which was imported from England was one of the foundation sires of the Rhode Island Red chicken breed. As Rhode Island Red chickens have prolific egg laying abilities, so they are used in the creation of many modern hybrid breeds.

Physical Characteristics of Rhode Island Red Chicken

Rhode Island Red chickens are relatively hardy and probably they are the best egg layers among the dual purpose breeds. This breed is a good choice for the small flock owner.

They continue producing eggs even in poor housing conditions than any other breeds and they can also handle marginal diets.

Rhode Island Red is one of the breeds which has excellent exhibition qualities and good production abilities at the same time. They have rectangular, relatively long bodies, typically dark red in color. They have red-orange eyes, reddish-brown beaks.

And their feet and legs are yellow (often with a bit of reddish color on the toes and sides of the shanks. Their skin is yellow colored. The bird’s feathers are rust-colored, however darker shades are known, including maroon bordering on black.

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Rhode Island Red chicks are a light red to tan color. On an average, a male Rhode Island Red weights about 3.9kg and a female weights about 2.9kg.


Rhode Island Red chickens are active, docile and calm. Sometimes, roosters can be a little bit aggressive. This chicken breed is suitable for both confinement and free range system.

Breed NameRhode Island Red
Other NameRIR, Rhode Islands
Breed PurposeDual Purpose
Breed TemperamentAggressive, Calm, Friendly, Curious, Noisy, Easily Handled
Breed SizeHeavy (6.5-8.5 lbs)
BroodinessSeldom (not prone to broodiness)
CombLarge, Single or Rose Combs
Climate ToleranceAll Climates (very robust)
Egg ColorBrown
Egg SizeLarge
Egg ProductivityVery Good (about 300 eggs/year)
Feathered LegsNo
VarietiesOnly Recognized in Red

The Good

  • Beautiful
  • Calm
  • Curious
  • Caring for other chicks
  • Prolific layers
  • Lay large eggs
  • Good foragers
  • Lay brown eggs
  • Sturdy birds
  • Mild temperament
  • Not flighty

The Bad

  • Roosters are little bit aggressive
  • Sometimes can be mean to other birds
  • Sometimes bossy
  • Sometimes very loud

Is Rhode Island Red Chicken Good For You?

Rhode Island Red Chickens are good for you if you…….

  • Want to raise highly egg producing chickens.
  • Want to produce larger brown eggs.
  • Want to utilize your kitchen wastes.
  • Are willing to raise some beautiful birds.
  • Are looking for proper chicken breeds which are good foragers.
  • Want to raise some hardy chickens which can survive in all climates.
  • Are looking for a dual purpose chicken breed which produce more eggs than meat.

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