Rhode Island Red Information
The Rhode Island Red could be for you if you are looking for a great all-purpose breed suitable for all Australian climates. They are amazing layers of extra-large eggs and are also good birds to raise for meat. However, if you have small children, avoiding Rhode Island Red roosters is best, as they can be quite protective and territorial.
Very good egg production
Good meat production
Family friendly - except for roosters
Cold climate hardy: Yes
Rare breed: No
Quantity: 4-6 eggs/hen/week
Rhode Island Reds, as their name suggests, were developed in the US state of Rhode Island, and have characteristic rusty-red plumage. The initially developed Rhode Island Red was developed with utility in mind, with both meat and egg production of equally high priority. However, this heritage breed has since been used to develop the modern-day Rhode Island Red. While still being a great dual-purpose breed, it has a greater emphasis on egg production. These birds are moderate-large in size, weighing 2.8-4kg (hen ~ 2.9kg; rooster ~ 3.8kg), still making them a good breed for meat production. However, they really excel as egg layers. With a Rhode Island Red, it can be reliably expected that you’ll be gifted with between 250-300 extra-large, brown eggs every year – with laying continuing during cooler months.
Both novices and experienced poultry keepers are fond of Rhode Island Reds, not only for their incredible utility, but also because of their nature and how easy they are to care for. Rhode Island Reds are great family friendly birds, with an inquisitive and affable nature. Additionally, they are perfectly adapted to suit all climactic conditions, making them the perfect bird for all regions in Australia. They are efficient foragers and love to wonder around in open spaces to seek out some extra snacks. They are also very tough birds and rarely have any health complications so long as you have general health management practices in place.
When purchasing Rhode Island Reds, there are a few things that you should consider. Firstly, if you are looking for a true dual-purpose bird, it might be worth spending a bit of extra time searching for a breeder of the heritage variety. However, if egg production is more important, then the modern Rhode Island Red is the variety for you as it rarely goes broody. Finally, while hens have a bit of personality and can be loud, roosters have been noted to be territorial and show aggressive tendencies. Therefore, if you have a young family, it would be best to avoid keeping roosters.