Rhode Island Red: Chicken Breed, Eggs, Color, Size, Pictures

Rhode Island Red (RIR) is one of the most popular chicken breeds found all over the globe. They are medium-sized chicken breeds known for their unique nature, egg production, and purpose of meat.

If you are a new chicken raiser and want to raise a few Rhode Island Reds in your backyard, coop, this guide will help you understand all about this breed.

This breed guide includes an introduction, history, lifespan, egg production, temperament, color, size, characteristics, care guide, and more about Rhode Island Red chickens.

Introduction about Rhode Island Red chickens (RIRs)

A Rhode Island Red Hen
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Rhode Island Reds (RIRs) are an amiable and helpful chicken breed. They adapt themselves in almost all types of weather conditions so they are available in most countries.

Also, they are easy to raise, and you can get a good amount of eggs and meat from them. So, this chicken is top in the list of best friendliest chicken breeds.

RIRs are especially cold hardy chickens, but they can easily survive in warm to hot climate areas

History of Rhode Island Red (RIR) chickens

The Rhode Island Red was first seen in 1854 in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. 

Willian Tripp, a sea captain, bought a few popular chicken breeds like Cochin, Java, Malay, and Shanghai with Italian Brown Leghorn chicken.

After continuous cross-breeding, they developed the Rhode Island Red which was best in both eggs and meat.

The first monument of Rhode Island Red was raised in 1925. After that, the chicken breed was called Reds.

It became popular in 1954 when the State of Rhode Island celebrated the 100th anniversary of this chicken breed in their state.

On occasion, Willian Tripp farm raised a monument of Rhode Island Red chicken in Adamsville of Little Compton, Rhode Island.

The monuments were placed by the Rhode Island Red Club of America. Rhode Island Reds are also the state bird of Rhode Island.

Color Varieties of Rhode Island Reds

A Rhode Island Red Rooster
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The name of RIRs is mainly derived from their feathers. Rhode Island Reds are available in only light rusted to a dark maroon or black color.

Also Read:  13 Japanese Chicken Breeds (Color, Eggs, Size & Pictures)

The American Poultry Association accepts both the Bantam and Large fowl or RIR chickens. However, the chicken varieties are divided according to the appearance of the Rose and Single comb. 

Lifespan of RIRs

Rhode Island Reds have a lifespan of 5-8 years. RIRs are a popular chicken breed, but they have a smaller lifespan than other chicken breeds like Silkie, Plymouth Rocks, Orpingtons, Wyandotte, Australorp, Cochin, and Easter Eggers.

Egg Production

Rhode Island Reds are one of the best dual-purpose chickens so that you will get a good amount of eggs from them.

The hens of this breed lay around 180-250 light brown colored eggs per year. So, you will quickly get 4-6 large size eggs per week.

You may see some RIRs lay around 150-200 eggs per year because of some heritage strains. 

So, most of the time, the number of eggs in this breed depends upon the genes of other breeds, which are inherited.

Also read: List of Chickens That Lay Colored Eggs

The temperament of Rhode Island Red chickens

Rhode Island Reds foraging in backyard
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Rhode Island Red chickens are friendly, docile, and calm in nature. A newbie chicken farmer can easily handle them.

You may see some aggressiveness in RIRs roosters but occasionally. Both the girls and boys of this chicken breed are talkative.

Reds bear confinement well and love to free-range, but if you have free space in your backyard, try to allow them to forage. Free-ranging is far better than portable chicken coops because it keeps flocks healthy and stress-free. 

Color, Size, Appearance, Characteristics of Rhode Island Red chickens


Rhode Island Red chickens look great. They mostly walk like a king. The feather of RIRs body color is rusty brown, and the tail part is black in color.

You may see some black to brownish red feathers in some strains. RIR baby chicks are light brownish-red to tan color. 


As APA accepts Rhode Island Reds, they have a standard weight. The large-size RIR roosters weigh around 8.5 lbs and hen around 6.5 lbs.


Reds in Confinement
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The Rhode Island Red chickens are beautiful. Both the hen and roosters of this chicken breed are sturdy in look.

Both the hen and rooster have a U-shaped body structure, and the tail is bent upward with a 45°angle.

The earlobes and wattles are vivid red in color. You can see Rhode Island Red chickens in both single and rose comb. 

The comb is red in color and easily seen with 7-9 pointed spikes. You may see faded comb in a few old age RIR chickens.

Also Read:  Aseel Chicken: Breed Color, Size, Eggs, Price, Pictures

The skin color of RIRs is yellow in color, and the legs are also yellow. They have four toes, and the legs have no feathers.


Rhode Island Reds are cold hardy chickens, but they can quickly adapt themselves in hot climate areas. If you are a first-time chicken owner, you will love this chicken breed.

RIR hens are very calm and docile in nature, whether the roosters of this breed are pretty aggressive. 

I have one Rhode Island Red rooster who sometimes goes and fights with my neighbor’s rooster.

But usually, roosters are not aggressive with other roosters and hens in your backyard. They take care of their hers and protect them from predators.

Hens of this breed rarely go broody, so you can use a good incubator for hatching eggs if you want to get chicks. 

If you have 1-2 hens, they may go broody, but broodiness is very rare in large numbers of flocks. Most of the RIR hens which go broody make good mothers.

Rhode Island Red Rooster Vs Hen

The Rhode Island Red roosters are known for their aggressiveness because of which few chicken raiser don’t like to raise this breed. It is not always true that all RIR roosters are aggressive in nature.

My Rhode Island Reds do not run towards any one or other chickens which are part of my backyard flocks. They only peck on chicken which came from our neighbors house.

In the other side Rhode Island Red hens are so calm and friendly always. They not even run or fight with neighbor ladies. However they rarely go broody but if they sits and hatch their eggs they protect their kids like a pro.

Benefits of Raising Rhode Island Reds

Rhode Island Red hen in alert
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Here are few fantastic advantages of raising Rhode Island Red chickens –

  • Rhode Island Reds love to graze in both cold and hot climates. This nature makes an extra plus point because of which this breed is famous all over the world.
  • RIRs are dual-purpose chickens, so that you will get the benefit of both eggs and meat. It is a good chicken breed for backyard farmers for commercial purposes.
  • If you are searching for an excellent friendly chicken for your backyard coop, this is one of the best choices.
  • They rarely go broody, so collecting eggs is an easy process in RIRs. Just add some good nesting boxes inside the coop and watch how they fill them with brown eggs.
  • Few chicken breeds need extra care for survival, but Rhode Island Reds are very easy to raise and don’t need any special care.
  • Rhode Island Reds always love to graze around you. You will love to see their activities in your backyard area.
  • Most of the Rhode Island Red chickens are great foragers who work like a backyard pest control system.
  • RIRs are beautiful and king-like chickens. You can also take them to exhibitions.
Also Read:  Sussex Chicken: Breed Guide, Eggs, Color, Care, Pictures

Care Guide of Rhode Island Red Chickens

Here are some essential tips for raising Rhode Island Reds in your backyard-

  • RIRs are docile and friendly in nature, so predators quickly attack them. Most of the time, this happens with Rhode Island Red hens. Try to add a strong chicken wire fence around your yard area so that they will live safely.
  • If you live in a high predator attack zone, you can use an excellent electric fence.
  • Most of the Rhode Island Red hens rarely go broody, so if you are raising them for breed purposes, you need an incubator to hatch eggs for getting chicks.
  • RIR chickens are giant size chickens, so you need some extra space in your chicken coop. One adult fowl needs around 3-4 sq. ft. area inside the coop and 15-20 sq. ft. in the kennel run area.
  • The Rhode Island Red chickens lay around the year so that you will get a good amount of large size eggs from them. Provide them a few good nesting boxes so that they will lay their eggs comfortably.
  • They are sturdy birds with good immunity. You can not see any deformity in their body structure if you provide them good quality feed and vitamin supplements
  • If they go broody, Hens of this breed take care of their baby chicks very nicely. 


We can say that Rhode Island Reds are one of the best friendliest chicken breeds. They are also on the list of dual-purpose chickens.

They have some fantastic plus points like round the year egg-laying capacity and tolerance to all types of climates.

Also, RIRs are very nice non-aggressive chickens so that any new chicken farmer can raise them in their backyard. So, if you are looking for a chicken breed with lots of benefits, it is one of the best.

They also have good health, and they are not prone to other diseases compared to other chicken breeds. I hope you like this informative article on Rhode Island Red chickens and help you to conclude if this chicken is good or not for you.

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I am Bijaya Kumar and I have been raising chickens for the last 10 years. Backyard poultry farming has been our family business for the last 30 years. We raise multiple chicken breeds in their backyard.

8 thoughts on “Rhode Island Red: Chicken Breed, Eggs, Color, Size, Pictures”

  1. Hi great information
    I would like to know about this breed and also blackaurstra breed and if I want to start Farm from were will I get pure breed if any breeding Farm are there can you please share details and contact person name and no
    Thanks and regards
    Sanjay shringarpure

  2. Sir , I want approx 500 hen , but I am not able search pure rir .I also want to attend or work in a workshop .so plz guide me

  3. Hello, I wanted to add this to our reference list, however, iti does not have the author’s name in it. Would it be possible to know who authored this? Thank you so much.


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