So far, our 10 hens and one rooster are producing 8 eggs per day on average. This was after I had my talk with them about the option of laying or stewpot. It seems to have worked! The one rooster (Roo, what else) is very protective and inquisitive. Anytime I go in the coop, one or two of the hens hop up and wait to be petted. They talk and purr almost like a cat, only noisier.
The first year trial of raising chickens was a success and we are able to supply ourselves and several members of the church with fresh eggs. The other day I had the thought" Why not next year, hold over 30 hens and sell the eggs for $2.50 per dozen? Then I did the math, and it would not pay. I will hold onto 10 and continue to enjoy the best tasting eggs that I have ever had, and the fun of looking after a few, plus the blessing of being able to give to those that aren't into chicken raising.
I can sure recommend this breed as a hardy and productive addition to any acreage. There is an urban movement about to bring chickens back into the cities (minus the noisy roosters). Chickens just lay eggs with or without the roosters! I wish this movement all the best! No medications, no hormones, no pesticides!
Developed in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, 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 was 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. (courtesy Wikipedia)