Our current Animal of the Week is a well known bird, the Rhode Island Red Chicken! Chickens are in the bird family, and specifically they are grouped with other birds like turkeys, pheasants, ducks, and more, to make the “Fowl” group. In the lat 19th century, this breed of chicken was developed in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Commonly they were created from cross breeding Malay and Leghorn chicken breeds. The Rhode Island Red is the state bird of Rhode Island and they have a monument in Adamsville, Rhode Island.
What is their life expectancy?
Rhode Island Reds are normally bred for their egg-laying abilities, and hens stop laying eggs after around 3 years. However, just as many other birds have fairly long lifespans, these chickens can live a good deal longer than their egg-laying years. As a pet the Rhode Island Red Chicken can live up to 10 years and even as far as 15 or a little longer. Many chickens end up dying sooner than this due to disease or predators. The better care these animals receive with regular vet checks will definitely increase their lifespan!
How many eggs does a hen lay a day?
Since the 1940’s the Rhode Island Red has been used to create many modern chicken breeds. These traditional breeding chickens lay brown eggs, and anywhere between 200-300 every year! That’s roughly 1 egg each one or two days.
Are the females aggressive?
Rhode Island Reds have rarely been aggressive to adult humans, but some have attacked children. However, it gets worse with other birds and chickens. Rhode Island Reds have been recorded attacking wild birds such as doves and sparrows. The Roosters have also been known to attack dogs or foxes intruding into a chicken coop. While these chickens have been working with humans for decades, they are definitely considered aggressive birds when dealing with other animals.
How big do male roosters get?
As these chickens are bred for eggs and meat, they are typically larger than other breeds. The chicks are born with a reddish/tan color and that color develops further as they grow. The hens weigh approximately 6 – 7 pounds each, with the roosters being a little larger at 8 – 9 pounds each.
Can Chickens Just Eat Grass?
While many people like the idea of backyard chickens, it’s important to know they can’t get all of their nutrients from grass alone. These animals are omnivores, so they need more than just plant matter alone to survive. Often they will get some nutrients from insects found in the grass they eat, but this is still not enough. Chickens can only get up 15-20% of the nutrition they need from eating grass like this, so it’s important to get feed for them to balance out their diets.