Rhode Island Red

Available as large fowl and bantam, this American breed is active but easily tamed

Originating in Rhode Island State in the USA, this breed must lay claim to being one of the most popular of all time. Used extensively in hybridisation, due to the ability to identify its chicks by sex linking. This and the fact that its brown eggs are much favoured in the kitchen mean that the Rhode Island Red was originally bred as a dual-purpose chicken. Shaped like a long rectangle and often referred to as ‘brick-shaped’, it is typified by its beautiful mahogany plumage and a calm friendly nature that makes it ideal for the beginner. Although suitable for an enclosed run, its eggs improve in colour and flavour if the birds are allowed to free range. This will also prevent fighting amongst the males