- Country of origin: UK
- Primary uses: egg and meat purposes
- Lifespan: 6 – 8 years
- Production: 180 – 200 eggs
- Size: Large
- Color: Light brown
- Cock: 3.85 kg
- Hen: 2.9 kg
- Cock: About 1 kg
- Hen: 0.8 kg
- Cock: Deep reddish plumage with white barring
- Hens: Deep reddish plumage with grey-white and centers black barring
- Useful to know: Rhodebar Chickens are quite calm and not aggressive.
Since chickens have a variety of types, it is common when chicken keepers are interested in trying to raise many different chicken breeds.
However, it is always needed to get a basic and sufficient understanding before deciding to own them. If you are curious about Rhodebar chickens and wondering whether or not they are right for you. Let’s read this article and find your answer.
Background and History
The Rhodebar chicken breed is extremely rare. During 1947, it was created from Golden Brussbar, Rhode Island Red, and Barred Plymouth Rock in the UK. Firstly, Rhodebar chickens were named Redbar but changed to Rhodebar later.
The reason why Rhodebar chickens are rare is that they belong to a breed group called “Autosexing Breeds” which include heritage and purebred chicken breeds. Autosex chicken cocks and hens have different physical features, specifically their feather and barring colors.
Therefore, we can distinguish between roosters and hens thanks to those differences. Apart from Rhodebar chickens, autosex chickens consist of a few heritage and purebred chicken breeds and all of them are really rare or nearly extinct.
Male Rhodebar chickens have deep reddish plumage with white barring. Their barring becomes narrower when approaching the lower bodies. Besides, Male Rhodebar chickens have upturned tails with many colors such as white, light brown, and black.
In the meanwhile, female Rhodebar chickens have deep reddish feathers with grey-white and center black barring. The black color is longer than the grey-white color and becomes narrower when getting close to the upper bodies. Female Rhodebar chickens have smaller tails with black and white colors.
Both Rhodebar roosters and hens have broad bodies with full breasts and long backs. Their faces are red with orange or red eyes. In addition, they have bright and upright combs. Rhodebar roosters and hens’ beaks are quite short and have a bright yellow color like their legs.
Generally, Rhodebar chickens are quite calm, docile, and friendly. In comparison to Rhodebar roosters, Rhodebar hens are more friendly and calm.
Sometimes, Rhodebar roosters can become aggressive, so it would be better to keep them away from children.
Furthermore, Rhodebar chicken roosters tend to bully weaker chickens that are very docile or shy breeds like Polish or Cochins chicken breeds.
Therefore, if you intend to make a mixed flock with Rhodebar chickens, keep in mind to choose the least aggressive chickens to ensure their harmony and safety.
On the contrary, if you raise Rhodebar chickens for a long time and have a lot of good interactions, they can be extremely friendly.
Rhodebar chickens are trusting birds, so once they have built a good relationship with chicken keepers, they can become lovely pets and behave with children politely.
Also, Rhodebar chickens are very curious and good foragers. They love to walk around and scratch the soil to look for their natural food such as worms, bugs, etc.
Female Rhodebar chickens are not famous for broodiness. However, they can surprise chicken raisers and be good mothers once they decide to go broody.
To be more specific, they can be patient to sit on their nests for hours and protect their eggs carefully.
Further reading: 21 Best Chicken Keeping eBooks
Rhodebar Chicken Productivity
Is the Rhodebar Chicken Good for Eggs?
Yes, Rhodebar chickens start laying at around 6 months of age and produce a quite good number of eggs, up to 200 eggs in their first laying season. Then, the quantity of eggs will oscillate from 150 to 200 eggs per year. Their eggs have large sizes and light brown color.
Rhodebar chickens especially can lay eggs in severe weather conditions like cold climates. Since Rhodebar chickens are tolerant towards cold weather pretty well, they are able to produce eggs throughout cold months.
Of course, the quantity of eggs may decrease during winter, you will be surprised with the excellent quality of their eggs if you feed them with a proper diet and take good care of them.
Is the Rhodebar Chicken Good for Meat?
Absolutely yes, since Rhodebar chickens are dual-purpose chickens, they can be raised for meat production.
Though Rhodebar chickens take a longer time to grow than other chicken breeds, they can produce a decent amount of meat with flavorful taste and texture.
Common issues of the Rhodebar Chicken
The Rhodebar chicken breed is considered a robust and healthy chicken breed. They can adapt to a variety of climates and are not known for any particular disease.
However, they still encounter some tiny problems such as:
- Firstly, the most concern is the prolapsed vent. This problem is very common with chickens that produce a large number of eggs.
- Secondly, Rhodebar chickens still can be bitten by mites, lice, or other parasites.
Mites or lice can enter into Rhodebar chickens’ coops at night through cracks and feed off their blood. In the worst case, Rhodebar chickens can die if they are bitten for a long time.
Another reason is that chickens can leave their droppings anywhere, therefore they can make good conditions for parasites to thrive if they are not cleaned.
- Finally, Rhodebar chickens’ combs can be frostbitten in cold weather. This can make them incredibly painful.
So, what should we do to prevent Rhodebar chickens from those common health issues?
Here are some preventative methods corresponding to each problem that you can refer to apply:
- Firstly, do not allow Rhodebar chickens to be overweight, and eat supplements which enhance egg production are the best ways to avoid them from having prolapse vents.
- Secondly, you should design Rhodebar chickens’ coops so that vermin cannot get into as much as possible.
Some plastic units of chickens’ coops having inside sections make good conditions for lice and mites to thrive, so you should consider thoroughly before choosing any chicken coop furniture.
In addition, make sure to keep Rhodebar chickens’ living area clean to impede parasite appearance.
Another crucial method is feeding them with crushed garlic and apple cider vinegar. This method can boost your chickens’ immune systems to be resistant to parasites and diseases.
- Last but not least, you should watch Rhobedar behaviors to recognize their signs of frostbite.
When being frostbitten, their combs will be discolored. Equipping their coops with some heaters is the best method to keep Rhodebar chickens warm and prevent them from frostbite during the extremely cold weather.
As we said, Rhodebar chickens can adapt to any type of climate and are tolerant toward cold weather rather well, they do not demand too many complicated requirements about their living environment.
However, there are still a couple of basic things you should take into account in order to provide them with a good living area to develop.
Though Rhodebar chickens love roaming and should be allowed to be free-range, it is still necessary to build secure coops for them to lay eggs and sleep at night.
Since Rhodebar chickens produce quite a lot of eggs, you have to provide them with private, generous, and clean nesting boxes.
A roosting perch is a place where chickens sleep. It can prevent chickens from vermin, parasites and make them feel safe when sleeping at night.
Roosting perch should be made from natural materials like wood for adult chickens and trees for baby chicks. It also should be installed at high positions and higher than nesting boxes.
As we mentioned, Rhodebar chickens are prone to be frostbitten, but it would be fine if you provide them with some heaters.
Apart from that problem, Rhodebar chickens do their best in cold weather and do not require any complicated caring during the winter.
In the summer months, you should give them cool, and adequate ventilation coops to prevent them from overheating since they are not good at heat tolerating.
Light is one of the most important factors during the chickens’ laying process.
To be more specific, it would be better to equip light with a soft yellow color to assist Rhodebar to lay eggs. You also need to set up a natural time mode so that the light will turn off at the night.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Raising Rhodebar Chickens
- Firstly, Rhodebars are dual-purpose chicken breeds, so they can serve for both egg and meat production. As a result, chicken keepers can earn a lot of benefits when raising Rhodebar chickens.
- Secondly, Rhodebar chickens are quite easy to raise since they do not require a lot of complex caring methods. Therefore, they are one of the best options for people who begin to keep chickens.
Also, professional farmers can spend fewer expenses and find it simpler to raise Rhodebar chickens.
- Thirdly, Rhodebar is a robust chicken breed and has a strong immune system. Rhodebar chicken raisers can be relieved when hearing this good news since diseases are always the most concern of poultry keepers.
Challenges or Drawbacks
Apart from the advantages of raising Rhodebar chickens, you also encounter some troubles such as:
- Rhodebar roosters can bully other timid members.
As we said, Rhodebar roosters tend to attack some chicken breeds that are very docile and shy. Therefore, you need to choose the least aggressive Rhodebar chickens if creating a mixed flock to ensure their harmony and safety.
- Rhodebar chickens can be very noisy and it can make your neighbors uncomfortable.
How to Raise the Chicken?
Rhodebar chickens do not require any special diets. They have considered as good forages save rather than feeding expenses for their owners if they free range.
However, you still need to give Rhodebar chickens sufficient and nutritious diets, especially with Rhodebar hens.
A sixteen percent layer feed can be perfectly suitable with them. In addition, keep in mind to supplement Rhodebar hens with enough calcium to ensure eggshell sturdiness and enhance their egg-laying process.
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Though we all know Rhodebar chickens have strong disease resistance, it is always essential to have some preventative methods. And without a doubt, vaccination is one of the best ways to protect them from diseases.
Having enough required vaccination can help to impede parasite appearance and prevent Rhodebar chickens from health problems.
Make sure to ask your local poultry vet before vaccinating them to use them properly and check some important information such as the types, the expired date of vaccines to ensure their safety.
So, is the Rhodebar chicken breed right for you? If you are looking for a chicken breed that can serve for both egg and meat production with easy caring methods, Rhodebar is the option you should take into consideration.
Rhodebar chickens can produce quite lots of eggs as well as high-quality meat. Most importantly, they can reduce chicken raisers’ expenses with simple feeding requirements and strong resistance to health problems.
Even though you still encounter some disadvantages when raising Rhodebar chickens, it would be fine if you have the proper solutions.
Precisely, you can choose the least hostile Rhodebar and watch them thoroughly to decrease bullying problems or you can build their coops in far away resident areas or negotiate with your neighbors to ease their discomfort.
So, in a nutshell, if you have a comprehensive guide about Rhodebar chickens, raising them can be an exciting task you should try.
Links to useful resources:
- Kassandra Smith, “What Are Sex Link Chickens?”, https://www.backyardchickencoops.com.au/blogs/learning-centre/what-are-sex-link-chickens, 17 July 2020.
- “Rhodebar Chickens”, https://poultrykeeper.com/chicken-breeds/rhodebar-chickens/#:~:text=The%20Rhodebar%20 chicken%20is%20a,body%20with%20a%20long%20back.
- “The Rhodebar”, http://jsh.bravesites.com/rhodebar.