What do Rhode Island Red Chickens eat?

The Story about Rhode Island Red Chickens started in 1854 when a Sea Captain together with his friend mated Malay Roster with his home chickens. The resulting birds named Macomber or Tripps Fowl were born superior to their parents.

After this success, Macomber and Tripp also try to mate between Malay Roster and some species of hen such as Chinese, Plymouth, Brown Leghorns, and Java,… to improve the quality of the desired hen. Finally, in 1954 the Rhode Island State was recognized as the state bird of Rhode Island.

What are the health status characteristics of Rhode Island Red Chickens?


Rhode Island Red Chickens are famous for their hardy nature and certificated A+ for health. They can adapt quickly to every weather from sun, rain, snow, or cold which many other breeds will ‘survive’ in adversity, Rhode Island seems to thrive on it!

Nowadays, because of these characteristics, Rhode Island has spread to all corners of the world and is thriving even in the face of modern industrial hens and intensive farming methods.

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What do Rhode Island Red Chickens eat?

With good health status, Rhode Island Red Chickens can eat a variety of foods from cereals, seeds to worms, bugs, or other tasty morsels, especially the leftover things from people’s meals. However, to ensure a good breed, you need to pay attention to the following notes:

  • Choosing the right feed for each stage will help chickens grow better, gain weight faster. Pay attention when bringing the chicks home, do not feed them immediately, but let them digest all the yolks and only give them water for the first 2 hours.
  • In the first days of life, people should choose food for chicks so that they get used to the food, then start giving mixed food after 4 days.
  • To limit the waste of feed, only put a little in the trough until the chickens eat it all and add more. Do not give too much because the chicken will dig around and splash the food on the sieve.
  • Provide clean drinking water, can add digestive enzymes, vitamins,… to strengthen the resistance of chicks. Pay attention to changing new water regularly for chickens. Besides, during raise, you need to notice some nutritional components to ensure the best weight.
Characteristics of Rhode island Red Chickens
Characteristics of Rhode Island Red Chickens

Some essential nutrients in Rhode island red chickens feed:

Supplementing their diet is important, especially in cold weather when their food intake is higher and foraging is not an option. Choosing fruits, vegetables, and whole grains will keep the birds happy and ensure they are receiving a nutritionally balanced diet.

So, when chose feed for red chickens, you should notice some ingredients such as:


Proteins participate in cell structure and are an important component of life. Furthermore, protein also participates in the structure of biological enzymes, catalyzes hormones, and regulates the assimilation of nutrients in the body.

Protein in feed usually contains about 22 amino acids, some of which cannot be substituted since chickens cannot synthesize them.  They include arginine, histidine, lysine, tryptophan, methionine, threonine, valine, isoleucine, leucine, and phenylalanine.


Arginine plays an important role in the growth of young poultry, creating cartilage, bones, feathers. Diets lacking in arginine cause high embryonic mortality, disrupt carbohydrate and protein metabolism, and lead to reduced growth in chickens.


Methionine is an important sulfur-containing amino acid, which affects the growth of the body of red chickens and the function of the liver and pancreas. It is necessary for cell proliferation, participates in anabolic processes, along hair-forming systine, and regulates lipid metabolism. Anti-fatty liver participates in the creation of serine, choline and systine.

Lack of methionine in food causes loss of appetite, muscle degeneration, anemia, fatty liver reducing elimination of toxins, and limited hemoglobin synthesis.


Lysine is the most important amino acid that works to increase growth rate and increase egg production. So, it helps the body synthesize nucleotides, red blood cells, create melanin pigment.

Lysine deficiency causes slow growth in poultry, reduced meat and egg productivity, reduced red blood cells, hemoglobin, decreased calcium and phosphorus metabolism, rickets, muscle degeneration, etc.

Fatty Acids:

Fatty acids are the largest source of energy and are the solvents that dissolve vitamins (vitamin A, carotene,… ) and participate in the construction of cell membranes and many different reactions of the body. If the fat content of the chicken’s diet is increased from 0.07 to 4%, the amount of carotene absorbed will increase from 20 to 60%.

A lack of fatty acids will disrupt the skin’s function, affect the reproductive process, increase embryonic mortality, reduce egg production, reduce disease resistance, reduce growth, and change amino acids. fat in tissues, in organs.


Vitamins are extremely important factors in the development of Rhode Island, just a lack of any vitamin will cause great effects on chickens, reduce livestock efficiency and cause disease easily. Essential vitamins include vitamin A, vitamin B (b1-b12), vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K, and vitamin H.

What is avoided in Rhode Island chickens feed?

Avocado, Citrus fruits, green potato skins, onions, uncooked beans, and rhubarb are unhealthy or even poisonous to chickens. Strong flavors which come from some vegetables such as garlic can affect the flavor of eggs and should also be avoided.

Can Rhode Island Chickens eat Tomatoes
Can Rhode Island Chickens eat Tomatoes


Rhode Island Red chickens are a good healthy chicken species and can adapt with a diverse environment. So it is raised and bred with many other chickens in the world.

Besides, with active characteristics, Rhode Island Red chickens can eat many things. However, you also need to notice some essential nutrients in Rhode Island red chickens feed as Arginine, Methionine, Lysine, Fatty Acids,… and provide reasonable care for them.