Rhode Island Chickens
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Rhode Island Chickens are subdivided into the popular Rhode Island Red and the less known Rhode Island White.

Despite the similar name, Rhode Island White Chickens are not just a white version of the Rhode Island Red Chicken. They are in fact a separate, white-colored breed that also happened to originate in the state of Rhode Island. 

J. Alonzo Jocoy of Peacedale, Rhode Island developed the Rhode Island White Chicken in 1888 by combining Cochin Chickens, Wyandotte Chickens (white), and Leghorn Chickens (white). By 1903, the Rhode Island White was a breed and by 1922 it was recognized as a unique breed by the American Poultry Association (the link goes off-site).

The Rhode Island White Chicken, which has pure white plumage, red wattles & earlobes, and a medium-sized, rose comb, enjoyed moderate popularity up until the 1960’s. However, today the Rhode Island White Chicken is a much rarer fowl, with only about 3,000 birds tallied in 2003.


The Rhode Island White is also a dual-purpose fowl suitable for both meat and egg production. Rhode Island White Roosters can weigh 8.5 pounds (3.9 kilos) and hens can weigh in around 6.5 pounds (3 kilos).

Culinary Uses

Rhode Island Red Chickens are red in color with a single rose comb. The Rhode Island Red is a dual purpose/utility breed. They can grow to 7 or 8 pounds (3.17 kg to 3.63 kg) for meat production and still lay.

In fact, the Rhode Island Red Chicken is one of the best egg producers (layers) of the utility breeds. They can lay as many as 200 to 250 medium sized brown Eggs a year. The docile Rhode Island Red Chicken is a tough bird that resists illness and can forage for itself on a Free Range or manage on marginal diets. Rhode Island Red Chickens are a good choice for novice chicken keepers.