Raising Rhode Island Red chickens
Radio interview source: Bud Wood, owner, McMurray Hatchery
One of my favorite chicken breeds is the Rhode Island Red. It's the chicken of choice for those who want quality egg-layers and good fryers.
Bud Wood owns a hatchery and says Rhode Island Reds are one of the earliest breeds developed in the United States and are among his best sellers because of their production qualities.
'They're a fairly gentle breed, and they lay a nice big, dark brown egg," Wood says. "They're a hardy breed, and easy to raise. Rhode Island Red is probably the beginning genetics of all of the commercial brown egg layers today."
At peak production, the hens are egg-laying machines. Just one hen will give you five to six eggs a week.
The Reds have a larger body type than other breeds. Wood recommends feeding them a commercial layer mix, which gives them all the nutrition they need. You can also provide a place to forage. It cuts their consumption of commercial feed way down, maybe even in half. Grubbing around the yard for plants and bugs makes their yolks a brighter yellow color.
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