Rhode Island White

Although largely outshined by their popular cousins, the Rhode Island Red, the Rhode Island White Chicken is a friendly, docile fowl that is as easy to raise as it is good at producing high-quality eggs. Perfect for either a small backyard coop or a farm, the Rhode Island White is a hardy breed great for both cold and warm environments. If you’re looking for a fabulous starter bird, you may want to give the Rhode Island White a try.

Origins

The Rhode Island White breed began in Peacedale, Rhode Island, in 1888 when J. Alonzo Jocoy crossed White Wyandottes with Partridge Cochins and Rose Comb White Leghorns. The breed developed and changed over time until its body resembled that of the Rhode Island Red but with a stark white color. The breed was admitted to the American Poultry Association’s Standard of Perfection in 1922. Not a hugely popular breed, there were about 3000 Rhode Island Whites in existence at the time of the 2003 ALBC Poultry Census.

Characteristics

A medium to large white chicken, Rhode Island White roosters grow to weigh 8 ½ lbs and females grow up to 6 ½ lbs. Their bodies have a brick-like appearance, large, broad, and carried horizontally. Their feathers are white, their beaks, shanks, and toes are yellow, and their eyes are reddish bay. They have either a rose shaped comb or a single comb and are very pleasant, easy- going chickens. Cold winters don’t phase them. While they are not as popular as their cousins, the Rhode Island Reds, they are excellent, adaptable birds that do well both in confinement and free range. They are known for their spunky personalities and resistance to disease. If you are a backyard farmer or if you have children (or both!), this is an excellent breed choice.

Dual Purpose Bird

The Rhode Island White is one of those rare chickens that is desirable for both meat and eggs. The breed lays about 240-300 large brown eggs a year and are excellent layers of winter eggs. They mature quickly.

Interesting Facts

While their other characteristics make the Rhode Island White a very desirable, all-purpose bird, there is one trait that really makes them stand out from the crowd. Rhode Island White females are cross bred with Rhode Island Red Males to produce Gold Sex Link Chicks. What is this? Gold Sex Link Chicks are bred so that one can tell the gender of the chick easily and are very popular with farmers who want to maintain a specific ratio of hens and roosters. Male Gold Sex Link Chicks are completely white while female Gold Sex Link Chicks are white with streaks of red or gold. These chicks grow into hardy dual-purpose birds.

No matter your climate, there’s a good chance the Rhode Island White will thrive where you live. It’s an extremely adaptable, low-maintenance bird that will provide you with fresh eggs or meat for many years to come. This is an absolute gem for your backyard chicken coop. You’ll get the laying capacity of a Leghorn with the docility and sweet nature of a Plymouth Rock, all wrapped into one pleasant white-feathered package.