The single comb Rhode Island Red is a distinctly American breed. It was developed in Rhode Island and Massachusetts and admitted to the Standard of Perfection in 1904. These old type Rhode Island Reds were large and blocky, with dark mahogany plumage. And the hens tended toward broodiness. At one time this was the most popular breed in the United States. Starting in the 1940s, Rhode Island Reds were selectively bred for more efficient egg production. Developing an efficient production breed involves an increase in laying and a decrease in both broodiness and body size, resulting in more eggs at less cost. With an increased focus on laying, the birds grew less docile. And with a reduced focus on the breed’s appearance, the plumage became a lighter shade of red.
Production Type Rhode Island Redssoon became the norm, while the show type grew increasingly rare. In 2019, Cackle Hatchery® began breeding the original exhibition type. We acquired our start from Rhode Island Red breeder Ruth Lee Caron. Her strain came from Grand Master Exhibitor Lloyd Flanagan of Texas. Flanagan has worked with his bloodline for more than 30 years and was inducted into the Rhode Island Red Club Hall of Fame in 2001. His bloodline maintains the original rich color, brick shape, docile nature, and broodiness. Exhibition Rhode Island Reds are popular in showrooms and often appear on Champion Row. If you are seeking a sharp-looking breed that will do well at exhibition, check out these single comb exhibition type Rhode Island Red chickens offered by Cackle Hatchery®.