Watching your chickens grow is a great experience.
They grow so quickly, and it is interesting to chart their growth to see how much bigger they get each week.
If you’ve recently brought home a Rhode Island Red chicken, you may wonder how quickly it will grow.
While the specific numbers will vary from chicken to chicken, it helps get a general idea of how quickly your Rhode Island Red will grow.
Rhode Island Red chicks usually weigh about 0.092 lbs. Both pullets and cockerels gain about 0.1 lbs a week at first. This number increases to almost 0.2 lbs as they reach maturity. Full-grown Rhode Island Red chickens reach 3.22-4 lbs, with roosters weighing more than hens.
Monitoring the weight of your Rhode Island Red roosters and chickens is a fun thing to do.
Let’s look at average Rhode Island Red growth charts for weekly growth.
How Fast Do Rhode Island Reds Grow?
Like most other poultry, Rhode Island Red chickens grow relatively fast.
They start putting on weight right away and typically reach their full weight at 40 weeks.
Rhode Island Red chickens are among the most popular chickens among backyard farmers and homesteaders.
The main reason for this is their excellence as a multipurpose breed.
Rhode Island Red hens make excellent egg layers.
They also are a good meat breed.
For this reason, they are a great addition to any backyard farm or homestead.
Having a backyard flock of Rhode Island Reds will keep you and your family with a steady supply of eggs and a decent amount of meat when it comes time for butchering and slaughtering.
Chickens grow up so quickly.
It seems like the time between them being baby chicks and reaching their full size happens fast.
Charting their growth and researching typical growth for the chicken breed gives you a good idea of what to expect as far as growth goes for the first few months of your chicken’s life.
Rhode Island Red Cockerel Growth vs. Rhode Island Red Pullet Growth
As with many other breeds of chicken, the Rhode Island Red breed typically has larger roosters and small hens.
Most of the time, roosters tend to pack more weight than their hen counterparts.
If you are a well-seasoned chicken owner, you’ve undoubtedly recognized how quickly your cockerels seem to plump up than the laying hens.
In this chart, we break down the weight of cockerels and pullets in 4-week increments.
You’ll notice how initial weight gain starts slowly and increases significantly as the chicken gets bigger.
This is the same for both cockerels and pullets.
You’ll also notice how much more weight Rhode Island Red cockerels put on each week compared to the pullets.
Here is a great chart to compare the growth rate between male and female Rhode Island Reds.
|Cockerel Weight (in lbs)||Pullet Weight (in lbs)||Weeks Of Age|
When reading this chart, you’ll notice how cockerels and pullets start at the same weight and stay roughly the same until about 4 weeks of age.
Once your chicks get to the 12-week mark, there is a noticeable and significant difference in the weight between each sex.
Their similar weight often makes it difficult to identify the sex of chicks when they are very young.
Weight Gained By Pullets Every 4 Weeks
Most of us keep more hens than roosters in our backyard flock.
Roosters tend to be territorial and even aggressive in certain circumstances.
In many cases, you’ll only be able to have one or two roosters in your flock.
More than this often leads to frequent fighting and stress among the roosters.
This social dynamic is no different in the Rhode Island Red chicken breed.
For this reason, most of us Rhode Island Red owners are more interested in the weight gain of the pullets.
This allows us a good idea of what to expect as far as when they will reach market weight for meat production.
Since pullets gain weight differently than cockerels, it helps to see the breakdown of their weight.
This chart shows how much bodyweight a pullet gains every week until 40 weeks.
At 40 weeks, the pullet is usually at its full weight. If not, just below it.
You’ll notice how the most weight gained peaks at 8-12 weeks and slowly decreases as the pullet gets older.
This means you’ll notice a lot of growth at this time in this dual-purpose breed.
Here is the full breakdown of female weight gain in pounds broken down into 4-week increments.
|Weight Gain In Pounds||Pullet Age In Weeks|
What Influences Weight Gain In Chickens?
In general, chicken growth is fairly rigid.
There aren’t too many things capable of influencing your chickens’ speed or overall weight gain.
There are a few things to keep in mind regarding weight gain.
Many people notice some trends when it comes to the growth of their chickens.
While some are out of your control, some things to consider if you are looking to have your chickens gain as much weight as possible quickly.
Most people who keep chickens for meat production want their birds to reach their full weight as quickly as possible, so they’re ready for market.
This makes sense if you raise meat chickens because you’ll collect the profit from their meat much quicker.
If you plan to keep Rhode Island Red chickens for meat, keep these key factors in mind to quickly get your chickens to their market weight.
Month Of Birth
When chicks are born, the time of year influences their weight gain and growth.
Generally speaking, those chicks born earlier in the breeding season tend to put on more weight faster than those born later in the year.
If you want chicks to grow quickly and put on weight fast, make sure you get chicks born in early February.
These are often the first chicks of the season, and many reports these early birds grow significantly faster than those born in late April.
Like all living things, Rhode Island Red chicks need sufficient nutrients and high-quality feed to grow quickly and healthily.
For the most part, this won’t influence weight gain significantly.
However, malnourished chicks will not gain weight quickly and may even get sick or die if they don’t receive proper nutrients.
It may help find a supplement or vitamin to add to the chicken layer feed to ensure your chicks are getting a balanced diet where all their nutritional needs are met.
It also helps to make sure to monitor their feed intake.
This way, you’ll be sure they are eating enough.
Practicing good habits when feeding our chickens is essential for their entire lives.
Our egg layers of the flock need proper nutrition.
Poor feed leads to decreased layer production and lower egg weight. It will also decrease their weekly laying rate.
Related reading: How much food do Rhode Island Red chickens eat?
Overall Living Conditions
Chickens are hardy animals, but they will still get stressed out.
The overall living conditions of your backyard flock will impact their stress level.
Make sure your flock of chickens feels safe, and the content will make sure they are in tip-top shape.
Healthy birds put on weight well, while sickly ones tend to have a harder time.
Keep environmental conditions good, provide clean water, and have ample space for your birds.
This will keep them content and healthy, so they put on weight quickly.
What Does A Full Grown Rhode Island Red Chickens Look Like?
Rhode Island Red chickens are visually striking birds.
The roosters are incredibly lavish looking.
They tend to stand tall with a proud stature.
Their bright mahogany red coat makes for handsome plumage.
Their coats also have shining jet-black tail feathers with green speckles.
Here are some typical traits of the Rhode Island Red appearance:
- Orange/red eyes
- Single combs or rose combs on roosters
- Vivid coloring on combs, wattles, and earlobes
- Reddish-brown beaks
- Yellow feet, sometimes with red coloring
Hens have less deep colors in their plumage.
They tend to have coats of a lighter shade of red.
Like the roosters, they also have black lacing.
Rhode Island Red chickens are popular among chicken keepers and backyard farmers.
In more recent years, their popularity has led to significantly deeper colors throughout their coat.
The early versions of this breed were not bred for looks, so they didn’t have such striking plumage.
There are two generally accepted strains of the Rhode Island Red breed.
As the breed’s name implies, the two strains have a variation in the red coloring.
The two strains are called Industrial and Old-type.
The Industrial strain tends to produce smaller and less vivid colors than the Old-type.
Temperament of Rhode Island Red Chickens
Knowing the temperament and traits of chickens before you bring them home is very wise.
Some chickens tend to be better for beginners, while others require more experienced care and knowledge.
Rhode Island Red chickens are an easy dual-purpose bird for beginners but don’t expect them to be friendly or eager to snuggle up with you.
Some people find Heritage birds friendlier than those commercial birds from hatcheries.
This is a common observation among Heritage breeds.
Most Rhode Island Red chicken owners felt their chickens were on the mean side of things as far as personality goes.
However, personality is a bit of a dice roll with this breed.
The head rooster of the breed, like most others, tends to be significantly more aggressive and territorial than the hens.
Rhode Island Red chickens are bred widely as they are a very popular breed.
Further reading: Can you breed Rhode Island Red chickens?
This means there is a wide variety of personalities, traits, and temperaments among individual birds.
Aggressive roosters will crow more if more than one male chicken is in the flock.
This is because crowing is a form of competition, and roosters are very proud animals.
They will crow at each other to establish dominance.
Multiple roosters also make it more likely for aggression and fights to frequent in the flock.
Tips For Caring For Rhode Island Reds
People have been keeping chickens for centuries.
Due to the long history of chicken keeping, many lessons have been learned.
This makes it great for beginner chicken owners as there are plenty of helpful tips for caring for chickens.
Rhode Island Reds have been around for a while, so experienced chicken owners are willing to share tips they’ve discovered over the years.
Here are some of the most helpful tips for caring for Rhode Island Reds:
Allow Reds To Forage
Rhode Island Reds find joy and entertainment from foraging and free-ranging.
Make sure to allow them to roam to get their exercise and mental stimulation in.
If you allow your Rhode Island Reds to free-range and forage, they are sure to take care of insects like mosquitoes and other pests, which is a major benefit.
This breed of chicken will do alright in confinement, but they tend to be much happier and healthier when allowed to roam and forage.
Help Prevent Parasites
Chickens, like other animals, are susceptible to parasites.
There are easy ways to prevent this.
One way to prevent parasites is by providing access to dust or sand for them to take dust baths regularly.
This helps to keep them clean and free of parasites.
Keep Them Protected From The Cold
Rhode Island Reds are generally very hardy birds.
They even do well in cold environments.
There are some key things to do to help them stay healthy and happy during the cold winter months.
One way to help these cold-tolerant chickens out is by applying petroleum jelly to their combs.
This helps to prevent frostbite from occurring.
It also helps to put a heat lamp in the coop to help combat the bitter cold temperatures.
Related: Are Rhode Island Reds loud or quiet?
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