Rhode Island Reds get a lot of love from some chicken farmers!
Their unmatched personality makes them a fun breed to add to your coop.
But before buying new chickens, it’s a good idea to learn as much as possible about them.
Are you looking for an excellent layer, a friendly bird, or a specific egg color?
Keep reading to learn about Rhode Island Red chicken eggs, from the color and size to how many you’ll get each week.
The Basics on Rhode Island Red Eggs
Rhode Island Reds are amazing egg layers that have been praised for laying up to 300 eggs in a year. Their eggs are light brown, though some refer to it as more of an off-white or even a soft rust color. While they vary in size, they are generally on the larger end of the spectrum.
As far as chicken breeds go, Rhode Island Reds are very popular!
This American breed is known for being hardy birds with a big personality and being a favorite to backyard keepers.
They are single comb chickens and ideal birds for new backyard owners because of their resistance to illness and incredible laying capabilities.
Their average egg production is high compared to most other common breeds, which tend to lay fewer than 200 eggs annually.
If you’re looking for more color variations in your eggs or extremely docile birds, this breed of chicken may not be for you.
Further Reading: How well do Rhode Island Reds get along with other birds?
However, before you decide, let’s look at more specifics about their eggs.
Do Rhode Island Reds Lay Eggs?
Rhode Island Reds do lay eggs! In fact, they are some of the most prolific layers out there. Expect a yearly 300 eggs from these hens for several years.
Their egg production is high, even when they are only given basic layer feed and no special treatment.
Depending on the heritage strain, they may not lay as many eggs as the record 300 per year.
But Rhode Island Reds are great layers!
Do Rhode Island Reds Lay White Eggs?
Rhode Island Reds do not lay white eggs. These birdies lay light brown eggs. If you’re looking for white egg layers, look at a separate breed like Leghorns or Polish chickens.
These two breeds are known for laying white eggs, and there are plenty more like them, too!
The brown color egg of the Rhode Island Red may not be super exciting, but it’s a necessary sacrifice for the impressive production of this breed.
The birds themselves have beautiful red feathers, though.
Their plumage makes up for their egg color!
When Does a Rhode Island Red Start Laying Eggs?
The breed standard is to start laying between 18 and 22 weeks. Don’t be shocked if your birds start to lay slightly sooner or later than this, though. Some put their laying time as late as 24 weeks or as early as 15 weeks.
Further Reading: Rhode Island Red Growth Patterns and Health Tips
Do Rhode Island Red Chickens Lay Eggs in the Winter?
Rhode Island Reds lay through the summer and winter months! Granted, you still need to ensure you provide them with the necessary light daily. Even then, the winter brings a slower production than summer.
These birds get more impressive the more you learn about them!
No chicken can lay eggs for you without adequate artificial or natural light during the day; this breed is no exception.
They are, however, cold-hardy and heat tolerant birds.
Don’t let them romp around in the snow and get their tails or other feathers wet.
But don’t expect them to quit laying in the cold either!
After all, how could they lay 200-300 eggs in a year if they refused to lay during the winter?
Do Rhode Island Reds Lay in the Summer?
Rhode Island Reds lay all year round! They are heat tolerant and will continue to lay in the summer. Give them access to shade and plenty of cool water, and they will repay you by laying their usual 4-6 eggs each week.
As with any other common chicken breed, Rhode Island Reds need a little help to continue feeling (and performing) their best during the hottest months of the year.
If you do more than give them the basics of food and water, they’ll keep being the outstanding birds we know they are.
Give them cool water multiple times a day and have shady spots available for them to hang out and cool off.
Do Rhode Island Red Chickens Need a Rooster to Lay Eggs?
Rhode Island Reds don’t need a rooster to lay eggs. You only need a rooster if you want your bird’s eggs to hatch. A Rhode Island Red is perfectly capable of laying eggs without a rooster around. However, their eggs won’t be fertilized and therefore won’t produce any baby chicks.
Aggressive roosters are a handful, especially if you have timid birds hanging out in your coop.
So, consider purchasing eggs if you want to hatch some baby Rhode Island Reds without bringing a rooster to your farm.
You might get them at a feed store or order them online.
Just be sure to check reviews to know the seller is reliable.
Otherwise, if you are comfortable with it, bring in a rooster for a couple of days and fertilize your hens’ eggs.
How Long Do Rhode Island Reds Take to Hatch?
Rhode Island Reds hatch after 21 days like many common breeds of chicks. They are no exception to the rule of chickens. Don’t be alarmed if it takes a couple of days, more or less! A little variation is safe, and your beautiful chicks will still hatch!
However, if your eggs are over a week late, there is probably something wrong.
If you bought them online, it’s a good idea to contact the seller or check with other customers to see if the same problem surfaced for them.
With eggs produced on your farm, ask yourself whether they were fertilized.
A certain margin of extra time isn’t worrisome.
But if it starts to take too long for those eggs to hatch, there’s likely a problem.
Are Rhode Island Reds Good Layers?
Rhode Island Reds are notoriously good layers! They’re the bird of choice for many chicken keepers who want to increase egg production. The quantity of eggs produced in a year varies from 180-300. Heritage strains lay fewer.
Even on the lower end of this scale, the Rhode Island Red makes a wonderful addition to your chicken coop!
How Many Eggs Do Rhode Island Reds Lay Each Week?
Expect 4-6 eggs per week from your Rhode Island Red chickens. This number seems enormous if you aren’t accustomed to raising amazing layers. But these birdies commonly lay almost every single day!
They’re reliable layers so long as you take good care of them.
Make sure they have adequate food, light, and water.
They’re also excellent foragers, so give them a backyard run with plenty of space!
Do your best for them, and they will do their best for you.
When Do Rhode Island Reds Stop Laying?
This popular chicken breed lays at full capacity for about two years, at which point they begin to slow down. By the time they reach five years of age, they will be just about done laying eggs.
After those first two years, their laying will decrease from 10-15% each year for the next 2-3 years.
Once a couple more years have passed, though, they will eventually stop laying altogether.
Do Rhode Island Reds Go Broody?
It’s not unheard of, however, Rhode Island Reds are not known for having broody hens. Your hens may go broody now and then. However, they aren’t going to be seen protecting a nest of eggs every day of the week.
There are other poultry breeds to look for if you want a broody hen.
Silkies, for example, are protective mothers and broody hens.
Broodiness is not a good trait for productive hens anyway, though, because it makes it difficult for your birds to lay as many eggs as possible.
Furthermore, Rhode Island Reds are assertive birds!
If they were to get protective of a few eggs, it might not be the nicest experience for you.
How to Increase Egg Production
Rhode Island Reds don’t need much help to produce high quantities of eggs. However, if your hens seem to be slacking, consider supplementing their food with missing nutrients, ensuring they have a clean coop, or double-checking all their needs are being met.
Commercial feeds usually account for the basic needs of common chicken breeds like the Rhode Island Red.
However, deficiencies can pop up, especially in older hens.
And you may need to remedy these with some sort of supplement.
For example, older chickens sometimes become calcium deficient.
Get these nutrients into your birds’ diet, and you’ll be surprised at their effect on egg production.
We also can’t stress enough how important it is to keep up with the basics.
Your hens need adequate access to light, food, and water!
Competing for resources or simply lacking in them is always going to harm production.