Friday, March 13, 2009
My Garden Helper
This is my Garden Helper--Red. Red believes in being proactive. Every morning he gets up early and takes it upon himself to wake up the sun. After he wakes the sun he comes to the door and crows until I bring out food for him and his girls. He doesn't seem to trust me much and I don't understand why because I haven't missed a morning feeding yet. After he and his girls have a hearty breakfast, they attend to their other farm chores which include insecticide, fertilizing and procreating.
Red and the girls even help me dispose of household garbage although they do get carried away at times. For the most part, I'm quite proud of Red. Red and his girls have an announcement to make. They are going to be proud parents in about 19 days.
Red is a Rhode Island Red, not to be confused with a Production red which is a cross between a Rhode Island Red and a New Hampshire Red. Rhode Island Reds are raised for meat and eggs and are quite handsome as you can see.
The breed was developed in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, early flocks had both single and rose combed individuals because one of the foundational Sires was a black breasted red Malay which was imported from England. The town of origin was Adamsville, Rhode Island. In 1925 the Rhode Island Club of America honored the Rhode Island Red with a monument. asecond monument, this time by the state was erected in 1954 a mile outside of Adamsville honoring the commercial farmers who raised Rhode Island Reds.
Rhode Island Reds are resistant to illness, good at foraging and free ranging and are typically docile, quiet and friendly although some individual birds can be aggressive toward small children and some adults, especially strangers. Although they are widely known as good layers of brown eggs and lay as many as 250-300 eggs annually, if the coop temperature drops below freezing their output drops considerably and the tips of their combs are highly susceptible to frostbite. Rhode Island Reds are also bred for meat. Roosters weigh up to 8 1/2 pounds, hens up to 6 1/2 pounds, cockerels 7 1/2 pounds and pullets 5 1/2 pounds.