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Rhodebar - Chicken
UsesProlific egg layer, table bird
ClassHeavy, soft feather
ColourAuto-sexing, Red barred
Weight, cock3.6 kg
Weight, hen2.9 kg
ParentageRhode Island Red, Barred Plymouth Rock
Sitter?A sitter, but less inclinded to do so than many other breeds.
Rare Poultry Society
The Rhodebar was developed by several parties at around the same period prior to 1950. It is possible existing birds in the UK originate from a Mr B. De. H. Pickard from Storrington in Sussex who used Barred Plymouth Rock, an auto-sexable American breed crossed with Rhode Island Red. Mr Pickard gained standardisation from the Poultry Club of Great Britain in October 1952. During the early 1900’s the Rhode Island Red featured along with the North Holland Blue and Light Sussex as one of the most popular commercial free range laying birds. Therefore the Rhodebar was created to be an excellent laying breed that would allow cockerels to be easily identified and removed from the growing stock early on. Unfortunately the Rhodebar came in to existence at the end of the pure breed era, at a time when specific hybrid stock was being created for egg farms. Rhodebar could certainly prove to be an excellent choice for anyone wishing to create a small free-range egg laying flock and are useful for those that do not have the room to grow on all birds to select and determine sex. The rarer bantam version was created by Brian Sands of Lincolnshire. The bantam gene pool is very small, consisting of only one distinctive bloodline (2008). Further inbreeding can be avoided by sensible line breeding or by crossing a Rhodebar cockerels with Rhode Island Red pullets then selecting the barred chicks from the progeny.
Rhodebar have an upright carriage with a broad and long, horizontal back. The tail is quite small for the size of the bird. Comb is single and medium sized. Comb, earlobes, face and wattles are red. The beak is red-horn or yellow. Eyes are orange or red. Legs and feet are yellow. The barring on males is clearer and more striking than that on females.