The breed is rare but there are a few enthusiasts and the Rhodebar does retain the utility characteristics it was bred for.
- The Rhodebar was developed from a desire to create an autosexing breed that had the commercial characteristics of the Rhode Island Red.
- The Rhodebar was developed in the early 1940s using a crossing programme of Barred Plymouth Rocks and Rhode Island Reds.
- Unlike most of the autosexing breeds which were developed at Cambridge, the Rhodebar was developed at the University of British Columbia.
- The first UK version of the breed was developed in the late 1940s by crossing a Danish strain of Rhode Island Red with Gold Brussbars. A later version was developed in the early 1950s from a crossing programme similar to that of the original Canadian Rhodebar.
- In the 1940s and 1950s Rhode Island Reds were arguably the most commercially important chicken.
- The breed was standardised in 1952.
- The Rhodebar is a medium sized breed similar in proportions to a utility Rhode Island Red.
- The plumage is red with characteristic barring throughout; the tails are black and silver barred.
- There is a bantam version which is very rare.
Did you know?
The Rhodebar is an auto-sexing breed. It is easy to tell whether a chick is male or female at 1 day old. Males are yellow and females have dark stripes. In the breed’s heyday, it was quite normal to get 98% of the chicks correctly sexed, sometimes 100% right.
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