Key Characteristics

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.


The bird lays 180-200 light brown eggs in a year. 

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.

Breed Societies

Rare Poultry Society