Rhode Island State Bird
Rhode Island Red (common name)
Gallus gallus (scientific name)
The Rhode Island red is America's best-known breed of chicken and one of the most popular types of domesticated fowl in the world. In 1954 it was designated the state bird of Rhode Island. The birds are red in more ways than one: their feathers range from rust-colored to a maroon-ish black; their eyes are red-orange; and they have reddish-brown beaks. Like most other domestic chickens, the Rhode Island red has yellow feet and flaps of bare red skin near its bill and forehead.
Males are much larger than females and have red wattles on their head and a "cape" of gold and bronze feathers on the back and lower back. The tail is composed of long, arching, iridescent black feathers that shimmer with green, blue, and purple. Roosters have a long spur on their lower leg, which is used in fights against other roosters. The female's plumage is pale brown, and she lacks head wattles. All domesticated chickens consume a diet of grain, although free-range chickens pick food off the ground and probe beneath the soil for seeds and grubs. Chickens have a wide range of calls to communicate and to alert their fellow birds to predators. A female Rhode Island red can produce up to 300 eggs per year.
ALSO KNOWN AS
During the mating season male birds try to attract females with their "cock-a-doodle-doo" calls. Males will also flirt with females with a display called "tid-bitting" in which the male coaxes the female to pick up a piece of grain he has given to her. The male clucks and bobs his head to catch the female’s eye. The display ends when the hen takes the food either from the ground or from the male’s beak. This action is often a direct precursor to mating. Like other domesticated chickens, the Rhode Island red can’t really fly. It can jump and flap to perches above the ground. The chicken’s wild ancestor, the red junglefowl, is more like a pheasant and can fly for hundreds of yards.
Farms and pastures
Conservation Status: Least Concern (LC)
Nesting Period: summer months
Size of Clutch: 8–12 eggs
Incubation Period: 19–21 days
Egg Description: Light brown to dark brown
red jungle fowl
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|Author: World Trade Press|