Rhode Island Red vs Buckeye

Red vs Buckeye Brawl: The Feathery Fight for Dominance



—> Last Updated:

I grew up on a small farm in Rhode Island with a flock of feisty Rhode Island Red chickens.

Those hens were a fiery bunch – always squabbling over treats and seeing who could lay the biggest egg.

When I moved down south to raise chickens of my own, I decided to try a new breed – the Buckeye chicken.

And let me tell you, switching from Rhode Island Reds to Buckeyes has been as different as night and day!

Buckeyes are much more mellow and docile than Rhode Island Reds.

But Rhode Island Reds lay more eggs than Buckeyes.

Let me tell you about the time my Rhode Island Red, Ol’ Henrietta, chased off a fox that had wandered into the coop.

That fox took one look at her blazing red feathers and fiery temper and hightailed it out of there! Buckeyes may be good layers, but those Rhode Island Reds have attitude.


If you’re looking for a laid-back chicken breed that gets along well with people and other poultry, go with the Buckeyes.

Rhode Island Red vs Buckeye

Buckeyes tend to be gentle, calm chickens that make great pets.

Rhode Island Reds, on the other hand, are feisty birds that sometimes bully each other and other chickens.

They’re active foragers and can be flighty. So if a friendly, mellow flock is your goal, Buckeyes are the better choice.

Egg Laying

When it comes to egg production, Rhode Island Reds have the advantage.

On average, Rhode Island Red hens lay 5-6 eggs per week, while Buckeyes average 3-4. Rhode Island Reds are one of the best heritage breeds for consistent, abundant egg laying.

So if you’re looking to fill cartons with eggs for personal use or sale at the farmer’s market, go with the Rhode Island Reds.

Climate Tolerance

Buckeyes and Rhode Island Reds have similar climate tolerances, handling cold winters and hot summers fairly well.

Rhode Island Red vs Buckeye

Both breeds have a single comb that’s prone to frostbite. And their large bodies can cause them to struggle in extreme heat.

When it comes to climate, the breeds are pretty evenly matched. Go with Buckeyes if you live in a northern climate and want a dual purpose bird. Stick with Rhode Island Reds for southern flocks focused on egg production.


Rhode Island Reds have flashy, bright red plumage with long flowing tails.

Hens weigh 6-7 lbs and roosters get up to 8-9 lbs.

Rhode Island Red vs Buckeye

Buckeyes have mahogany red feathers on their neck and saddle, with black and brown accents.

Hens weigh 6-7 lbs and roosters reach 8-9 lbs. For variety in color, go with Buckeyes. But for a showy, vibrant red bird, Rhode Island Reds can’t be beat!

So in summary, mellow Buckeyes and feisty Rhode Island Reds both make good heritage chicken breeds. Choose Buckeyes for friendly pets, or Rhode Island Reds if you’re looking for stellar egg production. Let me know in the comments which breed you prefer on your homestead!

See also  Buff Orpingtons vs. Speckled Sussex : A Battle for Your Backyard


When it comes to feeding your flock, Rhode Island Reds and Buckeyes have similar nutritional needs. As productive laying hens, both require a complete feed that is 16-18% protein. Free choice oyster shell or grit should also be provided to aid digestion and egg shell strength.

Rhode Island Red vs Buckeye

These energetic birds will also appreciate treats like mealworms, fresh fruits and veggies, and even plain yogurt. One difference is that Buckeyes tend to be slightly heavier than Rhode Island Reds, so they may need more food overall per bird to maintain body weight.

Make sure feed and fresh water are always available. Scatter feeding supplemented with scratch grains encourages natural foraging behavior.

And providing plenty of space at the feeders prevents squabbling. Speaking of squabbling, Rhode Island Reds are more aggressive at the feeder than Buckeyes. So you may need multiple feeders spaced far apart if you have Reds. Or try feeding them separately from more docile chickens.

Both breeds will enjoy access to pasture when available. The exercise and foraging will keep them happy and healthy.

You can also supplement their diet with garden waste like vegetable trimmings. Just be sure any forage hasn’t been treated with chemicals. Overall, Rhode Island Reds and Buckeyes have very similar nutritional needs. Just adjust feeding space and quantity based on breed temperament and body weight.


When it comes to broodiness, or the tendency to go into a long incubating and mothering phase, Rhode Island Reds and Buckeyes differ quite a bit.

Rhode Island Reds rarely go broody. It’s very uncommon for a Rhode Island Red hen to stop laying eggs and dedicate herself to incubating and raising chicks. This makes them excellent producers since they continue laying regular quantities of eggs each season.

On the other hand, Buckeyes frequently go broody. The mothering instinct is strong in this breed. If you allow it, a Buckeye hen will often stop laying mid-season to hunker down and incubate a clutch of eggs.

She’ll diligently care for and protect the chicks once they’ve hatched. This broodiness means fewer eggs over time from Buckeye hens. But it’s great if you want to hatch and raise chicks without an incubator.

If you don’t want broody hens, be sure to collect eggs frequently from Buckeyes.

And don’t allow access to nesting boxes. Discouraging broodiness in this breed can help maintain more consistent egg production. But nurturing it can give you the gift of adorable chicks and good mama hens!

Predator Avoidance

Protecting your flock from predators is key to keeping backyard chickens. And when it comes to predator avoidance, Rhode Island Reds are much feistier and more vocal than Buckeyes. Those spicy Rhode Island Red hens will often give loud warning calls at the first sign of a predator like a fox, raccoon, or neighborhood dog.

See also  Rhode Island Red vs Buff Orpington: Which Backyard Chicken is Right For You?

Their boldness and aggression can help scare predators away. Buckeyes, on the other hand, tend to be calm and docile. They are less likely to sound alarm calls or confront predators boldly. Both Buckeyes and Rhode Island Reds can be flighty and nimble, able to escape if given space. But you’ll want to reinforce their housing because Rhode Island Reds are better at predator warning.

You can help keep both breeds safe by bringing them into a secure coop at night. Electric poultry net fencing also adds protection. The more mellow Buckeyes may be at greater risk since they won’t act as lookouts. So be sure their run and housing are reinforced against nighttime predators.

Noise Level

When picking the right chicken breed, noise level is something to consider if you have close neighbors. Rhode Island Red hens are quite vocal, with frequent loud cackling and chattering.

Their egg song can be quite boisterous when laying. And they make plenty of noise hassling each other or warning of predators. Buckeyes, on the other hand, tend to be much quieter in general.

A flock of Buckeyes isn’t silent, but they don’t have the same loud, frequent outbursts as the Rhode Island Reds. The mellow Buckeyes have a much more relaxed, easygoing demeanor reflected in their modest vocalizations. Roosters of both breeds can be noisy with crowing, so be selective if your municipality prohibits roosters.

For quieter backyard flocks that will keep the peace with neighbors, go with the Buckeyes. But if you want an exuberant, talkative flock, the vibrant and vocal Rhode Island Reds might be your pick. Just be prepared for their spirited chatter and investment in a quality sound barrier!


When selecting a chicken breed, cost can be a factor. Heritage breeds like Rhode Island Reds and Buckeyes will cost more than commercial hybrids. Purebred chicks from good breeding stock often go for $5-15 each. Adult birds are pricier at $20-50 per hen.

In general, Rhode Island Reds tend to cost a bit less than Buckeyes. Their popularity as great layers means widespread availability. Buckeyes are rarer, so finding breeders can be trickier and pricing is at a premium. But with both breeds, you’re paying for high quality purebreds.

Consider the ongoing costs too. Lively Rhode Island Reds may go through feed faster and require more housing space than laidback Buckeyes. And active foraging Buckeyes may need more pasture or garden space than closely confined Reds. Weigh the upfront and long term costs before picking your breed.

Meat Production

While primarily raised for eggs, Rhode Island Red and Buckeye chickens can also provide meat. Young surplus cockerels can be harvested at 4-6 months old. Mature hens that have stopped laying regularly make good stew birds. Both breeds have good meat quality on their medium frames.

See also  Clash of the Coops: Buff Orpington vs Barred Rock

Buckeyes may have an advantage when it comes to meat production. Slow growing breeds like them put on more muscle and fat relative to egg production. The result is good flavor and tenderness. Rhode Island Reds grow slightly faster while directing more energy towards eggs.

You’ll get slightly higher dressed weights and meat quantity from the Buckeyes. But both make great multi-purpose birds for modest meat as well as eggs. Remember to provide supplemental protein rations to birds being raised specifically for meat.


When it comes to toughness and resilience, Buckeyes and Rhode Island Reds are evenly matched. Both handle temperature extremes well thanks to their hearty heritage genetics. They’re naturally resistant to disease and parasites too when raised in healthy conditions.

These breeds have strong immune systems that thrive outdoors with plenty of fresh air, exercise, and sunshine.

Neither is quite as hardy as breeds specifically developed for grass based, free range systems. But they’re both a good choice for small homestead flocks.

In very wet or muddy conditions, carefully manage parasites and practice good biosecurity. Well drained soil and dry bedding help.

And make sure both breeds have space to exercise even when they can’t access pasture. Overall, these heritage breeds are nice and hardy once fully feathered out.

Clash of the Coops: Rhode Island Red & Buckeye Square Off

Rhode Island Red Buckeye
Origin United States United States
Size Medium Large
Color Red Red
Temperament Friendly Docile
Egg Production High Medium to High
Egg Color Brown Brown
Feather Color Red Red
Comb Type Single Pea
Broodiness Moderate High
Hardiness Excellent Good
Weight (Hen) 6.5 lbs 6.5 lbs
Weight (Rooster) 8.5 lbs 9.5 lbs
Lifespan 5-8 years 5-8 years
Special Notes Adaptable and good for beginners. Excellent for small farms and backyard flocks.
Climate Tolerance Warm climates Cold-hardy
Feeding Requirements Standard poultry feed Standard poultry feed
Health Issues Resilient, but watch for common poultry diseases Hardy, but watch for respiratory issues
Egg Size Large Medium to Large
Foraging Ability Good foragers Excellent foragers
Use Dual-purpose (meat and eggs) Dual-purpose (meat and eggs)
Personality Curious and active Friendly and calm
Adaptability Adaptable to various environments Thrives in free-range systems
Heritage Heritage breed American heritage breed
Conservation Status Not listed Watch by The Livestock Conservancy
Egg Production (per year) Approximately 200-300 eggs Approximately 150-200 eggs


how to raise chickens for eggs book pdf

Get Crackin’ on Your Own Egg Empire

Do you crave the rich golden yolks and thick whites that only come from the freshest eggs?

After nearly a decade running my own egg empire and mastering the art of keeping chickens, I’ve stuffed all my insider secrets into the aptly named “How to Raise Chickens for Eggs”.

how to raise chickens for eggs book pdf

Get Crackin’ on Your Own Egg Empire

Do you crave the rich golden yolks and thick whites that only come from the freshest eggs?

Dream of a waddling flock of feathered friends in your own backyard?

Then stop dreaming and start hatching a plan, people!

This ain’t no chicken game. After nearly a decade running my own egg empire and mastering the art of keeping chickens, I’ve stuffed all my insider secrets into the aptly named “How to Raise Chickens for Eggs”.

I’m talking building a palace of a coop guaranteed to impress the neighbors, concocting feed for peak egg production, collecting eggs so perfect you’ll weep tears of joy – plus hilarious stories and accidental mishaps along the way.

So get cluckin’ and grab the key to creating your own morning egg paradise before I sell out!