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Winter Sale 2014
Ex Display Henhouses for sale - Great bargain duck houses and chicken coops for immediate collection - check them out here
Black Rock hens and pullets for sale : 2-3 year old birds from our laying flock - Point of lay pullets available to collect now (2014)
limited stocks

poultry coops and housing for ducks geese and chickens

Practical Affordable WATERFOWL AND POULTRY HOUSING available throughout United Kingdom

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information about our jacob sheep flock

Argyll JACOB SHEEP, raised here on the farm for their lamb, mutton, fleece and rugs

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Ardchattan parish : Benderloch, Barcaldine, North connel, Bonawe - Past and Present

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Kintaline poultry 2014 : Chickens : Utility breeds : RHODE ISLAND RED :
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The Rhode Island Red is an American breed of chicken developed in the early 1900's and itís ancestry goes back to birds bred in Rhode Island, hence the name. Depending on the variety, the Rhode Island Red can have a single or rose comb.
Our Rhodes are single combed.
The Rhode gained in popularity as it was improved by local farmers in the first two decades of the 20th century. Following the advent of more complicated selection methods in the 20's and 30's, the breed established its excellent reputation as a superb layer.

In the past 20 - 30 years its place as the main commercial layer has been taken by the very efficient hybrids and there are very few breeders of productive Rhode Island Red left in this country.
The show standards drifted towards a much deeper feather colour - almost black in many instances and selecting for feather and form has resulted in a drastic decline in the numbers of eggs many Rhode Island Red strains produce.

It is not unknown for some strains now to be barely capable of 100 eggs a year which is paltry compared to the good old days when birds routinely laid 250 plus and good ones could get up to 300 a year. There are very very few strains of the latter sort of Rhode Island left - most are somewhere in the middle - laying around 150 - 200 eggs a year which is disappointing.

It is therefore important that you check that your intended breeder selects for egg numbers and colour when choosing a source for your birds especially if you want them to produce eggs for your breakfast most of the year.

Unfortunately maintaining great productivity in any strain of poultry is very hard work - it takes time to record egg numbers and it costs money to only select the right eggs for the breed for incubating. As a result good productive Rhode Island Reds are rare nowadays.

Unless a breeder is constantly aware of how many eggs his birds are producing he cannot know whether or not each generation is as good or better than the last. Or he needs to bring in a new strain to beef up the numbers.
Selection of the eggs that are incubated to ensure that only ones of the right colour and size are used means fewer birds hatched but it is an important way to prevent the commonly seen pale small eggs that so many Rhode Islands produce now.

As so few breeders and owners of birds record egg numbers in the UK it is very difficult to judge the quality of many strains.

Our utility strain breeding stock have plumage is a deep burgundy/ chestnut, deeper than the commercially bred red hybrids, but not like the nearly black of the exhibition birds. The males take on a lustre that gives them a glossed appearance. The black tail feathering of the male has a vibrant green sheen.

They are a dual purpose, large heavy chicken breed and our hens are excellent layers of mid brown eggs. Our birds do very well on the normal layers diet and are strong foragers if given the chance.

The parent stock of our chicks have produced over 250 eggs in their first year. They are hardy birds, and can lay through the winter in the right conditions. As far north as we are this varies rather - some winters can be so dark and miserable we all feel like hibernating.

We continue to strive hard to ensure our strain will produce good numbers of eggs.
Characteristics of our strain of Rhodes include early maturity, good egg size, non-broodiness, and good tough feather and plenty of activity.
These days there is a great mixture of Rhode Islands available - those that have been bred by exhibition breeders are generally much darker and often have lost some of their productivity; many other breeders have not been selecting for productivity so the results can be very varied from really very poor to good. IT is important to ask your breeder what sort of selection they do - and the numbers of eggs their birds lay. Just because the books say that the Rhode Island is a good layer does not mean that all strains are these days. It is equally important to make sure the egg colour of the birds is good - some strains nowadays do not produce the good brown colour that a Rhode Island should.
If you are interested in the genetics and selection of Rhode Islands - take a look here -

lovely deep chestnut hen

young rhode island red cockerel a young gawky Rhode Island Red cockerel
Our Rhode Island Red breeding pen

Tim and Jill Bowis
Kintaline Mill Farm, Benderloch, OBAN Argyll PA37 1QS Scotland
all text and images are copyright, do not use without express permission and links back to this site. Website online : 1999-2014
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information about our hardy plant nursery

Our hardy PLANT NURSERY where we grow interesting and unusual perennials, herbs and rhodies

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Full range of BOOKS and DVDS's on poultry keeping, other smallholding topics and related gift ideas.

let the white campbell drake take you into the world of ducks at Kintaline

Let the white campbell drake lead you into the world of DUCKS

poultry waterfowl button leading to traditional breeds of hens, ducks and geese and poultry park

garden railway G scale
Around the garden we have a G scale Garden Railway track. Tim is delighted to meet fellow enthusiasts

Here at Kintaline Plant and Poultry Centre we have very full days with our birds and plants outside, guests and customers visiting the farm, as well as email and phone customers.
Please email with your daytime and evening telephone numbers if you are having difficulties getting hold of us by phone. We will return your call as soon as we can.

Local Origins Rural Network Oban farmers market Argyll

Here at Kintaline : Local Farmers and Crafters Market - every first and third Thursday of the month, March to Decemberfor producers from Dalmally to Oban, Glencoe to Kilmelford, Lismore and Kerrera.

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Up to 8Mb broadband from just £9.99 a month. PlusNet broadband.