Rhodonite is not a separate independent breed of chickens, but an industrial cross. This hybrid was bred on the basis of two others: Loman Brown and Rhode Island. Both crosses are considered egg crosses. Consider the features of an unusual type of chickens, the rules for feeding them and the subtleties of breeding.
If you pay attention to the description of rhodonite chickens, then it should be noted their great visual similarity with their ancestors - birds of the Loman Brown and Rhode Island breed. However, this only applies to external unity.
It should be noted that the process of breeding rhodonite chickens was not an easy task for scientific breeders. The thing is that the first few "versions" of animals were completely unsuccessful. So, after 18 months of life, laying hens lost their productivity and egg production. In addition, this species was originally created for keeping in the conditions of poultry farms, that is, for industrial needs . In this regard, the chickens were not adapted to adverse external environmental conditions.
Thus, geneticists and breeders had to do a fairly large-scale work, which, nevertheless, was crowned with success. Rhodonite is the result of crossing along 4 lines: red Rhode Island line P35 (roosters), red Rhode Island line P36 (chickens), line P37, line P38.
If we talk about the characteristic signs and features that distinguish this cross from any other animals, it is important to note that there are some standards in relation to the appearance, dimensions, and also some other indicators of these animals.
First of all, chickens of the rhodonite breed have all the signs of a high-quality laying hen.
Traditionally, the weight of a female does not exceed 2 kilograms, and the maximum weight of a rooster can reach 2.5 kilograms.
The size of the chicken's head does not exceed the average. The beak is yellow, at the top of which a wide line of brown shade is drawn. The comb of a rooster has a leaf-shaped shape, it is medium in size and is colored red. The eyes are fairly prominent in shape and have a green-orange color. There are also earrings.
As for the anatomical structure, an important feature of these chickens is considered to be a rather lightweight skeleton. The body in animals is located in the horizontal direction, and its upper line is straight. The back and loin are quite wide.
The animals have a bushy tail, which is set high enough on the body. The chest itself has a bulge, but the stomach is well developed. The wings of rhodonite are quite small, as are the legs. Moreover, on the legs, among other things, the muscles are practically undeveloped. The plumage is dense in structure and can be colored in a variety of tones: from light brown to ashy.
Pros and cons of the breed
Chickens rhodonite, like any other domestic animal, have their own unique characteristics. Some of them are positive, while others are extremely negative. One way or another, but it is necessary to become familiar with both groups of signs.
So, the pluses of the cross include the following indicators:
- a high level of egg production and long-term productivity - its decrease occurs only at the 5th year of life;
- frost resistance, which allows you to keep animals even in northern regions and areas with an unfavorable and unstable climate;
- high survival rate;
- high feed conversion.
However, not only the advantages characterize the unique cross rhodonite. Animals also have noticeable flaws. Among them, the following features are most often distinguished:
- the inability to breed chickens "in themselves";
- eating your own eggs with a lack of nutrients;
- decreased performance during molting;
- Layers do not have a special instinct for setting, so eggs can be randomly scattered throughout the territory where chickens live.
Despite the disadvantages, the advantages of this cross significantly outweigh its disadvantages. Due to its many advantages, this type of chicken is preferred by many breeders and poultry farmers, regardless of their experience and skills.
How to determine gender?
Determining the sex of individuals of the cross rhodonite is not difficult. It is carried out within 24 hours after birth by means of an external examination.
First of all, attention should be paid to fluff on the body. If it is yellow, then it is a rooster, and if it is brown, then it is a chicken. In addition, the halo around the eyes is light in females and dark in males. Another external characteristic of an animal, by which you can easily determine its sex, is the color of the head. If it is yellow (especially if brown spots are observed on it), then this is a rooster, and if it is brown, then a chicken.
What to feed?
In the process of caring for representatives of the cross-country rhodonite, special attention must be paid to their diet. Veterinarians and scientists report that ready-made combined mixtures, as well as so-called mash, will be the best food option for such animals. If desired, meat and fish broths can be added to these complexes.
In addition, the addition of other products is recommended to the base, in particular - vegetables, herbs and wheat groats . If there is a need to introduce any vitamins or minerals into the diet, as well as any artificial additives, then you should consult your veterinarian in advance about this. Otherwise, this can lead to a disease such as hypervitaminosis in chickens. Livestock breeders also note that rhodonite chickens are especially fond of wheat and corn grains.
If you want to add any beneficial additives to homemade bird food, ingredients such as crushed chalk or parsley can play their role. They are able to maintain the level of calcium in the chicken's body at the necessary level for the normal growth and development of the animal. If the calcium level is too low, then this can lead to a wide variety of negative consequences , for example, chickens will begin to lay eggs with too thin shells or none at all.
In order to activate the work of the gastrointestinal tract and the digestive system of the animal, a small amount of sand can also be added to the feed.
Good to know. Rhodonites are a cross-breed chicken that is renowned for its good appetite. So, according to estimates, the average individual eats about 28 kilograms of feed annually.
Thus, in order to produce 10 eggs, a chicken must consume 1.5 kilograms of food.
Arrangement of a chicken coop
The most ordinary chicken coop or barn can become a permanent home for rhodonites. At the same time, it is worth remembering that it is strictly forbidden to keep animals in a cage mode, as they need constant walking. The floor in the house should be covered with decking. It can be sand, wood shavings or sawdust, and peat is also suitable.
A prerequisite is an organized ventilation system. Birds must have access to fresh and clean air. However, care must be taken to prevent rodents from entering the chicken coop through the ventilation holes.
Opposite the exit from the hen house, special crossbars should be installed, which will serve as perches. Moreover, they should be located no lower than 1 meter above the ground. Don't forget to equip special nests as well. It is important to pay attention to their dimensions - they must match the size of the laying hens themselves.
Bathing trays can be installed on the floor, with the help of which animals can clean themselves and get rid of harmful parasites.
The main problem in the breeding process is that the female cross rhodonite does not have the instinct to set. That is why animals are bred in an incubation method or placed under other hens.
It should be noted that if you plan to breed animals, then it is important to follow the rule - there should be 1 rooster for 4 hens.
At the same time, it should be remembered that rhodonite is not a separate breed, but a cross. Therefore, chicks that hatch from eggs will not meet all the characteristics of rhodonite. They will be significantly weaker.
Diseases and their prevention
Despite the fact that the fact that rhodonites are quite viable and resistant animals has been scientifically proven, they can be susceptible to a wide variety of diseases. It is believed that rhodonites are most prone to the following diseases:
- intestinal pullorosis infection;
- respiratory disease pasteurellosis;
- disruption of the gastrointestinal tract;
- endo- and ectoparasitic infections;
- mycoplasmosis of the respiratory system.
Painful manifestations include the following signs:
- decreased activity, mobility and energy;
- high temperature;
- discharge with mucus;
- swelling in the joints;
- lack of appetite;
- constant thirst, etc.
If such signs appear, you should immediately contact your veterinarian. Self-medication can only worsen the general condition, and delaying treatment can lead to an epidemic.
In order to avoid such diseases, special attention must be paid to prevention, because it is she who, as you know, is considered the best treatment.
So, first of all, it is necessary to carefully study all the physiological and anatomical features of chickens, to get acquainted with the necessary health indicators that are standard for rhodonite. It is also important to acquire only genetically healthy individuals. In order not to become a victim of fraud, you should check all documents (licenses and certificates) from sellers.
It is important to keep the chicken coop clean, disinfect it and not ignore the rules for keeping chickens.
Do not forget to do regular vaccinations and preventive examinations. Also, hypothermia and overheating should not be allowed - it is necessary to carefully monitor the temperature indicators.
The responses of owners with cross rhodonite animals are very diverse. Some of them are enthusiastically positive, while others have negative connotations. In general, egg production is considered to be the undoubted positive characteristics of chickens. Therefore, if you are interested in this particular quality, then you should, without hesitation, give preference to this cross.
On the other hand, many owners speak negatively about the breeding process, complaining about the lack of the notorious instinct for insertion. In addition, the meat of females and males is significantly different in taste - the meat of the chickens is soft and pleasant to the taste, and the meat of the males is too tough.
About when rhodonite chickens begin to lay, see the next video.