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Again, I stepped across that line in the sand. (The second time was a little easier). How was I to know Rhode Island had a state bird that was a chicken. Is a chicken really a bird? A mocking bird; now that’s a state bird. Rhode Island is proud of the Red, and for good reason. Bred in Rhode Island, the Rhode Island Red is a prolific egg-layer and an excellent meat produce as well. That, is the perfect chicken. Such a great chicken the Red can be found throughout the globe. She’s that good.
GREETINGS FROM RHODE ISLAND
FIRST DAY OF ISSUE
OCTOBER 25, 2002
NEW YORK, NY 10199
Who’s in the mood for some fried chicken? Or perhaps some scrambled eggs? If you’re not hungry, maybe you would just like to feast your eyes upon a regal, deep red bird—king of the birds! Let’s go to Rhode Island and learn a little about her contribution to America. The Rhode Island Red is one of the most popular breed of chicken, and for good reason. Developed in Rhode Island and bred in Adamsville, a village which is part of Little Compton, Rhode Island, one of the foundation sires of the breed was a black-breasted, red Malay cock imported from England. On display at the Smithsonian Institution is one of the foundation sires of the breed, contributing the signature deep red color, strong constitution, and hardy feathers. This fella sports the title—father of the Rhode Island Red breed. The origin of the Red can be traced back to the Malay Peninsula in Indonesia. The Red Malay game fowl was crossed with the reddish-colored Shanghais, the brown Leghorn, a few other birds, and after much selection, we get the famed American breed—Rhode Island Red. The Malay was the first chicken breed to be bantamised, or made into a dwarf version of the standard-sized breed. It was mid 1800s when the selective breeding process began and late 1800s when this beautiful species made its debut. In 1904 the single combed variety was admitted to the American Poultry Association’s Standard of Perfection. We really should tip our hat to the originators of the Red who worked so diligently to create a bird that could lay a significant number of eggs, while also possessing the goods to dress out nicely as a table bird, should that time come...
CONTINUED IN THE BEVIL NEWSLETTER-
Take a trip
Read the complete article in the Bevil newsletter, which accompanies the cover when collected.