Is the Rhode Island Red A Good Layer?

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It’s been a while since I had some Rhode Island Reds of my own, but this made me chuckle.

While my better half and myself were visiting in Buffalo a few days ago I saw actual evidence that convinced me that the Rhode Island Red hen is a good layer and has more common sense than a hen is usually credited with.

We had done the usual round of libraries, theaters, the zoo, etc., and were mighty well pleased when our hostess informed us Sunday morning that we would drive out of the city about ten miles for a picnic dinner. These people are building a country home out there with sunken gardens, trout pools and all the trimmings. Their house is under construction, and a tent answers for a house when they run out on Sundays.

We had a fine dinner – corn roasted on an open fire, potatoes baked on the same fire and a long list of good things no dinner is complete without. During the meal I noticed several hens of various breeds working nearer our table which was outdoors in front of the tent. There were one or two Barred Rocks, several Rhode Island Reds and some White Leghorns. They fared very well from the crumbs, corn cobs, etc., and seemed to be enjoying the meal at much as we were. At the conclusion of our dinner after everything had been straightened up and we were preparing to leave I went into the tent for some reason. I don’t recall now, and… well I wish I could have taken a picture of what I saw.

There was a sort of cupboard at the back end of the tent where they keep cooking utensils and on the third shelf from the floor perfectly calm and undisturbed, sat a Rhode Island Red hen in a frying pan. I immediately called the rest of the party and just as they all came in the tent “Biddy” cackled a couple times, hopped down and walked out of the tent, leaving a nice brown egg in the frying pan.

If that isn’t evidence of common sense and good laying, then I don’t know what is!

A.A. Lucas