Rhode Island Reds originated in Rhode Island; they are the state bird and probably one of the United States’ best-known breeds. The Rhode Island Red was recognized as a pure chicken breed in 1904 by the American Standard of Perfection. It is a great all-purpose bird: a good egg-layer, it is also a hefty meat bird that reproduces well in natural environments. As a heritage breed, Rhode Island Reds are still showing on the cusp of being endangered. According to the Livestock Conservancy, their status is “watch.”