Other name(s): Rheinländerhuhn; Rijlander
Scientific name: Gallus gallus domesticus
Country / Place of origin: Germany
History: The Rhinelander is a German breed that was created by Dr. Hans Rudolf von Langen in the 1980’s. To create the breed he took Italian chickens and crossed them to local birds from Eifel, Germany. The Rhinelander won the first German egg-laying competition in 1908.
Current Uses: Egg production
Appearance: The Rhinelander is a sleek and thin breed with a longer tail, and deep chest. They have small red rose-combs and wattles. Their earlobes are white. They come in five colors including: black, blue-laced blue, black/blue speckled, brown, and white.
Average weight: 4 - 7 lbs.
Lifespan: 8 - 12 years
Diet: Rhinelanders do well on a basic commercial diet. Birds should be supplemented with fresh fruits, veggies, bugs, and grit if not permitted to free-range. Hens may need oyster shells added to their diet, if their feed is not high enough in calcium. Fresh water must be available at all times.
Housing: Housing can be simple, but does require planning. You will need a coop that provides your birds with a safe place to escape the weather, night and day-time predators, and is well-drained, clean, ventilated, and comfortable. Roosts should be provided for sleeping, and nesting boxes for egg laying. If housing bantams an enclosed pen is recommendable if hawks are a problem in your area.
Health issues: The Rhinelander is relatively healthy, and tolerate of most climates. Birds will need proper housing, care, feed, and parasite control and treatment to live full healthy lives.
Behavior / Temperament / Activity level: The Rhinelander is an active bird that is on the move. The are very productive layers, and do not prefer human companionship.Written by Jamie Clark