BackYard Chickens › Breeds & Supplies › Chicken Breeds › Plymouth Rock

Plymouth Rock


Pros: sweet, friendly, mild mannered, laidback

Of all the hens we currently have, our barred plymouth rocks are the sweetest! Both of them will jump onto my lap and sit when I go into the coop. They never bother any of the other chickens, just simply quietly go about their business all day. One of the two we have especially loves for me to pet her and she will go right to sleep. I picked 2 of these for our flock because when I was a little girl I had one and she also was the most friendly of the flock then. She would jump at the gate when I arrived home from school waiting for me to take her on a walk - yes, she would allow me to put a leash on her leg and go for walks every day. : )


Pros: They lay well, the hens are friendly, they make good pets. Also very hardy.

Cons: Roosters are so mean!

Plymouth rocks are good and friendly as long as you only have hens. Roosters are really mean. I would not recommend a Barred rock rooster to anyone but breeders. In all other fields Plymouth rocks are great! 




Pros: curious, intelligent, alert to predators, friendly, fast growing

Cons: can be bullies

Last summer, I purchased two white rock hens and one barred rock rooster as day old chicks. The barred rock roo was the most entertaining chicken I have ever owned! He had an unnatural interest in joining the human "flock" from young on. He often jumped into laps, begged for attention, ate greedily out of the hands of even strangers, and even learned a few tricks! The hens were not  outgoing, but were relatively docile. I have to say that I preferred the company of my barred rock rooster over the white rock hens;-)


My plymouth rocks seemed to be more alert and response to threats of predation. I was very impressed when watching my rooster protect "his" hens... we have a healthy hawk population, and "Dime" was always alert for their presence and quick to respond.


The chicks grow at a remarkable rate. While I cannot speak for their egg laying abilities, I will say that they serve their other purpose very well! We have an urban flock, so unfortunately, my friendly rooster was not allowed to stay once the crowing commenced.




Pros: Beautiful, great layer, easily conned with mealworms, friendly, laidback, adaptable to climates. Auto sexing bonus.

Cons: Cant thing of any!

Despite these being such a popular breed of chicken, its pretty hard to get them where I live in the Northern Territory in Australia. My partner brought me back a dozen from Melbourne (with two other breeds as well) and I hatched 8, however I had two that died later on. Of course, 4 roosters and 2 hens was the results so I kept one hen of each of the breeds that my partner brought back, an Australorp and a Faverolles. The growth of the Plymouth was in the middle of the two other breeds, the lorp being the biggest, quickest to grow and the first layer and the Faverolles being the smallest however the Plymouth was the last to lay. So I see the Plymouth as a slower maturing bird basing her off the other two breeds that grew up together.


The appearence always catches visitor's eyes. Everyone wants her, or wants to get one like her. And then they see her jump on my lap for a pat and they start offering prices for her!!

"Oh my kid will love a chicken like that!!" a man even told me, but heavens I wont sell her.


Her docile nature is even more attractive than her visual appearence. Most of my chickens will puff up and growl if I go to pat them in the nest, and some even if they see me walk pass but my Plymouth will let me pat her and give her mealworms. Her eggs don't seem to be anything to brag about, just a regular brown egg with a few fine specks (the Australorp beats her again there) but she is a regular layer, unlike the Faverolles, and a few other breeds I own like my Araucanas, Light Sussex and Leghorn (she's a bit old) and she doesn't go off and hide them like my Old English Game and Silkie. She hasn't gone broody but plenty of people I know who own them have told me they have sat, so I guess it's only a matter of time I guess.


They are fun to enter into the shows! Since they are popular, they get their own catagory at the poultry show rather being lumped in the soft feather catagory and there can be a lot of entries. The niche breeds aren't as fun as sometimes I can be the only entrant in one catagory, so I have no idea if my bird is any good without chasing up the judge to find out. But with plymouths you will know by just one show if you have the goods!! The roosters are magnificent, the hens look so large and heavy, they just look like the most perfect chicken and the public that go to the shows always oooh and aaahh at the plymouths barring.


Easy to maintain. The plymouths seem to do a fair bit of foraging around. If you do any digging in the garden or moving of green waste they will be at your feet getting anything from roaches, crickets, termites and even baby rats. They just get right into it, while the other breeds kind of stuck to the sidelines waiting paitently for the bugs to come their way. The Australorps are like the Plymouths in that aspect as well. They love their mealworms and are a great breed to teach tricks with them as treats. Very intelligent and worth the time if you have it, or children.

A heavy bird also makes it a bonus if you plan on using them for meat when they finish laying, however I am more than happy to keep mine as pets after they retire "work".

Not hard to sell chicks of this breed. They sell like hot cakes.

Another pro is their tolerance to the hot tropical weather I live in. I was being told that they thrive in cold climates, myself being more used to Mediterrainean breeds but she seems to have no troubles. She doesn't pant constantly like some of the other breeds I have. So don't be shy to get one if you are living in a hot climate, but the small comb will be fine for a cold climate as well.


Just try and think of something wrong with this breed!!


Pros: Hardy, productive, meat & eggs, good balance between self-sufficience and 'pet' qualities

Cons: Can be a little stand-offish, hard to catch.

I have two white Rocks and two partridge Rocks. They're actually quite different, but that may have more to do with breeding than anything else.

The white rocks were the first to lay, at about 20 weeks of age. I get 6 eggs a week per bird and they lay double yolkers quite frequently. Mine are clearly bred for production, not quality. Their combs and feet are a bit mangled looking and they're quite light for their size, but they're very sweet birds and do not mind being handled. I currently have a broody white Rock, my first broody of my flock! Quite the surprise to me. She's been broody for several weeks, and I did not manage to break her, so she has gotten a clutch of eggs to hatch. They're due in about a week and a half. I will update on how well of a mother she is. The white color is definately a con to me, one actually got attacked by a hawk due to it.

The partridge rocks I have are likely closer to standard. They have nice combs and feet and are heavy for their size. They're very good at free-ranging and seem more aware of their surroundings. They're not very personable and are hard to catch, compared to my other birds (Australorp, Jersey giant, RIR). They're rather stubborn, and insist on laying their eggs in the litter in the coop, rather than the egg boxes. The partridge coloration is great for free-ranging, as they blend in with fallen leaf and other yard litter. I find these birds a little more prone to intestinal upset, but other than that they've been very hardy in the Alabama heat.



The broody abandonned her eggs on day 19. I managed to hatch two under a heat lamp. She did not want the chicks, at all.... so I had to raise them. They're doing well and have joined the adults in the coop.

The hawk attacked white rock recovered fully and is laying an egg a day again.

The broody went through an explosive molt, but regrew all her feathers.

Currently one of the partridge rocks is molting. I have noticed that the partridge rocks are the LEAST accepting of the two juveniles I hatched. They're also a bit too heavy for their size and this gives them some issues with bumblefoot. I jokingly call them my turkeys. Very heavy birds... I have actually considered eating them, as they are not the nicest birds.. but they're quite pretty.


Pros: Can be sweet. Good layers. Almost never go broody.

Cons: Little bit flighty, almost never go broody.

Love the breed. They basically never go broody. Which can be good or bad. Great for cold climates.


Pros: Attractive, hardy, inquisitive, good with people. Good layers, overall healthy.

Cons: None

I have had Barred Plymouth Rocks for two years now. We raised them from day old chicks and they have been a delight since. As chicks and pullets they would sit on us (or our cat) all the time. They are very attractive hens. They look beautiful as they walk around our suburban yard, pecking and scratching. Quite often, one or two of them will come and sit with me when I am sitting in the yard reading. When I garden they love to get right in the soil with me to pick out the grubs. During normal conditions we get about 4-5 eggs per week from them, they are very good layers. In two years they have not gone broody yet. They moulted once and it lasted maybe three months. They are overall an excellent breed for a backyard flock. I will always have Plymouth Rocks.


Pros: Good Layers, Nice (most of the time)

Cons: Bitey

My barred rock is a good layer,in the summer she lays about one a day and at least 5-6 a week, sometimes even seven! She is mostly nice but will peck at the others for food.

And she bites me whenever I collect the eggs so I advise you wear gloves (just kidding! But sometimes it hurts) 




Pros: Beautiful, friendly, excellent layers, very cold tolerant, do well confined.

Cons: Some have trouble with very hot weather.

I love my Rocks. They are friendly, intelligent, and they lay so many eggs I almost have trouble keeping up with them all! Very hardy, healthy birds. The hens are also pretty quiet, until they see me coming out to visit (or are laying!). My roo has a beautiful crow, not too loud, just right. Their eggs are medium brown, and the size of each egg is becoming more consistant as they age. They do very well in confinement, but they would rather be roaming. Easy to catch and handle when needed. Great breed for begginers and pros both!


I did lose one hen to the summer heat. Keep an eye on your flock if you live where it gets very hot, as they are a heavy breed. Make sure they have lots of water at all times. It helped me to put a small fan in my coop, I only had it on in the day to circulate the hot, stale air out. But as long as they have water, they should be able to beat the heat, for the most part.


Pros: Protective, Generally Cautious of Predators, 1 Egg per Day, Curious, Great Pets

Cons: Can be Stubborn

As an average suburban chicken keeper, I have to say the Plymouth Rock is a great edition to my small flock. This chicken is very protective of the smaller hens and seems to be very aware of aerial predators. Although my Plymouth Rock is quite stubborn in the mornings, she's usually just silently foraging in the backyard. I recommend that you free range these chickens though; I've tried keeping her enclosed and she can't stand it, large or small run. Plymouth Rocks can be used for a variety of purposes. Even though I'm not going to be eating mine, I can see that these birds would make great chickens to eat after they are past their laying days. They're laying is definitely satisfactory, producing 1 or 2 medium sized light brown eggs every two days. Plymouth Rocks also make great pets for children and adults alike, especially when they've matured (my BPR pecked a lot when she was young - she grew out of it now, and she's a much more docile). If anyone is thinking about starting a suburban backyard flock (or really any flock at all), I recommend considering Plymouth Rocks. :) 

Plymouth Rock

The Plymouth Rock originated in New England in the 19th Century and was first recognized as a breed in the year 1869. They created the first Rock (Barred) by using breeds such as Dominique, Dorkings Cochins, etc. After that other colors and forms of the Plymouth Rock were created. It has been a great bird due to hardiness, egg laying, broodiness, and meat production. The first production meat chicken happened to be the Barred Rock. But now The White Rock is typically the female used to create Cornish X meat chickens.

Breed PurposeDual Purpose
Climate ToleranceAll Climates
Egg ProductivityHigh
Egg SizeLarge
Egg ColorLight Brown
Breed TemperamentFriendly,Easily handled,Bears confinement well,Docile
Breed Colors/VarietiesWhite, Partridge, Buff, Barred, Blue, Columbian, Silver Penciled, Black. RED
Breed SizeLarge Fowl
APA/ABA ClassAmerican
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC

Chicken Breed Info:

Breed Purpose: Dual Purpose
Comb: Single
Broodiness: Seldom
Climate Tolerance: All Climates

General Egg Info:

Egg Productivity: High
Egg Size: Large
Egg Color: Light Brown

Breed Temperament:

Friendly,Easily handled,Bears confinement well,Docile,Curious

Breed Colors / Varieties:

White, Partridge, Buff, Barred, Blue, Columbian, Silver Penciled, Black.

Breed Details:

I have found that this breed is friendlier than other breeds, mine always come running and they imprinted as chicks. My partridge Rock will even let me pick her up; very docile. More active then breeds such as Leghorns, EE, and RIR. They are a hardy breed that can withstand quite a bit. I have also noticed that they also grow bigger, faster than most breeds do. Also great layers of large brown eggs and will sometimes become broody and be great mothers.








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