Originally Posted by cmonkey4
I am thinking about getting 15 barred rocks, and I have some questions. Are they good free rangers? How many eggs do they lay on average? Are they capable of thriving in cold winters and hot summers? Thanks!
There are differences between flocks and differences between hatchery birds and breeder stock. I've had both for some time and there are similarities. A well bred Barred Rock is a solid layer, a very good layer. It was a dual purpose bird, designed for the growing American midwest small farm following the Civil War. They should have excellent foraging skills. Our birds have been some of the best "go get it" birds ever. They were developed in North East and named after the pilgrim's Plymouth Rock, so yes, they can take North American weather pretty much in stride. They aren't sissies. They don't normally pick fights, but won't settle for being at the bottom of the pecking order either.
The breeder stock, bred to the Standard Barred Rock is a wonderful chicken that acts like a chicken. Some of our various hatchery stock birds were less predictable to the normally described virtues of the breed.