Barred Rock

Average User Rating:
  • Breed Purpose:
    Dual Purpose
    Climate Tolerance:
    All Climates
    Egg Productivity:
    Egg Size:
    Egg Color:
    Breed Temperament:
    Kind, Skittish
    Breed Colors/Varieties:
    Barred (black and white)
    Breed Size:
    Large Fowl
    APA/ABA Class:
    Barred Rock Rooster​

    The Plymouth Rock a.k.a. Barred Rock is a very popular duel-purpose American breed, known for their excellent laying ability, general hardiness, and calm good nature which makes them a good choice for small backyard flocks and homesteaders.

    Chickens called "Plymouth Rocks" were shown as early as 1849, but that flock disappeared and later strains from several different breeders combined to form the foundation of today’s Plymouth Rock breed. Mr. D.A. Upham of Worcester, MA is credited as being one of the primary influences on the breed, he first exhibited his birds at the Worcester, MA poultry exhibition in 1869. His birds are generally acknowledged to be the ancestors of the breed we know today.

    A number of different breeds are reputed to have gone into the formation of the Plymouth Rock, including Dominique, Brahma, Black Java and Cochin. The breed gained a great deal of popularity quickly and the Plymouth Rock became the most popular farm chicken in the United States up until WWII.

    The original color of the breed was Barred and early in the breeds history the name "Plymouth Rock" implied a barred bird. Barred varieties remain the most popular color today. As more color varieties were developed, the name Plymouth Rock became the designation for the entire breed, which can now can be found in other colors including White, Buff, Partridge, Silver Penciled, Columbian and Blue.

    The Barred Plymouth Rock was one of the breeds used as the foundation for the commercial broiler industry in the united States in the 1920's and the White Rock is still often used as the female side of the Cornish Rocks or Cornish Cross type commercial broiler cross.

    They are single combed, quite winter hardy, and the hens are good layers of brown eggs. They are occasionally broody and make good setters and mothers.

    The Plymouth Rock breed was recognized by the APA in 1874 and is on The Livestock Conservancy's Recovering list.

    Barred Rock chicks

    BR pullet.jpg
    Barred Rock Juvenile (pullet)

    Barred Rock hen
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  • Chicken Breed Info:

    Breed Purpose: Dual purpose

    Comb: Single

    Broodiness: Average

    Climate Tolerance: All

    General Egg Info:
    Egg Productivity: High

    Egg Size: Large

    Egg Color: Brown

    Breed Temperament: Kind, Calm, Skittish, Sweet, Docile, Over Protective Cocks

    Breed Colors / Varieties:
    Black and White Barring

    Breed Details:

    Chicken Breed Photos:

    Primary Image





    Egg (left)




Sdree99, jmn85, hippieqt and 10 others like this.

Recent User Reviews

  1. chickenmom22
    "A wonderful chicken breed"
    Pros - Lays lots of eggs, very friendly temperament, likes to be around people
    Cons - No cons
    Purchase Price:
    Purchase Date:
    BlackHackle likes this.
  2. BryansBranch
    "Beautiful Birds"
    Pros - Friendly,Hardy,Good layers
    Cons - None that any other chicken wouldn't have
    These are my favorite type of chicken, so maybe I'm a little partial. Any how we love ours and plan to more!
    BlackHackle likes this.
  3. Dogue
    "THE pet chicken"
    Pros - docile, sweet, lays lots of eggs, hardy in both cold and heat, easy keepers
    Cons - none
    This is my favorite chicken breed, despite my love of the "cute" breeds with fluffy butts and poofy heads. The barred rock isn't unattractive, but is plain in a world of fancy chicken options. However, I've had this breed in all of my flocks over the years and it more than makes up for its plain appearance. This breed tames itself. I am not the type to put much effort into taming chickens. I don't often give treats, I don't sit out with my birds or talk to them much, which means the majority of my flock, even breeds like silkies (known for their pet qualities) are skittish. But not the barred rocks, ever. These birds can be pet, picked up, held, brought into the house, hand fed by children, anything really, on a whim- WITHOUT having to get them used to handling. It's truly like they tame themselves. Add that to the fact that this year not only did we have a record breakingly cold winter, and a scorching summer, but due to personal issues the flock had to live on kitchen scraps for a few weeks... and the barred rock is no worse for wear for any of it... superbly hardy birds. They can't be beat, every flock should have at least one.
    Purchase Price:
    Purchase Date:
    BlackHackle, Ajulycc and Bonnie sue like this.

User Comments

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  1. chickybaby1213
    are barred rocks motherly?
  2. Chook to chook
    Our Barred Rock is one of the most reliable in our flock of many. She is calm, gets along with everyone, easy to handle, and doesn't really mind being toted around by our two boys. Very regular layer and hearty. Not bad as a forager. Super stable girl and good neighbor.
      Jenz007 likes this.
  3. BlackHackle
    The Barred Rock is actually a variety of the Plymouth Rock breed. This breed includes the Barred Rock, the Partridge Rock, the Columbian Rock, the Silver Penciled Plymouth Rock, the Buff Rock, the BBS Rock, and the White Rock.
  4. MagdaMae
    I love this breed. They are very hardy, good foragers and lay for years. The eggs get bigger each year. We've had 10 year old's laying. The only difference in age is that the older hens don't lay so much in the winter (I live in the North Eastern United States).
      BlackHackle likes this.
  5. puckpuck8
    Barred Rock hens are still going strong, the older hens don't lay every day and still have energy of a young hen, they are around three years old. They do a lot of gripping if they don't get the daily meal worm treat, sometimes give a light pecking, hey bud where are the worms.
      BlackHackle likes this.
  6. riversbendhen
    I've had my hen for a year now. She is awesome! The leader of the flock. Very friendly but boy is she boisterous!!! She is the first to "call" me when I come out to let them out in the morning and the first to come when called. She is my Rockstar!
      BlackHackle likes this.
  7. Onslow's Hens
    Great layers of large eggs. Lay thru winter and heat of summer. Extremely hearty hens. Although they are very friendly towards me, they can be bossy and pushy with more gentle type hens in the flock. I really like this breed but will only every have 1 or 2 at a time as they can gang up on less assertive flock mates. Definately the rulers of the roost! If you have a tough climate - these are tough hens. If you have a group of them, be vigulant they don't bully more layed back breeds.
      BlackHackle likes this.
    1. MagdaMae
      Yup, you nailed it. I would add that I have had less trouble with the ones raised in a mixed flock as opposed to those introduced at different times. My flock is free ranged.
      MagdaMae, May 26, 2018
  8. Kevin_87
    Someone forget to tell my two that they are a quiet breed.
      jmn85 and MagdaMae like this.
  9. Maple Branch Farm
    Thank you for the great description and pictures. When I purchased my chicks, I was told they were all Black Australorps but I noted one seemed just a little different. She is bigger than the others, her feather pattern has started to show the black / white colors. My girl looks identical to your pictures.
    Thank you for helping me identify her breed.
      featherhead007 likes this.
  10. puckpuck8
    The bared rocks that I got originally for eggs, I never named them because someday you might eat them for stew. Well that changed, when you develop a relationship with an animal it is hard to think about their demise. So I decided to name them and let them live out their lives as retired senior hens after providing eggs, they did their job. If you go hunting for deer you don't develop a relationship, that's short term and a food source. The hens are a decision of whether you use them for eggs or meat purpose, it's a personal choice.
    1. MagdaMae
      My experience is that Barred Rocks lay for years. I've never retired mine especially since the eggs eventually become huge.
      MagdaMae, May 26, 2018

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