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)




Linda L, Ajulycc, PoshFlock and 12 others like this.

Recent User Reviews

  1. moniquem
    "Not my favorite"
    Pros - She's pretty..
    Cons - Bossy, loud and not a great layer

    This is Louise, she is 7.5 months now. I got my first flock of 4 chickens in April. I have a BA, SS,EE and BR. She started "laying" at about 20 weeks but there have been many problems with her eggs. I wold say 50% of the time she lays soft shelled eggs, maybe 2-3 times per week. So.....I don't get many eggs.

    Besides the egg laying she is extremely loud, she is always walking around the yard like she's looking for something or someone whinning the whole time. She is also the bully of the bunch and has tried dominating me, which i showed her was not an option!

    If I knew then what I know now I would have made other choices for chickens. I will not get another one of this breed. My fault though, I read the reviews that they can be bossy but I love the classic look of these so really wanted one. If she continues to have problems laying I may re-home her :(
  2. crazychick912
    "I love my Barred Rocks"
    Pros - Good egg layers. Friendly and easy tempered
    Cons - None
    I knew nothing about them when I first got them. They are great.
    My husband who really wants nothing to with the chickens had a Barred Rock that followed him everywhere he went on our property. He told me, "That spotted one keeps following me. She's always clucking and talking up a storm." He ended up naming her "Spot". And where he was, so was she.
  3. Kathy Keeney
    Pros - Great all around chicken. Great layers.
    Cons - Roosters are MEAN

User Comments

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  1. 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
  2. Kevin_87
    Someone forget to tell my two that they are a quiet breed.
      jmn85 and MagdaMae like this.
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  5. puckpuck8
    Originally had four bared rocks, one a year later one hen had some problems and passed on. I got a young hen to replace her, the older hens would chase the new hen a lot. A neighbor told me when they had a chicken farm, that introducing new hens can be frustrating. What I needed is to get a buddy for the new hen, sure enough it worked. The two young hens got chased around together. Eventually the older hens have left them alone except for the pecking order thing. In town you can't have a rooster, which would come in handy to keep an eye on the local red tail.
      featherhead007 and Bonnie sue like this.
  6. Liz Birdlover
    They haven't met my Rocky Roo! Raised with love from a very young age, I can assure you, he is not so tame, will attack and spur strangers, only tolerates me, and will spur me unless I grab him, scoop him up and carry him around as I try to do one-handed chicken chores as he sometimes pecks or bites at me, usually getting a beak full of my clothing, as I've learned to wear long sleeves/pants around his ornery, feathered butt! When I offer my flock treats, they all peck the treats gently, but he pecks hard, like he is ticked off that my hand is still touching "his" treat. He also has a very loud crow, louder than my other 2 Roo's., which makes him a great "watch bird" keeping us alerted to anyone outside within sight or driving down our lane. People have driven down our road to "find out where that loud rooster lives" and they live over a mile away. LOL He is a gorgeous, handsome Roo, and he takes his job very seriously, always on duty, and despite his grumpiness, I love him. :)

    Sweet Pea is Rocky Roo's girl, she is a nice hen, but not so nice to other hens at times. She is very skittish, even though I gave both her and Rocky lots of attention, pets and hugs when they were young. She lays very beautiful, smooth, large but perfectly shaped, light brown eggs.

    I love my Barred Rocks! They always make me smile. They're super cute when I give them treats or mealworms, making sweet sounds. They are a joy to have.
    1. featherhead007
      I think you have my rooster, little blue my rooster acts the very same way. Thanks for the read
      featherhead007, Feb 8, 2018
      Liz Birdlover likes this.
    2. MagdaMae
      Same here, tried to keep my Roo tame but no luck. He watches and if I get busy and lose track of him, I get attacked. If I get annoyed or have lots of chores, I catch him and put him in a cat carrier for awhile. He gets his dignity bruised, but that' all.
      MagdaMae, May 26, 2018
  7. ScottKelly1974
    I have one rooster and one hen both hatched August 7. My Buff Orpington hens still boss him and the others around.
  8. Nutmeg15
    I originally bought four Barred Rocks from a local breeder, and sadly only one is left as a result of animal attacks and medical issues. My remaining hen, named Twinkle Toes for the one curled toe on each of her feet, is very sweet and does not particularly like being handled but will tolerate it. She, however, is very unreliable about laying, and has not laid in a particularly long time despite still being only around 2 1/2 years old. This was the case for her three sisters, too--they laid, but not often. Not sure if that is the breed or just the particular bunch of chickens, but I adore her all the same.
      Liz Birdlover likes this.
  9. ChickenLady&aRooster
    I have 3 Barred Rock pullets between 7-8 months, all 3 have very different personalities 1 is just crabby, 1 is very skidish and 1 is much more friendly although none like to be touched. They are great layers though with nice size eggs
  10. featherhead007
    see my picture? i grew up, and lay eggs for my daddy.. he loves me and he even lets me inside the house, I like the worms he feeds me, but the cornbread is awesome. my name given me by daddy, is "The Rock" I love my daddy!

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