- Breed Purpose:
- Dual Purpose
- Climate Tolerance:
- All Climates
- Egg Productivity:
- Egg Size:
- Egg Color:
- Light Brown
- Breed Temperament:
- Friendly, Easily handled, Bears confinement well, Docile
- Breed Colors/Varieties:
- White, Partridge, Buff, Barred, Blue, Columbian, Silver Penciled, Black. RED
- Breed Size:
- Large Fowl
- APA/ABA Class:
The Plymouth 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.
Plymouth Rock juvenile
Plymouth rock chicks
Plymouth Rock hen
Plymouth Rock rooster
For more information on Plymouth Rocks and their owners' and breeders' experiences with them, see our breed discussion here:
- Average User Rating:
Recent User Reviews
"My next chicken choice"
I currently have 3 ISa Browns, 4 Rhode Island Reds, 1 Cochin, 1 Polish, and 1 Silkie, (plus 2 ducks). I think plymouth rocks may be a nice addition.
I’m looking for gentle, cold weather birds that will get along with my current small flock.
Pros - Docile, smart, protective
Cons - can be a bully
I'm on my first flock of chickens and I love having a Barred Rock. I heard great things about them and she's been a great addition to our backyard flock. Our BR is our boss lady chicken and she does her best to protect the other girls from our very scary fluffy puppy or other dangers that might arise. She's definitely one of the most handleable of our flock and she's super sweet. She won't come sit on my lap like she did when she was a baby but she'll come running to say hi anytime I'm in the backyard.
"Very Nice Chicken Breed"
Pros - Excellent layer (6 - 7 weekly on average)
Very docile, sociable, friendly, and calm
Early to average maturing (app. 20-and-a-half-weeks is when mine started laying)
Pretty good winter layer (without artificial light)
Very cold hardy
Cons - Can be a bit of a bully to other birds
I LOVE my Barred Rock! She's a good forager, too. She is the alpha hen, but generally not too mean/bullyish at her mature adult age now.
She's 'well worth her weight in gold;' I do not give my chickens supplemental light--lamps in a chicken coop can be very dangerous, and it doesn't let them have the rest their bodies so badly need during the winter, thus probably shortening their lifespans--yet she laid almost all winter...she stopped at the beginning of January this year, and got back to immediate daily laying...in the middle of her molt...in early February...so took roughly one month off (WAY better than I can say for my other birds, and that's pretty good considering she didn't have excess light...only natural and short daylight). And she's not like my Amberlink who laid EVERY day (and for at least a couple months in a row before taking just one little day off, but getting a bird that good of a layer might be rare), but she certainly frequently lays seven days a week, and sometimes six, 'cause she doesn't lay everyday of the week every week (since she needs a rest sometimes, but still she's my best layer now, followed closely by my Production Red).