Plymouth Rock and Barred Rock Chickens
Plymouth Rock chickens
been a popular breed for years, including in the USA, especially the
Barred Rock chickens. However, there are several more
types of this particular chicken breed which have resulted in different
However, no matter what color they are the chickens from this chicken
breed all have good
natures, are really friendly if you have them from chicks - I wasn't so
lucky - are relatively calm birds if raised properly and had a
fair amount of contact and interaction with people.
As a result they
make excellent pets for children, despite their size and are one of the
best chicken breeds for being dual-purpose.
Different Types of Plymouth Rocks
1) Barred Plymouth Rocks
2) White Plymouth Rocks
3) Buff Plymouth Rocks
4) Columbian Plymouth Rock
5) The Silver-Penciled Plymouth Rocks
6) The Partridge Plymouth Rock
1) Barred Plymouth
Barred Plymouth Rock chickens were the original variety and are said to
been developed using the bloodlines of the Braham, Black Java, the
Black Cochin, the Dominique and the Pit Game fowl.
These are large birds, with the roosters weighing in on average at 9
1/2 pounds and the hens at 7 1/2 pounds. This makes them a great
dual-purpose bird as when they have stopped laying, or being productive
as breeding stock, then they are a good size for the pot.
The Barred Plymouth Rock is by far the most popular farm fowl. The bird
will have grayish-white feathers, each feather, which is narrow at the
end, has bars or lines of dark charcoal to almost black on them.
Ideally, the bars should be evenly spaced and the tips should be solid.
Plymouth Rooster and Hen as Youngsters.
We have several Plymouth Rocks, our first pair were 2 Barred Plymouth
Rocks, one rooster and the other a hen. The hen lays huge eggs with a
pinkish shell, and the rooster is a large, handsome bird who struts his
stuff around the farmhouse with the rest of the flock. I have found her
to be an excellent laying hen, especially in winter when the rest of
the flock may be a bit sluggish, she continues to lay most days. This
chicken breed has yellow legs, a single red comb.
Unfortunately, our Plymouth Rock hen was at point of lay when we got
her, so she is rather skittish and won't allow me to touch her, and
neither will the rooster. However, despite this, they will come running
when they see people looking for scraps of food and the rooster is most
comical in the way he waddles as he runs, because of his large size. He
is a really handsome fellow, and at the moment just beginning to
develop some rather fetching iridescent side feathers. Some purists
would say that this is a fault in the breed, however, as we don't show
them, we are happy to have him about, showing off his pretty plumage.
2) The White Plymouth
The White Plymouth Rock is much larger in size than the barred variety
and is snow white with no colored barring at all. A very pretty bird
with yellow legs and beak and a red single comb.
3) The Buff Plymouth
The Buff Plymouth Rock is a pretty bird, and like the white variety,
the feather should have no barring or lines at all, just an even light
caramel color throughout.
4) Columbian Plymouth
The Columbian Plymouth Rock is a fairly new variety that has striking
plumage. The feathers are mostly white, with the feathers on the neck
black with a narrow band of white. The tail feathers are mainly black
with some white lacing on the upper feathers. They look very similar to
the Light Sussex in markings.
In fact, when we got our 5 girls at point of lay we were sold the birds
as Light Sussex. However, on closer inspection they were in fact
Columbian Plymouth Rocks. Both lay light brown eggs, so difficult to
tell the difference until you look at the leg color. The Light Sussex
have a pinkish color to their legs, while the Columbian Plymouth Rocks
have yellow legs. There are some other slight differences, but this was
the easiest to spot straight away. They are excellent layers, again, no
problems here for winter laying, and very consistent.
Silver-Penciled Plymouth Rock
Another fairly new variety of Rock, the Silver-Penciled Plymouth Rock
has very pretty feathers. Here the birds have a silver-white color to
their feathers and the pattern is very similar to that of a Dark Brahma
or a Wyandotte.
Partridge Plymouth Rock
Again, a fairly new variety by comparison, and their markings are very
similar to that of the Patridge Cochin, as well as the Silver-Penciled
Plymouth Rock, except that where there are white feathers, these
feathers are a reddish brown instead.
If you are looking for a good, dependable breed, you cannot go wrong
with Plymouth Rocks. They are an excellent dual purpose bird, hardy,
lay well in winter, and although not always friendliest birds if you
haven't raised them from chicks,
but may well be a blessing in disguise when they end up on your
plate. At least you won't feel half as guilty if they were!
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