Plymouth Rock Chicken Breed Characteristics

Docile, gentle, hardy and good sitters, Plymouth Rock Chickens have been one of the most common chickens in America where they were developed using crosses of Java, Brahma, Cochin, and Dominique. 

The initial Plymouth Rock had barred Plumage, hence the common names were Barred Plymouth Rock, Barred Rock or simply Rock. Other varieties were developed later and the breed name became what we know today, then Plymouth Rock.  

Along with the Cornish Chickens, the Plymouth Rock has left an indelible mark in the broiler industry. White Plymouth Rock Chickens were used in the industrial chicken meat industry because of their high yield of chicken meat.  They were the leading meat chickens in America and Australia, before the rise of the industrial broilers. 

History of the Plymouth Rock Chicken Breed

The first appearance of Plymouth Rock Chickens was at a show in Boston, Massachusetts in 1849. It was a chicken with barred plumage. It was not to be seen again until 1869, where Upham at a show at Worcester, displayed a chicken similar to the one at 1849 show. It had barred plumage and featherless legs. 

The Plymouth Rock was admitted into the America Poultry Association’s Standard of Excellence in 1874. At the time only the Barred Plymouth Rock was in Existence. 

With the quest of developing a meat bird, the White Plymouth rock was developed in 1888. It yielded more meat than the original Plymouth Rock. 

The Plymouth Rock is listed as recovering by the Livestock Conservancy. 

Characteristics of the Plymouth Rock Chicken Breed

The Plymouth Rock has bright red earlobes, wattles, and comb.  The single comb has five points. 

It has loose feathers, that can tangle if they grow long. The legs of the Plymouth Rock do not grow feathers. 

Depending on the variety, the beak is either yellow or horn colored. The back is long and broad, with full deep breasts. 

The Plymouth rick lays an average of 200 eggs per year.  The eggs are large and brown in color. 

When it comes to the temperament, the Plymouth Rock is gentle and docile but gets aggressive under stressful conditions. They can handle confinement well but can also do very well under free-range conditions as they make quite good foragers.

Variants of the Plymouth Rock Chicken Breed

  • Barred Plymouth Rock
  • White Plymouth Rock
  • Buff Plymouth Rock
  • Partridge Plymouth Rock
  • Silver Penciled Plymouth Rock
  • Blue Plymouth Rock
  • Columbian Plymouth Rock

Plymouth Rock Chicken Breed Profile

  • Plymouth Rock Egg Shell Color: Brown
  • Egg size: Large
  • Egg Productivity: 200 eggs per year
  • Skin Color: Yellow
  • Plymouth Rock Chicken Breed Standard Weight.
    • Rooster: 9.5 lbs
    • Hen: 7.5 lbs
    • Cockerel: 8  lbs
    • Pullet: 6  lbs
  • Purpose: Dual Purpose –  Meat and Eggs
  • Temperament: Docile and Calm. Can handle confinement well. Good at foraging for food. 
  • Size: large
  • Broodiness: gets broody and is a good sitter
  • Comb: Single
  • Climatic Tolerance: Hardy. Handles cold temperatures well. 
  • Varieties: Barred, White, Buff, Patridge, Silver Penciled, Blue, Columbian
  • Color Description: Different colors depending on the variety. 
  • Conservation Status: Recovering
  • Country of Origin: The United States of America

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About James

I grew up on a small farm. My parents used to grow food and keep animals for our sustenance. They would sell the surplus to make an extra coin to supplement the income from their jobs. I am taking the same path. I have over 40 chickens for eggs and meat. I also grow vegetables in my backyard

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