Plymouth Rock Chicken

The Plymouth Rock Chicken was first exhibited at America’s first poultry show, in 1829 in Boston. It is believed that these original fowls lost their identity and that the progenitors of present Barred Plymouth Rocks were first exhibited in 1869 at Worcester, Massachusetts. These were composites of several blood lines. The first and most prominent cross was that of a Dominique male with Black Cochin or Black Java females, which was originally made at Putnam, Connecticut.

The Dominique male used was not the American or Rose-Comb Dominique, but rather a single-combed, hawk-colored fowl commonly found in that locality. This Plymouth Rock was recognized as a distinct breed and was admitted to the first American Standard of Excellence, in 1874. This breed has always been popular owing to the intricate barring on the feathers. If you look closely you will see that every feather should end in a black tip.

Whether the Plymouth Rock Chicken originated from a Dominique-Black Cochin or from a Dominique-Black Java cross is a debatable question. Both have been used synonymously in show classifications.

Plymouth Rock Chicken - Hen

Plymouth Rock Chicken – Hen

Plymouth Rock Chicken - Cock

Plymouth Rock Chicken – Rooster

Characteristics: Plymouth Rock Chickens are friendly birds which are easy to tame and are vigorous and hardy birds which don’t need a lot of space but do appreciate the chance to run free, They are not good fliers so do not require high fencing.White Plymouth Rocks were white sports of the Barred variety, other strains trace their ancestry to other white fowls.

Buff Plymouth Rocks originated in Rhode Island, not far from Fall River, Massachusetts, and were first exhibited as Golden Buffs. Buff Cochin blood was introduced in some strains in New York State.

Silver Penciled Plymouth Rocks originated in the state of New York. Dark Brahma and Silver Penciled Wyandotte blood were used to produce this variety.

Partridge Plymouth Rocks are a result of Partridge Cochin, Dark Cornish, Single-comb Golden Wyandotte males, Brown Leghorns, Golden Laced Wyandottes and Barred Plymouth Rocks being amalgamated to form the new variety.

Columbian Plymouth Rocks originated in Ohio as the result of crosses between Light Brahmas, Barred Plymouth Rocks, White Plymouth Rocks and Columbian Wyandottes.

  • Standard Weights: Cock-9-1/2 pounds; hen-7-1/2 pounds; cockerel-8 pounds; pullet-6 pounds.
  • Skin Color: Yellow
  • Egg Shell Color: Tinted
  • Use: Heavy breed for egg and meat production.
  • Origin: USA

Interested in raising chickens, but not sure which breed might be right for you?

Things to consider:

Geography: Consider geography when selecting a breed. In cooler areas of the country, consider raising heavier birds. In hotter areas, consider lighter weight birds. Some birds have been specially breed for cold climates. Consider these birds if you live in a cold-climate area.

Space: Where will you be raising these chickens? Do you have a lot of farm land for the animals to be raised on, or are you planning to raise them in your backyard? If you have a small space in which to raise the birds, choose breeds with a calmer temperament and avoid birds that are listed as active. Active birds will not be happy in close confinement.

Temperament: When choosing a breed, consider temperament. Some breeds are calmer than others. If raising chickens in a backyard or in the city, you may prefer a calmer breed.

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