Plymouth Rock Chicken Characteristics & Temperament

Plymouth Rock chicken is a dual purpose breed suitable for both meat and eggs production. Plymouth Rock chicken originated in the United States. This breed is also known as some other name such as Rocks or Barred Rocks.

It comes with a variety of colors and the birds are cold hardy and a great breed for small farm or for raising in backyard. The Plymouth Rock was developed in New England in the middle of the 19th century and was first exhibited as a breed in 1849.

Most of the farmers raise them as a dual purpose breed and they are valued for both of their meat and egg laying ability.

The first Plymouth Rock chicken was barred and other varieties were developed later. This breed is very popular in the United States and some other countries. The main reason of it’s popularity is it’s qualities.

Plymouth Rock chicken is an outstanding farm breed which is popular for their hardiness, broodiness, docility and excellent production of both meat and eggs. Most of the varieties of Plymouth Rock chicken were developed from crosses containing some of the same ancestral background as the barred variety.

Early in the development of this breed, the name Plymouth Rock implied a barred bird. But as more varieties were developed, it become the designation for the breed. During the 1920s, the Barred Plymouth Rock was one of the foundation breeds for the broiler industry.

The Barred Plymouth Rock is also raised for genetic hackle used extensively as a material in artificial fly construction.

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Physical Characteristics of Plymouth Rock Chicken

Plymouth Rock chickens are hardy, long-lived and larger sized breed. Some of the varieties of this breed are mainly raised for meat and some of the varieties are good layers.

Plymouth Rock chickens have a moderately deep full breast and they possess a long broad back. Their legs and skin color is yellow. No feathers in their legs. The hens have a deep, full abdomen and it is a sign of good layer.

Plymouth Rock chickens have bay-colored eyes, their face is red with red ear lobes and have a bright yellow beak. They have single comb and the size of the comb is moderate.

Their feathers are short and fairly loosely held but not so long as to easily tangle. Like the baby chick’s feathers, Plymouth Rock chicken’s bottom feathers are soft and downy.

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This chicken breed comes with a variety of colors. Such as barred, buff, blue, black, columbian, partridge, silver penciled, white, light barred, dark barred etc.

On an average, a mature male Plymouth Rock chicken weight up to 8 lbs and a hen weight about 7.5 lbs. Egg production vary depending on the strains of the bird. But on an average, hens lay about 4 eggs per week.


Both Plymouth Rock roosters and hens are calm and they will live happily with people and other animals such as pets. They are docile and friendly in nature and usually do well even when confined.

But they will be happier if they can roam freely on pasture or in a garden. Plymouth Rock hens will seldom go broody in the right environment and they are good mothers.

Breed NamePlymouth Rock
Other NameRocks, Barred Rocks
Breed PurposeDual Purpose
Breed TemperamentBears Confinement Well, Calm, Docile, Easily Handled, Friendly
Breed SizeHeavy (7-8 lbs)
CombSingle Comb
Climate ToleranceAll Climates (very cold hardy)
Egg ColorLight Brown
Egg SizeLarge
Egg ProductivityDepends on the strains of the birds (on an average, about 4 eggs per week)
Feathered LegsNo
RarityBarred Rocks and White Rocks are common. All other varieties are rare.
VarietiesBarred, buff, blue, black, columbian, partridge, silver penciled, white, light barred, dark barred etc.

The Good

  • Beautiful
  • Friendly
  • Hardy (very cold tolerant)
  • Good layer
  • Good for meat production
  • Do well confined
  • Protective (generally cautious of predators)
  • Curious
  • Great as pets
  • Hens seldom go broody and are good mothers

The Bad

  • Can be bullies sometimes
  • Some have trouble with very hot weather
  • Can be stubborn sometimes

Is Plymouth Rock Chicken Good For You?

Plymouth Rock chicken will be good for you if you…….

  • Want to raise dual purpose chickens for both meat and egg production.
  • Want to keep some cold hardy birds.
  • Want to raise some friendly and beautiful chickens as pets.
  • Are interested in large size chickens.
  • Want to produce light brown colored and large eggs.
  • Looking for fast growing chicken breeds.
  • Are willing to raise some beautiful birds in your backyard.
  • Have a small farm.
  • Have small children and want a friendly and docile breed.
  • Live somewhere with cold winters.

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