Barred Plymouth Rock Chickens are one of the most widely used breeds of chicken throughout the entire world. The Barred Rock’s extraordinary egg laying ability has made it the most popular variety of the Plymouth rock chicken breeds. First added to the American Standard of Perfection in 1874, the Barred variety was created by crossing a male Dominique with a female Black Cochin. This cross created a heavier chicken that possessed the laying ability of a Dominique, and broodiness and temperament of a Black Cochin.
The Barred Plymouth Rock lay about 200-300 eggs a year, and is one of the most efficient laying breeds available. This breed is a wonderful dual-purpose chicken due to its larger size. Barred rocks are docile and relaxed if treated correctly. They are especially popular among backyard chicken farmers. They provide a steady supply of fresh homegrown eggs with the added benefit of using the bird for its meat.
The zebra-like “barring” pattern worn on the plumage of the Barred Plymouth Rock is a sex-linked characteristic. Thus, you can tell the birds apart by their color the second they are born. The body of the bird itself is long, broad, and deep. While both the Dominique and Barred Rock have the barred plumage, Barred Rock Chickens have a single comb, Dominiques a rose comb. Lastly, part of the reason this bird is so popular is how simply hardy they are.
The Barred Plymouth Rock will thrive and lay in almost all climates throughout the United States. Given the right care in the wintertime, they will still lay deep into those cold, short, winter days. The Barred Plymouth Rock’s relaxed and docile temperament make it a great option for people who want to raise chickens around small children or pets.