Barred Rock Chicken/Plymouth Rock Chicken: Origin, Characteristics, Egg Production, Lifespan, and Temperament

Raising Barred Rock chickens can bring numerous benefits to both novice and experienced poultry keepers. One of the main advantages is their versatility as a dual-purpose breed suitable for meat and egg production. This makes them ideal for those looking to have a self-sufficient backyard flock. Barred Rocks also possess calm and friendly temperaments, which make them fantastic additions to any backyard flock or farm setting. Moreover, raising Barred Rock chickens can be an enjoyable experience due to their stunning appearance.

large plymouth rock chicken at a farm

Origin of Barred Rock Chicken

The Barred Rock chicken, also known as the Plymouth Rock or simply Rocks, is a beloved American breed of domestic chicken. These chickens have become popular for their distinctive coloring and impressive characteristics. Originating in the United States, the Barred Rock chicken breed has a rich history that dates back to the 19th century. They were first developed in New England by crossing various breeds such as Dominiques and Black Javas.

The result was a bird with striking black and white barring on its feathers, hence the name “Barred Rock.” These chickens quickly gained popularity among poultry keepers due to their versatility and hardiness. Not only are they beautiful birds to look at, but they also have excellent egg-laying abilities and meat quality. The Barred Rocks’ popularity grew exponentially because of their adaptability to different climates and ease of care. They became a staple in many backyard flocks across America.

Information About Barred Rock Chicken

Breed NameBarred Rock chicken
AppearanceBlack and white feather pattern
Barred Rock Chicken Skin ColorYellow
Lifespan10 -12 years
Barred Rock Chicken BroodinessModerately Broody
Good for BeginnersYes
Price$2 to $4 per baby chicken

Appearance of Barred Rock Chicken

The Barred Rock Chicken, also known as the Plymouth Rock, is a striking breed that catches the eye with its distinctive appearance. These chickens have medium-sized bodies with well-rounded contours. Barred Rocks have strong legs and feet, which are yellow. They possess four toes on each foot and sport sharp claws for scratching the ground for food.

Their heads are adorned with a small red comb and wattles, adding a touch of vibrancy to their overall look. As for their eyes, they are bright and alert, always keeping an eye out for any potential danger. One of the notable features of Barred Rock Chickens is their upright stance. Their plumage is dense and glossy, reflecting light beautifully in various shades from jet black to pure white.

Characteristics of Barred Rock Chicken

The Barred Rock Chicken is known for its distinctive appearance and impressive characteristics. These birds are medium-sized with a well-rounded body and a deep chest. They have black and white barred feathers that give them a striking and eye-catching pattern. One of the most notable characteristics of Barred Rock Chickens is their hardiness.

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Barred Rock Chicken Farming

They are resilient to various weather conditions, making them suitable for both hot summers and cold winters. Their strong immune system helps them resist diseases, ensuring their overall health. Barred Rocks are also known for being friendly and docile birds. Another characteristic of Barred Rocks is their versatility as dual-purpose birds. They are bred not only for egg production but also for meat quality.

The hens lay around 4 eggs per week on average, providing a steady supply of delicious eggs throughout the year. Barred Rock hens typically produce medium to large-sized light brown or pinkish-brown eggs. Their consistent egg-laying capabilities make them valuable additions to any backyard flock or small-scale farm operation.

Housing for Barred Rock Chicken

Firstly, you’ll need a coop that provides enough space for your flock. The general rule of thumb is to allow inside the chicken coop about 4 square feet per bird. Ensure the coop has windows or vents that can be opened and closed. This will help regulate temperature and prevent moisture buildup, which can lead to respiratory issues. Barred Rocks are known to be quite active birds, so providing them with sufficient outdoor space is important. In terms of bedding, straw or wood shavings make suitable choices.

These materials provide insulation and absorb moisture effectively. Regular coop cleaning is essential to keep it sanitary and prevent disease outbreaks. To protect your Barred Rocks from predators, consider adding wire mesh around the entire perimeter of the coop as well as burying it underground at least 12 inches deep. This will deter digging animals such as raccoons or foxes. Ensuring proper housing for your Barred Rock chickens is vital for their health and well-being.

Egg Production of Barred Rock Chicken

Barred Rock hens are known for their impressive egg production. These hardworking ladies typically lay around 4 to 5 eggs per week, up to 200 to 280 eggs annually. That’s plenty of delicious breakfasts and baking adventures. When it comes to the appearance of these eggs, they can be described as medium to large.

You can find detailed information in the below table about Barred Rock Chicken Eggs or Plymouth Rock Chicken Eggs.

Barred Rock Chicken Egg Production Per YearAbout 200 to 280  
Barred Rock Chicken Egg ColorBrown
Barred Rock Chicken Egg SizeLarge
Barred Rock Chicken Egg LayingAt Approximately 6  to 7 Months of Age
Barred Rock Chicken Egg Laying Per Week4 to 5
Plymouth Barred Rock Hatching Egg Price3 to $4

The Lifespan of Barred Rock Chicken

The lifespan of a Barred Rock Chicken can vary; they tend to live for about 6-8 years. However, there have been instances where these chickens have lived up to 10-12 years. Barred Rocks can enjoy a relatively long life with proper care and attention. Providing birds with nutritious food, clean water, and a comfortable living environment ensures their well-being. Regular health check-ups are also recommended to catch any potential issues early on.

Temperament of Barred Rock Chicken

The temperament of Barred Rock chickens can be described as friendly and docile. These birds are known for their calm and easygoing nature, making them a great choice for backyard poultry enthusiasts. Barred Rocks are generally well-behaved and get along with other chicken breeds. These chickens also have a curious and intelligent nature. They enjoy exploring their surroundings and often follow their owners around the yard, hoping for treats or attention.

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Barred Rock Chickens

Despite their gentle demeanor, Barred Rocks can be quite assertive when establishing dominance within the flock hierarchy. Additionally, Barred Rocks adapt well to different environments and climates. These chickens can easily handle whether you live in a hot or cold region. The temperament of Barred Rock chickens makes them an excellent choice for novice and experienced chicken keepers alike.

Care of Barred Rock Chicken

One aspect of caring for Barred Rocks is providing them with a balanced diet. These chickens thrive on a diet that includes a mix of grains and protein sources like insects or worms. You can also supplement their feed with kitchen scraps or commercial chicken feed. Barred Rocks are adaptable and can be kept in various environments.

However, providing them with a secure coop is essential to protect them from predators and extreme weather conditions. Ensure ample space for each bird inside the coop, allowing at least four square feet per chicken. Regular health checks are crucial when caring for Barred Rock chickens. Inspect your birds regularly for signs of injury and take appropriate action. To prevent disease transmission, provide clean water daily and keep their living area free from waste buildup.

Barred Rocks have moderate activity levels but benefit from free-ranging time outside the coop. Give them access to an enclosed outdoor space to scratch, peck at bugs, and enjoy fresh air. Remember to provide your Barred Rock chickens with plenty of fresh bedding material in their nesting boxes to maintain cleanliness and promote egg-laying comfort.

Feeding Barred Rock Chicken

Feeding Barred Rock Chicken is an important aspect of their care and well-being. These chickens have a hearty appetite and require a balanced diet to thrive. The right nutrition will ensure they grow healthy, lay quality eggs, and maintain a strong immune system. A good diet for Barred Rock Chickens consists of commercial chicken feed and kitchen scraps. The commercial feed must be formulated for layers containing essential nutrients like protein, vitamins, and minerals necessary for egg production.

It is best to choose high-quality feeds free from harmful additives or fillers. In addition to the commercial feed, offering kitchen scraps can benefit Barred Rocks. They enjoy fruits, vegetables, grains, and even some meat leftovers in moderation. Fresh water should always be available for your Barred Rock Chickens. The chickens need constant access to clean drinking water throughout the day.

Health Issues of Barred Rock Chicken

Barred Rocks can be susceptible to diseases like infectious bronchitis or mycoplasma gallisepticum. These infections can cause coughing, sneezing, and difficulty breathing. It is important to keep their living environment clean and provide good ventilation to prevent these infections. Another concern is external parasites such as mites and lice.

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Barred Rock Chicken Breed

These pests can irritate your chickens’ skin and feathers, leading to discomfort and possible feather loss. Regularly inspect your birds for any signs of infestation and treat them promptly with appropriate poultry parasite control products. Barred Rocks may also suffer from egg-related problems. This condition requires immediate attention from a veterinarian or experienced chicken keeper.

Like any other breed, Barred Rocks can experience injuries or accidents that require veterinary care or first aid treatment. Be vigilant in observing your flock for any signs of injury or distress. By staying proactive in caring for the health of your Barred Rock chickens, you can help ensure they lead long and happy lives on your farm.

Broodiness in Barred Rock Chicken

Barred Rocks are known to exhibit moderate levels of broodiness compared to other breeds. When they go broody, they typically sit on a clutch of eggs until they hatch. During this time, they may become protective and less social with humans. To manage broody behavior in Barred Rocks or any other breed, some chicken keepers use various methods such as removing eggs from the nest boxes regularly or providing fake eggs for them to sit on instead.

Others prefer allowing them to naturally fulfill their maternal instincts by providing proper nesting areas and allowing them to incubate fertile eggs if desired. It’s important to note that not all Barred Rocks will go broody, as individual temperament varies among chickens within the breed. So, if you’re specifically looking for a hen that exhibits strong mothering qualities, it might be worth considering acquiring baby chickens from proven broody hens.

Barred Rock Chicken as Dual-Purpose Breed

Barred Rock chickens are renowned for their versatility, making them a classic dual-purpose breed. This means they excel in meat and egg production, making them valuable to any flock. In addition to their meat production capabilities, Barred Rock hens are also prolific layers of eggs.

Barred Rock Chicken in Commercial Production

Barred Rock chickens are not only popular among backyard chicken enthusiasts but also in commercial production. Due to their dual-purpose nature, these birds are highly sought after by farmers looking for meat and eggs. In commercial production, Barred Rocks are valued for their reliable egg-laying abilities. They have a good egg production rate, typically laying around 4 eggs weekly.

This consistent output makes them ideal for meeting the demands of the market. Furthermore, Barred Rock chickens have a relatively long lifespan compared to other breeds. They can live up to 6-8 years or even longer with proper care and management. This longevity is advantageous in commercial settings as it allows farmers to maximize the productivity of each bird over time.

Barred Rock Chicken as Exhibition Birds

Barred Rock chickens are prized for their utility as meat and egg producers and their stunning appearance, making them a popular choice among poultry enthusiasts. Exhibition birds are carefully selected for their adherence to breed standards and overall conformation. Barred Rocks excel in this regard, with their well-defined barring pattern on each feather, giving them a clean and uniform look.

Barred Rock Chicken as Pets

Barred Rock chickens make wonderful pets for those looking to add some feathered friends to their family. These birds are charming and friendly, making them easy to handle and interact with daily. Barred Rocks are known for their docile nature and calm temperament as pets. One of the benefits of keeping Barred Rocks as pets is that they are relatively low maintenance. They don’t require extensive grooming or special care routines like some other breeds might. They will thrive in your backyard with access to fresh water, nutritious feed, and a comfortable living space.

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Plymouth rock chicken breed

Breeding and Genetics of Barred Rock Chicken

These birds are known for their strong genetics and ability to reproduce, true to their breed characteristics. How do you breed Barred Rock chickens? Breeding pairs should be selected based on size, coloration, and temperament. To maintain the breed’s integrity, avoiding crossbreeding with other chicken breeds is important. This will ensure that the distinct barred plumage pattern remains intact in future generations.

Breeding for desirable traits such as size, temperament, and egg-laying ability can help ensure that future generations retain the best qualities of this breed. Thanks to their well-established genetic lineage and popularity among backyard enthusiasts for many years, you can find reputable hatcheries specializing in high-quality Barred Rock stock. This allows aspiring chicken keepers to start with strong genetic foundations when establishing their flocks.

In recent years, there has been an increasing interest in breeding new color varieties of Plymouth Rocks while maintaining the traditional barred pattern. Breeders have successfully introduced recessive genes for colors like blue or splash into their flocks without compromising the iconic look of Barred Rocks.


Barred Rock chickens are popular with backyard enthusiasts and small-scale farmers. Furthermore, Barred Rocks have attractive plumage that adds visual appeal to your flock. Their black-and-white barred feathers create a striking pattern that stands out among other chicken breeds. Not only will they provide you with delicious eggs, but they also enhance the aesthetics of your backyard or farm. Another benefit is the hardiness and adaptability of Barred Rock chickens.


  1. Kindly arrange to communicate with the firm associated with barred rock chickens/Plymouth chicken. I want to buy some birds.


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