Plymouth Rock Information
Plymouth Rocks are outstanding dual-purpose birds that are also friendly and great for families. They are relatively large in size, come in many different varieties, produce eggs year-round and get along wonderfully with human and non-human family members. So long as they have a bit of shade and shelter in warmer climates and some careful dietary considerations, Plymouth Rocks will flourish in any backyard poultry or smallholding environment.
Good egg production
Good meat production
Very family friendly
Cold climate hardy: Yes
Rare breed: No (barred and white varieties are common while other varieties listed below are rarer)
Quantity: 4-5 eggs/hen/week
Plymouth Rocks originate from America, specifically Plymouth, Massachusetts. In the mid-1900s, Plymouth Rocks rose to popularity in America for their exceptional qualities as a dual-purpose breed. These birds were not only highly productive egg layers, producing in excess of 200 large brown eggs per year, but with their relatively large size of 3-4kg (hens ~ 3.2kg; roosters ~ 3.8kg), were also a fantastic breed for eating.
Today, Plymouth Rocks are recognised as a perfect breed for small-scale farms or as backyard pets. Plymouth Rocks come in many different varieties, with barred and white being most common. However, buff, silver pencilled, blue, black, Columbian and partridge varieties, while rarer, also exist. They are also noted for their docile nature and friendliness towards both humans and other animals. Furthermore, they are content in confined areas and aren’t great fliers, allowing for relatively low fencing. This makes them great for young families looking for a pet or as a productive addition to a smallholding. Another benefit to Plymouth Rocks is that while at a decreased rate, they continue to lay eggs throughout the winter months. Being productive layers, it is advisable to provide some calcium supplementation to ensure they are able to happily and healthily produce eggs all year round.
They are very cold climate hardy, making them suited to cooler climates. In warmer climates, they should have access to shade and shelter for particularly warm days. While overwhelmingly they are noted as being calm and friendly, some have noted that roosters may show bullying tendencies. Hens can successfully be prevented from going broody under the right conditions, however, should they go broody, Plymouth Rocks have strong maternal instincts and make great mothers.