5 Out of 5 Stars (Based on 15 reviews)
An excellent layer and an excellent meat breed
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I have a variety of different breeds, but my barred Plymouth rock lays by far and away the best egg. It is not only beautiful to look at - a delicate pink - but also tastes far richer and is deeper yellow than all my other eggs, athough she has the same range. She is big and so smart with her black and white stripes and shining feathers, and is probably my best-natured with all the other birds. She is quite talkative with a gentle voice and is a lovely placid, easy going bird. Definitely one of my favourites.
A good layer and a all round nice bird I would recommend this to everybody how want chicken's.
The hens are great layers, I love their yellow eggs! Big downside: our Barred Rock rooster attacked me when I was 3. Before I got away, he pecked me more than 80 times on my head and neck, especially around my eyes, and he broke my nose. We found out later that the males can be quite defensive and territorial, so since then we only have the hens. I rated the friendliness as poor, but because the disparity in friendliness between the male and female is great, no rating would be true of the other sex. If you have small children with shiny, bright eyes, you don't want the male Barred Rock around.
My Barred Plymouth Rock is my best egg layer, she started laying at 23 weeks old and and so far has laid at least two dozen brown eggs each month.
She wasn't handled much as a chick, but is still friendly & curious about people... doesn't like to be held, though that's my fault for not socializing her when she was younger.
With no roosters in my flock, she has become the dominate chicken, developed a larger comb and is much more vocal then the Amerucana. If a neighbor's cat comes into the yard, she is the one who tells us about it!
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One of these was in my hedge having escaped from my neighbour where it lived there for 6 weeks before I could catch it. It now lives happily with 3 larger hens and lays about 4/5 eggs a week but despite having it's wing clipped it can still get into trees and can clear a 4 foot fence. It is very independent and feisty and is the best flyer as when I call it flies 3/4 metres stops then does the same again.
I initially added the Barred Plymouth Rock to my flock because my husband loved their coloring. I'm very happy I added them because they are a unique and wonderful addition to a backyard flock.
Of the two Barred Rocks I have, one (Loretta) was the flock leader from day one. It was apparent to me during the first week of raising them from chicks. She was bold, assertive, and all the others followed her. She was clearly my strongest hen.
Loretta was also the first to go broody (an indication of your strongest hen), and stayed that way for weeks despite my attempts to break her "cycle." Otherwise, she lays a beautiful large light brown egg, quite consistently. Rocks are an easily-handled bird, and can be very docile. I wouldn't call mine overly sweet, but they are certainly tame birds that I would recommend to anyone.
As far as the roosters go, I don't have any, so I can't speak from personal experience. However, all of my friends who have kept Rock roosters claim them to be the best protectors of the flock, and very tame if handled often, and raised with consistent handling.
These are simply the best looking and friendly birds you could hope for, they follow me everywhere and my grandaughter can play with them without any aggresion, simply a breed you must have, but make sure you get good quality, they are not cheap for a good bird but worth every cent and great layers.
We have 3 Andalusians and 3 plymouths, we were told that living in Spain the andalusians ruled supreme as layers, .. not so our plymouths lay more frequently and much bigger eggs, they have a lovely peaceful temperment and simply ghost around causing no problem what so ever .. Rock On !
Keep two sisters in two large parrot cages with bottom cleaning trays. I exercise them 1-2 times daily after they have eaten/pooped in cage, to prevent too many messes to clean up in the room. They are cleanish, sweet natured, mischevous at times, play with tiny toys of all sorts (not too small or they'd try to eat them.)
I had to clip one's wings back 1/3 because she is a jumper/flyer, but once their curiosity is satisfied, they don't fly much. I block off their exercise area, keep LOTS of clean fresh water for them, feed them mostly crumbles, hen scratch, chopped parsley, occasional canned
corn (salt free).
The other hen's beak is like an overbite, which I trim with toe-nail clippers while she is wrapped firmly in a towel. She doesn't complain too much, and it grows back in a few weeks.
They cluck at progressively louder sounds if not allowed to lay their egg in private solitude or a certain place in the room. They fuss very loudly when other animals come around, acting threatened by the animals during egg laying.
They steal the cat's food/cereal and run; and will get into and make a big mess with any papers, potpourri, or artificial silk plants/ soil/ things dropped on floor. They get bored, so I keep a close eye on them when out of their cages.
My two hens are trained at 8 months to get into their cages upon verbal, patient command because they naturally move slowly unless trying to run. They are extremely curious, try to take my food from my hand if allowed. They are not particularly patient, though. I have to scold them for that or for shredding newspaper, making holes in cardboard, finding and eating tiny chips of styrofoam occasionally, or pecking the cork off a bulletin board sitting near the ground!
They sleep when cages are covered, regardless of hour or length of time. They will perch indefinitely on my outstretched legs when I rest, preferring to be touched on their ear-pads and beneath their beaks, no where else. If I have to lift them I place my palms beneath their body and lift with their legs dangling, which they don't seem to mind.
Their being raised INDOORS is challenging, and I do plan to give them their summers more outside this year.
The crushed oyster shells don't agree with them for some reason, so I barely give them any. Their crumbles have all the vitamins they seem to need. They have never had a single problem except for when they accidentally find a few scattered grains of the Boraxo I put on their few cleaned, wet drips, for odor-removal and absorbancy/ stain removal upon drying/vacuuming. They rarely have loose bowels, but are trained also not to eat their droppings inside or outside of the cages.
The are truly my pets, loved by my Mini-Rex rabbit, and our three misc. cats who have never harmed them.
I have photos of them all sitting side-by-side. I'd highly recommend them to any beginner over any other chicken breed. Mine are " barred" black/grey and lovely, so I am considering another Plymouth Rock of another color, taking suggestions. Their egg production is avg., with they're knowing that I take their eggs as they are layed. Their diet is simple. They love chopped tomatoes for variety.
At first they fought with each other a bit, but after a few weeks and ever since they have gotten along fine. The smaller one overrides the larger one who is the bolder and louder of the two. Overall the experience has been good, but would not be so good if I did not have this simple routine, and the time to watch over/ care for them properly. We have lots of predators in our neighborhood, so until I design a good cage, they will stay in the house most of the time.
Good luck and God bless you.
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