Plymouth Rock Chicken
Category: Standard Chickens
Facts about Plymouth Rock Chickens. Developed in America in mid 19th century, the Plymouth Rock Chicken was exhibited as a breed in 1869 for the first time. The Plymouth Rock Chicken breed had made news as several breeders claimed credit for its production. It is expected to be the result of crossing Dominique, Cochin and Dorking varieties.
The Plymouth Rock Chicken was so popular that no other breed of chicken was bred as extensively as the Plymouth Rock chicken until World War II. The main contribution towards its popularity came from the ideal farm characteristics it has also hardiness, broodiness and docility. The Plymouth Rock Chicken breed also showed an excellent productivity to both eggs and meat. Later, it was used as parental breed to produce many hybrids to hone its productivity qualities in other varieties. The more successful hybrids were made by crossing the Plymouth Rock chicken with other less productive breeds, the more attention it got as a “breed quality enhancer”.
Plymouth Rock was used as one of the selected breeds that gave birth to the broiler industry movement in the 1920’s. The white Plymouth Rock is still being used in the female side of the commercial crosses.
Characteristics of Plymouth Rock Chicken
Despite having a strong genetic instinct, the Plymouth Rock Chicken is considered as a good farm chicken. They are quiet and are easily controlled. They show immense broodiness and has a long and wide body. The breast also appears full and moderately deep. It has a moderate sized single comb. The varieties can be of barred, white, buff, partridge, silvery, blue and Columbian. Some strains are excellent lays while some are raised only for their meat.
Their feathers are short and loosely held, hence they are easy to tangle. As they are not aggressive, they can be easily tangled. Few of the Plymouth Rock Chicken may grow bigger than their usual sizes which generally show aggressive behavior. The rare bigger Plymouth Rock Chickens are generally active enough to cause quite a problem.
Breeders are advised to have an idea about the Plymouth Rock Chicken’s average weight at its different growing stage, especially when they are chicks. The small and narrow birds shouldn’t be selected for breeding. The average size of the Plymouth Rock Chicken is 7 to 8 pounds (3.2 to 2.6 kg).