Plymouth Rock (chicken)
The Plymouth Rock, often called simply Rocks or Barred Rocks (after their most popular color), is a
chickenbreed that originated in the United States. The Plymouth Rock is a dual-purpose, cold-hardy bird and therefore makes a great breed for the small farm or backyard flock owner.
There are seven varieties of Plymouth Rock chickens: barred, blue, buff, Columbian, partridge, silver-penciled and white.
The Plymouth Rock was developed in New England in the middle of the 19th century and was first exhibited as a breed in 1869. Several individuals claimed its invention, using crosses of Dominiques, Black Javas, Cochins, and perhaps Malays and Dorkings.
John C. Bennett(1804-1867) has been credited with either creating or popularizing the breed. Plymouth Rocks were bred as a dual-purpose fowl, meaning that they were valued both for their meat and for the hens' egg-laying ability. The first Plymouth Rock was barred and other varieties were developed later. The breed became popular very rapidly, and in fact, until World War II, no breed was ever kept and bred as extensively in the United States as the Barred Plymouth Rock. Its popularity came from its qualities as an outstanding farm chicken: hardiness, docility, broodiness, and excellent production of both eggs and meat.
Most of the other varieties were developed from crosses containing some of the same ancestral background as the barred variety. Early in its development, the name Plymouth Rock implied a barred bird, but as more varieties were developed, it became the designation for the breed. The Barred Plymouth Rock was one of the foundation breeds for the broiler industry in the 1920s, and the White Rock continues to be used as the female side of the commercial broiler cross.
Plymouth Rocks are large, long-lived chickens. Some varieties are good layers while others are bred principally for meat. They possess a long, broad back; a moderately deep, full breast; and yellow skin and legs. The hens have a deep, full abdomen which is a sign of a good layer. The face of a Plymouth Rock is red with red ear lobes, a bright yellow beak, bay-colored eyes, and a single comb of moderate size. Their feathers are fairly loosely held but not so long as to easily tangle.
Generally, Plymouth Rocks are not extremely aggressive, and tame quite easily. They are docile and normally will show broodiness. The hens usually make good mothers. However, some males and females are big and active enough to be quite a problem if they become aggressive.
Breeders should be aware of the standard weights and not select small or narrow birds for the breeding pen. Common faults include a shallow breast, high tails, narrow bodies and small size.
The varieties of Plymouth Rocks refer to differences in feather markings.
- Silver Penciled (or Silver Laced)
Plymouth Rocks lay a large egg that varies in color from light to medium brown, sometimes with a touch of pink. The birds continue laying all through the winter with decreased production. On average, each hen will lay around 200 eggs per year.
The standard weights for Plymouth Rocks, as established by the American Poulty Association, are as follows: cock - 9-1/2 pounds; hen - 7-1/2 pounds; cockerel - 8 pounds; and pullet - 5-6 pounds.
In the rapidly-growing "backyard chicken" movement in the United States, Plymouth Rocks are a popular choice among families who choose to raise chickens at home as pets. The birds are well-adaptable to confinement or free range, are docile, friendly, and easily-handled.
The breed was once listed as in danger of extinction but is now recovering.
The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, Box 477, Pittsboro, N.C. 27312
Chicken Breeds and Varieties (A2880), John L. Skinner, University of Wisconsin-Madison
* [http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/poultry/chickens/plymouthrock/index.htm Plymouth Rock chickens at OKstate.edu]
* [http://www.centralpets.com/animals/birds/domestic_birds/dbd4796.html Plymouth Rock chickens at CentralPets.com]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Plymouth Rock — ☆ Plymouth Rock1 n. [after PLYMOUTH ROCK2] any of a breed of domestic chicken with white or gray, barred plumage: formerly raised esp. for its eggs and meat, now usually kept for crossbreeding Plymouth Rock2 boulder at Plymouth, Mass., where the… … English World dictionary
Rock Cornish — Rock′ Cor′nish n. cvb orn a small hybrid chicken produced by mating Cornish and white Plymouth Rock chickens Also called Rock′ Cor nish game′ hen . Etymology: 1955–60 … From formal English to slang
chicken — I (New American Roget s College Thesaurus) n. fowl, cock, hen, pullet; fryer, broiler, capon; slang, coward (See cowardice). See birds, food. II (Roget s IV) n. 1. [A barnyard fowl] Syn. chick, hen, rooster, pullet, cock, cockerel, capon,… … English dictionary for students
chicken — Synonyms and related words: Ancona, Andalusian, Australorp, Bantam, Brahma, Campine, Cochin, Cornish, Cornish hen, Hamburg, Hershey bar, Leghorn, Lord Fauntleroy, Milquetoast, New Hampshire red, Orpington, Percy, Plymouth Rock, Rhode Island red,… … Moby Thesaurus
Rock Cornish hen — noun Date: 1956 a crossbred domestic chicken produced by interbreeding Cornish and white Plymouth Rock chickens and used especially for small roasters called also Rock Cornish, Rock Cornish game hen … New Collegiate Dictionary
Rock Cornish hen — noun flesh of a small fowl bred for roasting • Hypernyms: ↑poultry • Part Holonyms: ↑Rock Cornish * * * Rock Cornish hen, a small hybrid fowl bred by crossing a Cornish chicken with a white Plymouth Rock, eaten as a delicacy … Useful english dictionary
List of chicken breeds — Thirty types of known chickens There are hundreds of chicken breeds in existence. Domesticated for thousands of years, distinguishable breeds of chicken have been present since the combined factors of geographical isolation and selection for… … Wikipedia
Java (chicken) — Infobox Chickenbreed name = Java imagecaption = The illustration of the ideal Black Java female in the 1905 Standard of Perfection. status = Critical altname = country = U.S. nickname = apa = yes apagroup = American aba = abagroup = extinct =… … Wikipedia
Delaware (chicken) — For other uses, see Delaware (disambiguation). A Delaware hen The Delaware is a breed of chicken originating in the U.S. state of Delaware. It was once of relative importance to the U.S. chicken industry, but today is critically endangered. It is … Wikipedia
Dominique (chicken) — Dominicker redirects here. For the triracial group in Florida, see Dominickers. Dominique A Dominique cockerel (6 months old, center). Conservation status Watch Country of … Wikipedia