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Plymouth Rock

The Plymouth Rock is a dual-purpose, cold-hardy bird that originated in the United States and makes a beautiful easy care breed for the small farm or backyard flock owner.

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These chickens are often called Plymouth Rocks, but this title correctly belongs to the entire breed, not just the barred variety. Plymouth Rocks were bred as a dual-purpose fowl, valued both for their meat and for the hens' egg-laying ability through cold weather. They are a true heritage bird in that they are seasonal layers and tend to lay thier large light brown eggs in batches over a number of weeks through spring and autumn, so are sometimes referred to as 'lazy' layers.

Attractive, quiet and docile birds, the cockerels are attentive husbands but do not mix well with cocks of other breeds (lovers not fighters!) and both hens and cockerals have large appetites to maintain thier big frames, making them a less economical prospect in the choice of chook breed for backyard flocks.

What I love the most about Rocks is the odd behaviours they display. Sunworshippers, they will lie down and stretch their wings and legs to soak up the suns rays. The first time I looked out the kitchen window and saw my whole flock of Rocks lying still, stretched out on the grass- I thought they were dead, attacked by something and flew out the back door in a panic.  They all jumped up and looked at me as though I was mad!  Most poultry will lie quietly in the sun, or under a tree or have a dust bath- but this ‘sunbaking’ behavioural trait is quite entertaining and completely odd in the poultry world.

While not a first choice in commercial consideration, they are still one of my favourite breeds of poultry.