Plymouth Rock chickens
Barred Plymouth Rocks:
Barred Plymouth Rock Bantam Cockerel
This Barred Plymouth Rock Bantam pullet won Champion Barred Plymouth Rock at the 2002 National, the only time she was shown. She was then used in the breeding pens.
The Barred Plymouth Rock was the first variety of Plymouth Rock to be created, though the barring is greatly refined now from the earliest birds. The Barred Plymouth Rock is one of the most intricately marked of all varieties of poultry with each and every feather requiring a set of parallel, straight, and even bars from the base of the feather to the very tip. A good Barred Rock is the opposite marking-wise to cuckoo (as in Marans or poorly barred birds), and is extremely attractive as well as a work of art.

We have had our Barred bantams since 1989 receiving a very good start from the late Dr W C Carefoot who became a very good friend and was the Barred Rock master breeder. We created our strain of Large Barred in 1993 and the vast majority of Large Barreds in the UK can be traced back to our original birds.

Barred males and Barred females - beware the light male.

In the UK the male and female Barred Plymouth Rock must be the same colour, ie. Black and White barring with the black bar showing good 'beetle green sheen'. In many examples, however, the male is 'Light' like a Barred Wyandotte. This male should not be exhibited but may be used for breeding. Black females will also be bred from a mating of two exhibition males and can be used to maintain beetle green sheen.

Barred Plymouth Rock Timeline

1811 The first 'Plymouth Rocks', the results of an attempt to make a breed of this name in the US, became extinct.

1847 An intermingling of several breeds - which included White Cochins, Dark and White Brahma's, Black Java's, Langshans, Dorking's, Black Minorca's and Spanish, and Dominique's - took place in the US.

1849 3 'Plymouth Rocks' were exhibited at the first poultry show in Boston, US, by Dr. John Bennett.

1850 Dr. Bennett reports in his 1881 poultry book that he made the 'Plymouth Rock' at this time by crossing a Cochin cockerel with a 'fawn-coloured' cross-bred which included Malay and 'Wild Indian' blood. Harrison Weir also wrote 'The Plymouth Rock is in reality one half Cochin China, one fourth fawn coloured Dorking, one eighth Malay, and one eighth Wild Indian' which substantiates the ancestry of Bennett's strain

1869 Specimens resembling the Barred Plymouth Rocks of today were exhibited in the US. by D.A. Upham of Massachusetts under the name of 'Improved Plymouth Rocks' to avoid confusion with Bennett's birds. Parks Poultry Farm in Pennsylvania specialises in the breed commercially and makes them well known in America.

1870 Breed recorded as having 'Dominique' plumage - the American term for barring or cuckoo colour. Lewis Wright claims a 'new' production occurred, differing in colour to Dr.Bennett's. He suggests the modern Plymouth Rock had a number of different origins, from birds bred from various American breeders. The Upham strain is the most probable source Wright referred to and undoubtedly contained a large amount of Dominique blood (the Dominique is also a breed in the US and has barred or cuckoo plumage - the Scots Grey is said to be an ancestor of the Dominique).

1872 Plymouth Rocks reached Britain, exported by Mr W.Simpson who took honours at Birmingham Show that year in the AOV class with Barreds. British Plymouth Rock Club is founded.

1874 The breed (Barred variety) is recognised in the American Standard of Excellence.

We breed relatively small numbers of stock each year but do have spare birds or eggs available to Plymouth Rock enthusiasts from time to time. Please see our Stock for Sale and Hatching Eggs pages.

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