Plymouth Rock chickens
Buff Plymouth Rocks:

In the UK, Buff Plymouth Rocks are often amongst the top show awards with their beautiful soft plumage colour the most highly developed of all Buff coloured breeds. Buff Plymouth Rocks were formerly a premier utility laying fowl.
Buff Plymouth Rock Bantam Cockerel
One of our Buff Plymouth Rock Bantam Cockerel pictured winning Champion Plymouth Rock at Northumberland & Durham Show, a Club Show Regional

Plymouth Rocks from Red to Buff

Buff Plymouth Rocks were originally coloured like Rhode Island Reds, this breed being pivotal to their early development in the USA. The Buff name is most probably derived from their American creator whose surname was ‘Buffington’, though it was fortunate breeders chose to develop the buff plumage colour - a pastel or golden shade of yellow or light orange, rather than stick with red birds.

English breeders like James Boardman created their own strain of buffs developed from Cochins and Orpington’s, and later mixed these with US birds. Separate strains were also developed in other parts of America, also without using Rhodes, and this is probably why the buff colouration developed.

Buff Plymouth Rock Timeline

1890 R.G. Buffington, Rhode Island, US, exhibits the ‘Fall River Strain’ of Buffs with Rhode Island Reds being used in their making. They were very close in appearance to RIR’s rather than having what we know as buff colouration. The name ‘Buff’ became attributed to the variety to highlight the influence of Mr Buffington, and only later did breeders develop buff as a colour. Reference, however, was also made at this time to a separate English strain of Buffs which contained Buff Orpington blood.

1893 The ‘Wilson Strain’ of Buffs is exhibited at the World’s Fair. This strain was derived from crossing Buff Cochins and Light Brahma’s and less red in colouration than the ‘Fall River Strain’. Sir Edward Brown reports another combination involving Buff Leghorns, Buff Cochins, and Light Brahma’s.

1894 James Boardman exhibits an English strain of Buffs in England. Buff Plymouth Rocks are accepted into the American Standard of Excellence.

1897 James Boardman imports Wilson Strain Buffs into Britain from America, and subsequently develops an amalgamate strain.

1908 Buff bantams are reported to have been exhibited in Britain, but are rather poor in quality compared to the Large.

1930s The Large Buff Plymouth Rock has developed into one of the best Utility laying varieties in the UK.

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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