|Barred Plymouth Rocks or "Barred Rocks," as they're called, are one of the most popular dual-purpose chickens on small farms today. Their heritage is unclear with reports of different crosses, but what is clear is that they're very friendly, great layers of large brown eggs and able to withstand cold weather quite nicely.
Like the Faverolles, this is another breed whose males are often enthusiastically recommended as good roosters for the home flock, as they tend to be calm and kind in comparison to some breeds of roosters. Both roosters and hens are very pretty with feathers decorated in alternating bars of white and black, and set off by their bright, alert eyes!
Though Barred Rocks tolerate confinement, they're most happy when they get to range freely.
Here's what our friends from Facebook are saying about Barred Rocks:
"Barred rocks are inquisitive, intelligent and the most loyal flock mates. We can't imagine our flock without one!"
"We have two BR hens, by far my favorite personality wise. Funny, smart, very gentle and always begging to be with us. I'd have a whole flock of them if my hubby would let me! No two are the same pattern either, very unique."
"Daughter's first hen was a barred Rock, little over 40 years ago. This hen (Heneritta) was the most peaceful, loving pet we have ever had in our family. She could hardy stand the wait for the school bus to arrive. Once daughter was off the bus, Heneritta would follow my daughter all around (in the house or outside) until daughter would pick her up and love on her. They would coo and cluck to one another till bedtime. Smart, loving and very generous with large brown eggs. Heneritta was better than any other pets this family has ever had."
"They make good 'lap chickens.'"
"I love my Barred Rocks! They are 'all good' -- good natured, good layers, and good looking! All around great birds, and a nice addition to any flock."
"Great layers, great protectors, great foragers, they are happy to go broody, and believe it or not, they are better mousers than our cats. It sure comes in handy living out in the country!"
"We have one Barred Rock, she croons to us all the time, and by far the most like a T-Rex, a real hunter and meat eater! She will eat anything that scurries (lizards, worms, etc.) when the other chickens are too chicken to try. Plus, she chases the squirrels out of the yard! Her Name is Roxy, but I call her RockStar!"
"We have one and if I had to describe her in a word, it would be SMART! One night we heard a tapping on our front door, I opened it and in walked "Cookie". This was rather strange and my hubs and I were pretty baffled. I picked her up and carried her out to the coop in the back yard, where I found a baby opossum that had made it's way through a small door that hadn't been latched. She had escaped and came and got me! She's really sweet and great with my kids. She lets them hug her (gently, of course) and she loves to eat treats from their hand. She's top hen in the coop pecking order but, she's not aggressive by any means."
"They are sweet natured, gentle, and excellent layers as well as absolutely beautiful. Ours were good 'watch hens' as well, and set up a huge clamor if anything got in the chicken house."
"Our Barred Rock is named May... May is definitely the most vocal, one of the best egg layers, and the most friendly of our group. She is the first one to greet me in the mornings, chattering away at me about who knows what. If I am running late on giving them their daily scraps of lettuce or blueberries or whatever that day, she gets very animated and unrelentingly verbally reminds me that I am a slowpoke. The funniest thing about her is when I clean the coop. After I have cleaned and put in new straw, she comes in, surveys the situation, and immediately starts rearranging things to get their house back in order while the others are busy wandering in their yard. Occasionally she stops long enough to come out and "yell" at me about messing everything up. Makes me giggle."
"They are a very calm, good natured breed. Very hardy too. We have freezing cold winters and extremely hot summers; my Barred Plymouth Rocks do very well in both extremes! I love them and will always make room for them in my flock : )"
Baby Chicks: Behind the Scenes