Barred Rock Eggs: Everything You Need To Know About

Sridevi Tolety
Jan 24, 2024 By Sridevi Tolety
Originally Published on Dec 02, 2021
Edited by Lara Simpson
Fact-checked by Gowri Rao
Are you curious about different breeds that give eggs? Check out these barred rock eggs facts to learn more.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 11.5 Min

Barred rock chicken is a heritage breed developed in New England in the 1800s after crossbreeding Black Javas and Dominiques.

Barred rock chickens are regarded as an ideal American chicken and can be found in every part of the U.S. Did you know that barred rock chickens are also referred to as Plymouth rock?

Plymouth rock chicken refers to the entire breed and not just for the barred variety of chickens. This heritage breed is America's favorite breed and was initially developed during the second half of the 19th century and became common in America quickly. In the 1930s, the production of this bird was first introduced to farmers and breeders. The barred rock chicken is quite a hardworking animal and is a good egg layer too. It is calm, beautiful, and an extremely productive member of any flock. This bird has been a success for many poultry breeders and farming enthusiasts for over 100 years! You can say the barred rock is the finest creation and has set its own standard in the context of a farm.

Did you know that first of these barred specimens almost disappeared from Boston, Massachusetts, in 1849? It reappeared in 1869 when Mr. Upham from Boston crossbred the Java hens and roosters again to recreate the prototype of the barred rock. Back then, when the old barred rock was missing, the Dominique hen was the top-rated chicken breed for the Americans.

Later, the Plymouth rock hen became mandatory for the broiler industry till world war two as it was easier for the breeders to get more produce from these chickens than other breeds. The sole responsibility of producing protein, eggs, and meat in the American diet was onto these chickens! They remained a popular choice for backyard chickens because of their docile behavior, hardiness, and productive features. This breed was an excellent choice for meat and eggs which almost drove the purebred hens to extinction!

We are sure you will enjoy our other articles on animals, so check out birds symbolism and cardinal state bird as well!

What is a barred rock?

The barred rock breed is an American favorite chicken breed, and naturally, with chicken comes the question of eggs, right? Barred rock chickens lay brown eggs, and the egg size is large. Barred rocks lay about 4 eggs per week! So you can say the total egg laying goes more than 200 eggs per year. Initially, the barred Plymouth rock has a good enough production, but the egg-laying output declines over time. These brown egg layers have a good output for four years, but the egg production reduces per year after that time. The barred rocks make for good mothers; although they aren't over broody, you could persuade the Plymouth rock chicken to brood by keeping a few eggs in their nest, in a way encouraging them. Once they brood, they make good broodies and good mothers. These barred rock chicken feathers grow in quickly, and so they can go out quite early. Their weight is considerably large over the first few weeks and grows for the next 8-12 weeks.

Barred rocks are a domestic class American chicken which was first identified in Massachusetts in the nineteenth century. During the early twentieth century, it was an immensely popular breed for chicken and egg production in the United States of America. The barred Plymouth rock is a dual-purpose chicken used for its meat and egg. These chicks are easy to maintain, a good sitter, and are well resistant to cold weather.

The overall look of these barred rock chickens is sharp, large, with well-defined barred white and black feathers. These chicks have a single five-pointed comb that is red and are pretty hearty-looking. The barred rock has a long back and is full-breasted. The barred rocks provide a lot of meat if you were to raise them according to well-defined standards. If you provide these barred rocks with affection, loads of treats, then they will be extremely friendly with you! Moreover, these chicks are children friendly, and they also enjoy getting cuddles and picked up.

Barred Rock Eggs Color

Barred rock chickens are crossbreed bird that is popular for their ideal meat production and eggs. Most poultry farms have these hens because of their demands, so if you are planning to keep one, ensure to choose a high-quality hatchery so that the baby rock chicks do not have to spend a lot of time in the mail. Have the deal done by a qualified breeder to ensure the barred rock variety to have the same industry standards. The upside of this is that you will then have these rock chicks free of any further health issues. Usually, these rock breed hens are tough birds that can be raised in any environment; however, cold-hardy temperatures can prove to be a little rough on these hens. Provide them with clean water and good food, and you'd get a healthy, thriving barred Plymouth rock that will give the best meat and egg production! Coming to eggs, let us have a look at the kind of egg these birds lay.

Barred rocks are your go-to breed if you want hens that can hatch good quality eggs and at the same time have a good temperament too. They lay eggs that are brown and large in size.

If you are looking for hens for your backyard that are friendly, docile, and would also yield a good amount of eggs and meat, then the barred rock is the bird to keep. It is also quite common to find these rock chicks in the market due to their demand. Several testimonies prove these hens' docile nature, so it is no wonder that be it poultry, large or small farms, barred rocks are now ubiquitous. Barred rocks are able to be kept as a free-range flock or in a coop. This bird loves to range and forage and can be easily adapted to any environment so that these chicks will be comfortable in your backyard in no time! If you have kids inclined towards raising hens, then barred rocks are a great choice as they suffice for any industry standard and give good results too. Also, this bird has an in-built affinity towards children and so is also popular as lap chickens. This may be your cue to buy a barred rock chicken as a family chicken pet for yourself and your children!

The barred rock chickens are favorite amongst not just humans but even other animal breeds that are their predators. Their mild-mannered and docile nature makes them prone to predators like wolves, ferrets, raptors, and raccoons, so ensure your backyard is secure enough for these birds to protect themselves from other predator breeds. Most of them strike at night. Another harmful aspect of this chicken breed is parasites. Like any other poultry, the barred rock is susceptible to parasites. Still, if you give them, free-range these hens will automatically find themselves sandy areas to get rid of parasites by taking a dust bath. Although you should ensure a regular parasite inspection of these birds, whether in free-range or coop and medicate them when necessary.

While speaking about the security of barred rock chickens, let's also discuss any situation when they could possibly escape. Well, to your relief, these breeds are not great flyers, so any requirement of high fences to confine them goes out of the picture. These birds will also not disturb you or your neighbors as these birds usually whisper with other fellow chicks. However, there have been instances during the egg-laying process when these birds have shouted while laying eggs. In fact, the mild temperament of this breed makes it a convenient addition to any flock as they are never aggressive. Moreover, this bird is an easy-maintenance animal, so that you will have absolutely zero hassles.

Barred Rock Egg Size

If you were to address the looks of a rock rooster or female barred rock chicken, then you would notice the plumage of the rooster to have regular parallel spaced bars having alternate light and dark patterns. These dark bands could be either pure white in their shade or pure black. Do you know what creates these bar-like patterns? A gene in the barred rocks prevents the formation of colored feathers, and so feathers having no pigment appearing as white can be seen on this breed. The rooster carries two copies of the gene, and one copy is carried by the hen, which is why you would also find barred rock males looking lighter as compared to barred rock females.

The feathers of these roosters are fluffier and thicker as compared to other breeds. For instance, if you look at Rhode island red hen and barred rock hen, you would say the latter looks heavier than the former, but it is, in fact, the illusion of their fluffy and dense feathers because otherwise, these two chicks have the same size. The barred rock also has fluffy butts. The barred rock chicken also has upright and single combs. These combs have five equally separated points, out of which the middle comb is longer than the end ones. The comb is one distinctive way to identify these docile-barred rock chickens.

The standard size of both roosters and hens is regular or relatively small in size. Rooster weighs around 9.5 lb (4.3 kg) and hens around 7.5 lb (3.4 kg). The size of eggs that these single comb chicks hatch is medium to large. When it is 16 to 20 weeks old, you can expect the eggs from the barred rocks. Once the barred rock chicken starts laying, she is capable of laying one egg after every 25 hours! However, when the weather is cold or during winters, there would be situations where this breed will not be laying eggs at all until she molts next year.

While speaking of laying, these usual purpose breeds are the best in town except for winters, but that's not the case with a rooster. In contrast with hens, barred rock roosters have larger wattles and combs, which makes them prone to frostbite. Thus, roosters would require extra protection from the cold. You could hand heaters in your farms for more protection and warmth; this would be a good start to protect any comb frostbite for your barred rocks.

The address to any chicken is a farm, where you'd find a flock of chickens.

Barred Rock Eggs Compared To Other Eggs

Almost every hatchery sells eggs and meat delivered by the barred Plymouth rock, and so you don't need to explore much on the availability of the flock of these chickens. The reason? Well, barred rock chickens are simple, weak, docile, hardy, and to top it all, it lays eggs like a champion and would follow you everywhere, just like any other pet. So wouldn't you consider it too? Moreover, the barred rock is comparatively less noisy than any other standard chicken, so overall they'd be calmer than most chickens. The lifespan of the roosters and hens of this breed lies in the range of 5-8 years.

So does the barred rock chicken not make any noise at all? Well, that's not entirely true. Similar to other breeds during the egg-laying process, the barred rock can be pretty vocal; at times, they even make other vocalizations when the barred hen is in a coop. These agitated sounds are often heard in a hatchery or your house if you have the barred rock chick when they are looking for a spot to lay an egg.

The Plymouth rock is America's oldest chicken breed; in fact, were you aware that the hen was seen before world war two on several coasts? Since then, this chicken was regarded as the national source of meat and eggs, hence the name dual purpose hen. The way this breed excelled in good quality meat and egg production, there was only one hen that could rival its competency, the Rhode island red hen. This gentle breed is also attractive for its terrific layers. The government encouraged this bird to keep as well, as another alternative to feed the troops fighting across the seas.

Apart from the Rhode island hen, another good-producing egg chicken is the Leghorn. It is named after an Italian town where this breed partially originated. Leghorns are popular due to their ability to convert the feed given to them into an egg effortlessly.

When comparing barred rock chicken and its eggs, you can also check out another similar personality chicken, Cream Legbar. It is a crossbreed between the Araucanas and Barred rocks. They are excellent layers of blue eggs, and these crossbreeds also retain specific characteristics from their ancestors.

The best part about the barred rock chicken is that, along with being gentle and affectionate, they also produce a large number of eggs, and that is a winning combination! But if you are considering another alternative for chickens during the cold season, then check out the Dominique breed. It is another dual-purpose chicken that can produce good eggs. Their size is smaller than the barred rocks and has combs that are less prone to frostbite.

Buff Orpington is another breed that does the best amongst chickens during cold. In fact, they are even more docile when compared to barred rocks. The dual-purpose Sussex are other chickens having excellent egg layers and temperament. Remarkably, the speckled Sussex is a famous chicken that can camouflage well, although their looks differ from the barred rock roosters and hens.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for barred rock eggs, then why not take a look at what do baby birds eat or barred rock facts?

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Written by Sridevi Tolety

Bachelor of Science specializing in Botany, Master of Science specializing in Clinical Research and Regulatory Affairs

Sridevi Tolety picture

Sridevi ToletyBachelor of Science specializing in Botany, Master of Science specializing in Clinical Research and Regulatory Affairs

With a Master's degree in clinical research from Manipal University and a PG Diploma in journalism from Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Sridevi has cultivated her passion for writing across various domains. She has authored a wide range of articles, blogs, travelogues, creative content, and short stories that have been published in leading magazines, newspapers, and websites. Sridevi is fluent in four languages and enjoys spending her spare time with loved ones. Her hobbies include reading, traveling, cooking, painting, and listening to music.

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