Beauty, versatility, and reliability. If you are looking for those traits in a chicken, you may be interested in the gorgeous Plymouth Blue Rock. As a member of the Plymouth Rock family, this color variation has captured the hearts of poultry enthusiasts worldwide. With their striking blue plumage, excellent egg production, and amiable personalities, Plymouth Blue Rocks are a delightful addition to any backyard flock. But are they right for you? Let’s find out.
Overview of the Plymouth Blue Rock Chicken Breed
Here is a quick glance at some of the characteristics of this chicken breed:
|Weight||6-8.5 pounds (2.7-3.9 kg)|
|Color Variations||Distinctive blue plumage with white barring.|
|Egg Production||200-280 eggs per year|
|Egg Size and Color||Large to extra-large brown eggs|
History of the Plymouth Blue Rock Chicken Breed
The history of the Plymouth Blue Rock chicken is closely tied to the Plymouth Rock breed. To understand the origins of the Plymouth Blue Rock, it is necessary to delve into the history of the Plymouth Rock chicken.
The Plymouth Rock breed originated in the United States in the mid-19th century. It was developed through selective breeding, with the goal of creating a versatile and productive chicken suitable for both eggs and meat. The exact originators of the breed are not definitively known, but it is widely believed to have been developed by poultry breeders in Massachusetts and other parts of New England.
The Plymouth Rock breed gained popularity rapidly due to its desirable qualities. It became especially well-known for its ability to lay a good number of eggs while also producing quality meat. Its hardiness, calm temperament, and adaptability to various environments further contributed to its widespread adoption.
The Plymouth Rock breed encompasses several color variations, including the Barred Plymouth Rock, White Plymouth Rock, Buff Plymouth Rock, Silver Plymouth Rock, and, of course, the Plymouth Blue Rock. Each variety has its own distinct color pattern and characteristics.
The Plymouth Blue Rock, specifically, is a variation of the Plymouth Rock breed characterized by its striking blue plumage with white barring. This coloration is the result of a dilution of the black pigment found in the Barred Plymouth Rock, leading to a blueish-gray appearance. The Plymouth Blue Rock retains all the desirable qualities of the Plymouth Rock breed, including its friendly temperament, excellent egg production, and dual-purpose capabilities.
While the exact details of the development and recognition of the Plymouth Blue Rock variety are not widely documented, it has gained recognition and popularity among poultry enthusiasts and breeders.
Plymouth Blue Rock Chicken Characteristics
Plymouth Blue Rock chickens, like other varieties of the Plymouth Rock breed, possess distinct physical characteristics. Plymouth Blue Rock chickens have striking bluish-gray plumage and white barring. Both roosters and hens of the Plymouth Blue Rock breed have strong, sturdy legs and feet. They typically have yellow-colored legs, adding a contrasting hue to their overall appearance. The comb and wattles of Plymouth Blue Rock chickens are medium in size and usually have a bright red coloration.
Roosters of this breed are well-built. They have broad chests, a proud stance, and are muscular. Plymouth Blue Rock hens are more streamlined. Their shape tends to reflect their dual purpose of egg-laying and meat production.
Plymouth Blue Rock hens are slightly smaller than roosters but still maintain a medium to large size. They usually weigh around 6 to 7 pounds (2.7 to 3.2 kg). Meanwhile, the roosters are often between 7 and 8.5 pounds (3.2 to 3.9 kg).
Is the Plymouth Blue Rock Recognized by the APA?
No, Plymouth Blue Rock chickens are not officially recognized as a separate breed by the American Poultry Association (APA). While the APA recognizes other members of the Plymouth Rock family — including barred, white, buff, and silver variations — blue is not recognized. It is speculated that the APA will eventually accept blue as a recognized variation, though when is not yet known.
View these amazing birds in their coop:
Personality and Temperament of the Plymouth Blue Rock Breed
The Plymouth Blue Rock chicken breed may be popular for their egg-laying, but they also have winning personalities and temperaments. Plymouth Blue Rocks are the epitome of chill. They exude a calm and collected demeanor that can make even the most frazzled chicken keeper feel zen. When others are flapping feathers in a panic, these chickens maintain their composure.
Furthermore, these chickens thrive around people. They will be your loyal companions as you do work around the yard. These chickens also have aspirations of becoming lap chickens. While they are not as cuddly as some breeds, the ones who trust you the most will climb into your lap for pets often.
On the flip side, Plymouth Blue Rocks are all about exploration. They are the chickens who are up in the morning, eager to begin their pecking spree about the yard. Of course, because their beaks are always seeking out treats, they have very little time to spark drama among the pecking order. You can count on your Plymouth Blue Rocks to keep to themselves and to rarely, if ever, start anything with another chicken.
Egg Production and Broodiness
When it comes to egg production, Plymouth Blue Rocks are reliable performers, earning their keep with a commendable annual egg yield. On average, these lovely chickens can lay anywhere from 200 to 280 large to extra large brown eggs per year. Now, that’s a lot of omelets and scrambled eggs! Plus, Plymouth Blue Rocks have the potential to lay eggs throughout the year. While their egg production can be influenced by various factors, they are known to be good and consistent layers. In other words, they have a higher likelihood of laying eggs consistently compared to some other breeds.
Now, let’s talk about broodiness — a term that refers to a hen’s inclination to sit on eggs and hatch them into adorable fluffy chicks. Plymouth Blue Rocks tend to have a moderate level of broodiness. This means that while they may exhibit broody behaviors on occasion, they’re not overly consumed by the desire to hatch eggs like some other breeds known for their intense broodiness.
Their moderate broodiness can be a blessing for those who prefer consistent egg production over raising chicks. However, if you do have the desire to hatch eggs and witness the marvel of motherhood in your flock, providing a quiet and comfortable nesting environment may entice a Plymouth Blue Rock hen to embrace her maternal instincts.
Plymouth Blue Rock Health Concerns
On average, a healthy Plymouth Blue Rock chicken will live between 6-8 years. When provided with proper care and the correct environment, these chickens can live long, happy lives. That said, there are some issues that these chickens are vulnerable to developing:
- Respiratory infections, including infectious bronchitis and mycoplasma gallisepticum
- External and internal parasites, like fleas, worms, mites, and lice
- Egg binding, prolapse, egg peritonitis, and other reproductive issues
- Marek’s disease
Regular observation and proactive health management, including routine veterinary check-ups, can help identify and address any potential health concerns promptly. Maintaining a clean and predator-proof coop, providing a balanced diet, fresh water, and appropriate living conditions contribute to the overall health and well-being of your Plymouth Blue Rocks.
Caring and Raising Tips for Plymouth Blue Rock Chickens
Now that you know more about this breed, let’s discuss some ways to ensure that the Plymouth Blue Rocks in your flock stay happy and healthy:
Feeding and Nutrition
Feed your flock a high-quality, balanced chicken feed suitable for laying hens. As chicks, you want a high-quality starter with an adequate amount of protein. Later on, your hens can have 16-18% protein throughout the year. Since Plymouth Blue Rock hens are prolific layers, consider giving them a little extra protein when they molt or during the colder months to keep them healthy.
Additionally, offer treats like fruits, vegetables, and occasional mealworms for added nutrition and to keep them entertained. Provide a constant supply of fresh, clean water.
When it comes to space requirements for Plymouth Blue Rock chickens, it’s generally recommended to provide adequate room for their comfort and well-being. Here are some guidelines for coop and outdoor space:
- Coop Space: Inside the coop, each Plymouth Blue Rock chicken should ideally have a minimum of 4 to 5 square feet of space. This measurement includes both roosting and nesting areas, as well as space for them to move around comfortably.
- Outdoor Run Space: For the outdoor run or fenced area, it’s advisable to provide at least 8 to 10 square feet per chicken. This allows them to stretch their wings, engage in natural behaviors, and enjoy the outdoors while still having enough space to move around freely.
Keep in mind that these are general recommendations, and providing more space is always beneficial. Extra space allows for better ventilation, reduces the risk of aggression or pecking order issues, and promotes overall well-being.
Plymouth Blue Rocks are sociable birds, so ensure they have companionship by keeping them in a small flock. This helps prevent loneliness and promotes natural behaviors. You should also consider some environmental enrichment for them. Perches, dust baths, and items that they can play with and peck will keep them stimulated and happy.
Final Thoughts on the Plymouth Blue Rock Breed
The Plymouth Blue Rock chicken breed stands as a testament to beauty, versatility, and reliable egg-laying capabilities. With their captivating blue plumage, friendly personalities, and ability to produce a substantial number of large brown eggs, they are an excellent choice for both novice and experienced chicken keepers. Whether you seek a visually stunning addition to your flock or a consistent source of fresh eggs, the Plymouth Blue Rock is sure to exceed your expectations.
Valerie has been content writing since 2016 for websites and companies all around the world. A traveler, dancer, martial artist, Valerie loves gathering experiences and wisdom. Her travels have taken her to over 20 countries, and she hopes to see more of the world soon.