Silver Pencilled Plymouth Rock
The Plymouth Rock was developed in New England in the middle of the 19th century and was first exhibited as a breed in 1849. Plymouth Rocks were bred as a dual-purpose fowl, meaning that they were valued both for their meat and for the hens' egg-laying ability. The first Plymouth Rock was barred and other varieties were developed later.
The breed became popular very rapidly, and in fact, until World War II, no breed was ever kept and bred as extensively in the United States as the Barred Plymouth Rock. Its popularity came from its qualities as an outstanding farm chicken: hardiness, docility, broodiness, and excellent production of both eggs and meat. Most of the other varieties were developed from crosses containing some of the same ancestral background as the barred variety. Early in its development, the name Plymouth Rock implied a barred bird, but as more varieties were developed, it became the designation for the breed.
In terms of temperament, both roosters and hens are calm and will get along well with people and other animals such as pets. The hens often will go broody if in the right environment, and are fantastic mothers.
Plymouth Rocks are large, long-lived chickens. Some varieties are good layers while others are bred principally for meat. They possess a long, broad back; a moderately deep, full breast; and yellow skin and legs. The hens have a deep, full abdomen, which is a sign of a good layer. The face of a Plymouth Rock is red with red ear lobes, a bright yellow beak, bay-colored eyes, and a single comb of moderate size. Their feathers are fairly loosely held and short but not so long as to easily tangle.