Barred Plymouth Rock or commonly called BPR is one of the most popular chicken breeds in the Philippines but unknown to many, of all Barred Rocks in the country, only 20% of them could be possibly true BPRs. There are many chicken breeds similar to Barred Plymouth Rock and that we are going to explain below.
The Barred Plymouth Rock is an American breed of domestic chicken. It was first seen in Massachusetts in the nineteenth century, and for much of the early twentieth century was the most popular chicken breed in the United States. It is a dual-purpose breed, raised both for its meat and for its brown eggs. It is resistant to cold, easy to manage, and a good sitter.
The Barred Plymouth Rock has a single comb with five points; the comb, wattles, and ear-lobes are bright red. The legs are yellow and unfeathered. The beak is yellow or horn-colored. They have long, broad backs with moderately deep, full breasts. Their feathers are loose compared to other chickens and they lay brown eggs. They are winter-hardy, broody birds that are usually tame and docile but can become aggressive under stressful circumstances. Cocks weigh around 4.3 kgs while hens weigh around 3.4 kgs.
Types of Barred Plymouth Rock
There are two types of Barred Plymouth Rock. The hatchery stock and the show type. Both lines have yellow legs and only differ in plumage. Show types are very rare and cost higher than hatchery stocks.
Plymouth Barred Rocks in the Philippines
As we mentioned about, not all so-called BPRs in the Philippines is true BPR. We’ve seen a lot of similar plumage but have white legs. These birds are mostly coming from Silver Cuckoo Marans and not from BPR.
Here are some of the Barred Plymouth Rock offered for sale in the Philippines.
The following bird has the legs of a true BPR but her body structure is different and is similar to native chicken. Although it’s hard to identify at her age, she is not likely to look like a true BPR hen when she matures. But if someone is selling you this type of chicken and labeled as Barred Plymouth Rock, she is worth buying.
This cockerel below is not a true Barred Plymouth Rock. Although his body structure is that of BPR, he has white legs which are not really for the BPR. He is likely a descendant of BPR and Silver Cuckoo Marans. If someone is offering you this type of BPR, you can buy if you like him but he is not a true BPR. If he has yellow legs, he is true BPR.
This is a show type of pure BPR. If you find another chicken with a similar plumage (feather) but with white legs, it’s not pure anymore. As mentioned, true BPRs either hatchery or show type have only yellow to light yellow legs.
Below a pure BPR hen (hatchery stock). If you find something like this and offered to sell, buy her. Take note of the body structure, leg color, and short tail.
Other Breeds similar to Barred Plymouth Rock
There are many other chicken breeds that look like BPR but the following are their differences.
The Scots Grey is a tall, upright chicken. Apart from the height, it is similar to the Scots Dumpy. The Scots Grey has a single comb. The face, wattles, earlobes, and comb are bright red, and the beak and shanks are white, sometimes marked with black.
The plumage is barred. The ground color is steel-grey, and the barring is black with a metallic sheen. Although both sexes are closely similar (apart from secondary characteristics), the markings are larger in hens than in cocks, and may give a tartan appearance.
The Scots Grey is classed as a light breed: cocks weigh about 3.2 kilograms and hens about 2.25 kg
The California Gray is an American breed of domestic chicken. It was developed in California in the 1930s by James Dryden, a professor of poultry science at Oregon Agricultural College, now Oregon State University. His aim was to produce a dual-purpose chicken that was both suitable for meat production and laid large white eggs. By crossing a Barred Plymouth Rock rooster and a White Leghorn hen, a naturally autosexing breed with gray barred plumage (as adults) was produced. Largely because the breed was never recognized officially for exhibition by the American Poultry Association, California Grays are a rare breed in the 21st century. It is not listed on the conservation priority list of the Livestock Conservancy.
The California Gray is not sought by commercial factory egg producers since it is too large for battery cages. California Gray cocks are crossed with White Leghorn hens to produce the California White commercial sex-link hybrid, and may be known as “production black”. Most California Greys have white to light-yellow legs with longer tails than the Barred Plymouth Rocks.
The Dominique, also known as Dominicker or Pilgrim Fowl, is a breed of chicken originating in the United States during the colonial period. It is considered America’s oldest breed of chicken, probably descending from chickens brought to New England from southern England during colonial times. By the 19th century, they were widely popular and were raised in many parts of the country. Dominiques are a dual-purpose breed, being valued for their meat as well as for their brown eggs. They weigh 2.7 to 3.6 kg at maturity. In earlier times, their feathers were much sought after as stuffing for pillows and mattresses.
Dominiques are quite distinctive in appearance. They have a rose comb and a heavy plumage of irregularly striped dark grey and light grey feathers (a pattern called “barring” or sometimes “hawk coloring”). This dark/light grey striping is often mistaken for black and white striping. The breed matures quickly, producing eggs at about six months of age.
At first glance, Dominiques and Barred Rocks appear strikingly similar, often leading to confusion when discerning a particular breed. The strongest indicators are the comb, plumage, and color.
Silver Cuckoo Marans
The Silver Cuckoo Marans is just one of the ten colors of Marans (white, wheaten, silver cuckoo, golden cuckoo, black, copper-black, silver-black, copper-blue, black-tailed buff, and Columbian). The Silver Cuckoo Marans is the closest thing to Barred Plymouth Rocks only that they have orange eyes and their shanks are usually slate or pink, the soles of the feet should always be white as Marans have white skin, not yellow. They have distinctive dark brown eggs.
The Scots Dumpy is a traditional Scottish breed of chicken. It is characterized by very short legs, so short that the body is a few centimeters from the ground; as in other breeds of creeper chicken, this chondrodystrophy is caused by a recessive lethal allele. The Dumpy has at times been known by other names, among them Bakie, Corlaigh, Crawler, Creeper, and Stumpy. There are both standard-sized and bantam Scots Dumpies. It is one of two Scottish breeds of chicken, the other being the Scots Grey. Males weigh around 3.2 kgs while females at 2.7 kgs, far smaller than the Barred Plymouth Rock.
There may be other breeds of chicken similar to Barred Plymouth Rock but when buying a BPR, make sure to take note of the following. The legs should be in light to dark yellow, single rose comb, broad body, short tail, and reddish bay eyes (not yellow).
Where to Buy Barred Plymouth Rock in the Philippines
BPR is one of the most popular breeds here and although there is a massive shortage of heritage chicken, you can get one from Facebook Groups if you take time to search and connect with other backyard breeders. You may also check our free-range chicken farms directory.
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