The Plymouth Rock Breed Profile- This profile was created using other peoples information and work, no credit goes to me.
Plymouth Rock originated in America, in a time where the main fowl in that country where Asiatic or English Breeds. The American Poultry Industry was trying to develop a truly American Fowl, and many had started developing there own breeds, by infusing the blood of the existing breeds in America.
The two breeds attributed to the making of the Plymouth Rock are the Domanique a cuckoo or barred fowl and the Black Java a large boned fowl with black plumage.
After many years of selecting The Plymouth Rock Breed was first exhibited by D A Upham of Massachusetts in 1869. Plymouth Rocks became popular primarily because of their barred plumage and there was no rival. Also Americans of the time like their roaster fowls to have yellow skin and the rock was bred with this in mind. This popularity led to these attributes being major features in Wyandottes and Rhode Island Reds, two other popular American Breeds. Next extract taken from: http://www.freewebs.com/plymouthrock/index.htm
Written by David Hancox used with written permissionPlymouth Rock in Australia
Plymouth Rocks were one of the first pure breeds of fowl imported into Australia. Importations of Barred Plymouth Rocks took place during the late 1800s from the US, Canada and the UK. The colour and patterns of these birds were all very similar irrespective of the country of origin. The 1900 Agricultural Census found that Barred Rock large fowl were kept on 60% of all Australian farms, a statistic not matched by any other breed of livestock, and never surpassed to this day.
Although not as common now as in years gone by the Barred Rock remains one of the most recognised poultry breeds in Australia, most are not kept by exhibitors but, together with Rhode Island Reds, but by farmers and backyarders. They were after all the “chooks that Grand dad kept”.
Australia is a large country, and even today it will take you a week to drive from Brisbane, in the northeast, to Perth in the west. Stock was introduced into different areas, from different sources, and no comparison of strains were made until after 1900, the result of the extent of distribution and quantity, as shown by the census.
Comparisons of birds started to take place, but as there was no Australian Standard, heated debate as to which was the correct type followed for decades. The reason for this divergence was due to the breeding method used. Some followed the US method of double pen mating, and some the UK method of single pen mating. Due again to the tyranny of distance, and political differences both systems survived until comparatively recent times.
The States of Tasmania, Victoria and western Australia stayed with the British system, a single pen mating of light Barred males over black hens, to produce exhibition birds of both sexes.Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia adopted the US double pen mating system with separate cockerel and pullet breeding strains.
Little changed until after the end of the Second World War, when in 1948 the importation of poultry into Australia was banned, this ban continuing to this day.
It was then realized that the existing strains needed to be preserved, competition had developed and the Dark barred (cockerel breeders) dominated in New South Wales, and the Light Barred (pullet breeders) dominated in Queensland, Victoria and South Australia. Some were not happy with the situation and wanted the Dark and Light Barred strains banned from poultry shows, allowing only the Dark male and the Light female to be exhibited, this was not settled until 1984 when full classes were re-stored in major shows. The Western Australians were the last to hold to the British system, relenting when the first Australian Standard was introduced in 1998.
The 1998 Standard recognizes Dark Barred, Light Barred, White, Buff, Blue, Black, Columbian, Partridge and Silver Pencilled in both Standard and bantam fowl.The Whites in both sizes are rare and little shown. They originate from early imports from the US and UK.Buffs are also very low in numbers, and have all been made up from other Buff breeds, they contain no imported Plymouth Rock blood.Columbians are also very rare and hardly ever seen.Blues, were in some states bred to the British Standard until 1998. The current Standard calls for the US "Andalusian" type laced plumage, the British type was an unlaced self blue (not Lavender), this variety is rarely seen. Black, in both standard and large fowl, is rarely seen. Silver Pencilled, now only exist as bantams, they were developed in Australia from single comb Silver Pencilled Wyandottes with infusions of Light Barred blood.Although in the hands of only a few breeders they are shown in considerable numbers at our national show. Partridge only seen in the bantam, and only in the hands of a few enthusiasts. They were developed from single comb Partridge Wyandottes, that were pullet breeders as per the British Standard. The 1998 Standard saw the acceptance of the US Standard, which calls for much darker birds.
The need for double pen matings to produce both cockerel and pullets strains have been suggested for some time and some headway is taking place to this end.
The need for a Plymouth Rock Club was first mooted in 1900, but due to all the problems of distance, State jealousies, etc it was not formed until 1983.
It celebrates its 25th Anniversary this year, 2008.
by David HancoxThe Breed Standard:PLYMOUTH ROCK
Origin- North America GIN NORTH AMERICA
CLASSIFICATION HEAVY BREED - SOFTFEATHER
EGG COLOUR- TINTED
Created in America by a number of crosses of Black Cochins with the Dominique (a single-combed cuckoo patterned bird), the Plymouth Rock was first exhibited in Massachusetts U.S.A. in 1869. A useful and reliable dual-purpose farmer's fowl, the handsome Barred Plymouth Rock has always retained a strong following in Australia with Light and Dark strains of both fowls and bantams available. Other colours are rare.
CARRIAGE - Alert, upright with bold appearance, well balanced and free from stiltiness.
TYPE - Breast broad, full, moderately deep and well-rounded. Body rather long, broad, deep, full, straight, extending well forward, connecting with breast so as to make no break in outline. Fluff moderately full. Back rather long, broad its entire length, flat at shoulders, nearly horizontal from neck to saddle, where there is a slight concave sweep to the tail. Saddle feathers rather long, abundant, filling well in front of tail; feathers moderately broad. Wings of medium size, well folded and carried without drooping; fronts well covered by breast feathers and points covered by saddle feathers. Primaries and secondaries broad and overlapping in natural order when wing is folded. Tail of medium length, moderately well-spread, carried at an angle of thirty degrees above horizontal and forming no apparent angle with the back. Main tail feathers broad and overlapping. Sickles well curved, covering tops of main tail feathers and conforming to the general shape of the tail. Lesser sickles and tail-coverts of medium length, nicely curved and sufficiently abundant to almost hide the stiff feathers of the tail when viewed from front or side.
HEAD - Moderately large with smooth face. Eyes large and prominent. Beak stout, comparatively short, regularly curved. Comb single, rather small in proportion to size of specimen; set firmly on head; straight, upright; evenly serrated, having five well-defined points, those in front and at the rear a little smaller than the other three, giving the comb a semi-oval appearance when viewed from the side; fine in texture; blade not conforming too closely to the head. Wattles moderately long, nicely rounded at lower edges, uniform, fine in texture, free from folds or wrinkles. Ear-lobes oblong, smooth, hanging about one-third the length of the wattles.
NECK - Rather long, moderately well-arched, having abundant hackle flowing well over the shoulders.
LEGS AND FEET - Legs set well apart and straight when viewed from the front. Lower thighs large, of medium length and we 11-feathered, smooth. Shanks of medium length, smooth and stout. Toes four, of medium size and length, straight and well-spread.
The general characteristics are similar to those of the male, allowing for the natural sexual differences, except that the comb, ear-lobes and wattles are smaller, the neck is medium in length with no apparent break at juncture of neck and back, and the tail is carried at an angle of twenty degrees.
Male Plumage: Web of each feather throughout its length crossed with sharply defined, regular, parallel bars of alternate light (short of positive white) and dark (short of positive black) colour, and ending in a narrow dark tip. The light and dark bars in each section to be approximately equal in width and moderately narrow except in the flight and main tail feathers, which carry a slightly wider bar due to the wider feather; and in the hackle and saddle where the bars are narrower due to the more narrow width of the feather. Much importance is attached to the straightness and sharpness of all bars, with no dark overflow into the light bar, nor shafting, brownish tinge or metallic sheen on the dark bar. The light and dark bars should be of equal width on each feather i.e., all light bars to be of equal width to each other and all dark bars to match each other on the same feather. The combination of overlapping feathers to give the specimen a bluish shade when viewed from a short distance, with an overall blending of all sections. Undercolour of all sections same as web but not so distinct due to looseness of barbs.
Female Plumage: As for the male except that in all sections the light bars of the plumage shall be moderately narrow and the dark bars approximately two to three times as wide as the light bars. The wider flight feathers and main tail feathers carry wider bars than the remainder of the plumage.
Male Plumage: As for the Dark Barred male excepting that the light bars are white (short of positive white is permissible). White bars in each section shall be approximately two to three times as wide as the dark bars.
Female Plumage: Greyish white, each feather crossed by regular, narrow, parallel, sharply defined, dark bars that stop short of positive black; free from shafting, brownish tinge or metallic sheen. The light and dark bars to be of equal width, in number proportionate to the length of the feathers, and to extend throughout the length of the feathers in all sections of the fowl. The wider flight feathers and main tail feathers carry wider bars than the remainder of the plumage. Each feather ending with a narrow, dark tip. The combination of overlapping feathers giving the plumage a bluish appearance and of an even shade throughout.
Male and Female Plumage: Colour and markings as for the Andalusian.
Male and Female: Plumage clear blue edged with distinct black lacing, not too narrow, on each feather, excepting the male's sickles, which are dark (or even black), and his hackles, which are black with a rich gloss, while the female's neck hackle is a rich lustrous black, showing broad lacing on the tips of the feathers at the base of the neck. Undercolour to tone with surface colour. Beak black, Shaded with yellow or horn. Eyes dark rich bay. Comb, face and wattles and ear-lobes red. Ear-lobes . Legs ,in the male dusky, and darker in the female, underside of feet yellow.
White feathers, Sooty ground colour, Red or yellow in the hackles, In the male, flyaway comb, in the female folded comb.
Male Plumage: Head rich red. Hackle: lustrous, greenish-black with narrow lacing of a medium shade of rich brilliant red; shaft black. Back including saddle: web of feather lustrous greenish black with narrow lacing of a medium shade of rich brilliant red, a slight shafting of rich red permissible. Rich brilliant red predominating on surface of upper back; saddle matching with hackle in colour. Main tail, main and lesser sickles: lustrous greenish-black. Coverts: lustrous greenish black laced with medium shade of rich brilliant red. Wings: fronts black. Bow: medium shade of rich brilliant red. Coverts: lustrous, greenish black, forming a distinct wing bar of this colour across wing when wing is folded. Primaries: black with narrow edging of reddish bay on lower webs. Secondaries: inner web and end of feather, black; outer web, reddish bay, the reddish bay alone showing when the wing is folded. Breast and front of neck: lustrous greenish black, free from red or grey ticking. Body black. Fluff: black slightly tinged with red. Undercolour slate.
Female Plumage: Head: deep reddish bay. Hackle: black, slightly pencilled with deep reddish bay and laced with reddish bay. Front of neck, breast, back, wing bow, wing bar, wing and tail coverts, thighs, body and fluff: deep reddish bay with distinct black pencillings. Main tail: black, except two top feathers which have lower webs, black; upper webs deep reddish bay, pencilled with black. Primaries: black with deep reddish bay diagonal pencillings on lower webs. Secondaries: inner web black, outer web same colour as body, showing pencilling when wing is folded. Undercolour - slate.
NOTE: Pencilling in the Partridge and Silver Pencilled (pencilled) varieties should be distinct and in sharp contrast to the ground colour, be regular in shape, uniform in width and conform to the contour of the feather. Each feather on the back, breast, body, wing bows and thighs should have three or more pencillings. Pencilling which runs into peppery markings and uneven, broken or barred pencilling constitute defects, as does light shaftiness on feathers of the breast and front of neck. Ground colour to be even throughout.
Male and Female plumage: Web, fluff and shafts of all feathers in all sections: white. Undercolour White. Beak Bright yellow, Shanks & toes yellow.
Shanks other than yellow, except mature birds which may shade to a light straw. Any coloured feathers, Yellow, straw tinge or sap in plumage..
Male & female plumage: Web fluff & shafts of feathers in all sections, Black. Surface lustrous greenish black. Undercolour black. Beak bright yellow, shanks & toes yellow.
Serious defects Shanks other than yellow, except mature birds which may shade to a light straw
Male & female plumage: Surface throughout an even shade of rich golden buff. Male: head ,neck ,hackle, back, wing bows & saddle showing greater lustre. Under colour matching surface colour as near as possible. Beak bright yellow,shanks & toes yellow.
Serious defects: Shanks other than yellow, except mature birds which may shade to a light straw
Male Plumage: Head silvery white. Hackle: web of feather, lustrous, greenish-black, with a narrow lacing of silvery white, greater portion of shaft black. Back silvery white. Cape black and white. Saddle: silvery white with an elongated V-shaped black stripe increasing in width, length and density as it nears the tail coverts. Note: the stripe should extend from near the tip of the feather approximately one-half to three fourths the length of the web and allow a clean break of white between the undercolour and base of stripe. Tail: main tail, black. Main and lesser sickles: lustrous greenish black. Tail coverts: lustrous greenish black, laced with silvery white. Wings: fronts white, some black permissable. Bows and coverts: silvery white. Primaries: black with lower edge of lower web white. Secondaries: lower web, unexposed portion, black; exposed portion, white; upper web black edged with white; the white extending around the end of feather. The white ends of the upper secondaries growing progressively wider so the exposed portion in the upper row is entirely white; forming a white wing bay when wing is folded. Breast and front of neck: white. Body: white except under wings where it may be bluish slate. Fluff white. Undercolour: light bluish slate. Beak Yellow with dark stripe down upper mandible. Legs & toes yellow.
Female Plumage: Head white. Hackle: web of feather lustrous, greenish black with a narrow lacing of silvery white; greater portion of shaft black. Front of neck, back, breast, wing fronts bows and coverts, body and fluff: white, except under the wings where it may be bluish slate. Tail: Main tail: black, except two top feathers, which are slightly laced with white. Tail coverts: black, with narrow lacing of silvery white. Wings: Primaries: black with white edging on lower webs. Secondaries: lower webs; lower portion, white extending around end and lacing upper portion of upper webs, growing wider in shorter feathers, sufficient to show a white wing bay when wing is folded; upper webs, black. Undercolour: light bluish slate. Beak Yellow with dark stripe down upper mandible. Legs & toes yellow.
Serious defects: Shanks other than yellow, except in mature birds which may shade to straw.
Male Plumage: Head silvery white. Neck: hackle: web of feather, lustrous greenish black with narrow lacing of silvery white; shafts black. Front of neck: black. Back including saddle: web of feather, lustrous greenish black with narrow lacing of silvery white, a slight shafting of silvery white permissible. Silvery white predominating on surface of upper back; saddle matching with hackle in colour. Tail: main tail - web black. Main and lesser sickles: lustrous
greenish black. Coverts: lustrous greenish black with lacing of white. Wings: fronts black. Bows silvery white. Coverts: lustrous greenish black, forming a distinct bar of this colour across entire wing when folded. Primaries: black with narrow edging of white on lower edge of lower webs. Secondaries: lower webs, black with lower half white to a point near end of feather, terminating abruptly, leaving ends of feathers black; upper webs black; the secondaries when folded forming a triangular white wing bay between the wing bar and tips of secondary feathers. Breast: lustrous greenish black. Body black. Fluff: black, slight tinge of grey permissible. Undercolour: slate shading lighter towards base of feathers.
Female Plumage: Head silvery grey. Neck hackle: black, slightly pencilled with steel grey and laced with silvery white. Front of neck, breast, back, wing bow, wing bar, wing and tail coverts, thighs, body and fluff: ground colour steel grey with distinct black pencillings. Main Tail: black except two top feathers which have lower web black; upper web, grey pencilled with black. Primaries: black with diagonal steel grey pencillings on lower webs. Secondaries: lower webs steel grey with black pencillings extending well around tips of feathers; balance of upper webs, black. Undercolour medium slate. See Note after Partridge Plumage.
In both sexes of all varieties: Comb, face, wattles and ear-lobes; bright red. Eyes, reddish bay. Beak yellow or horn permissable. Shanks and toes yellow or dusky yellow in the darker coloured varieties, yellow preferred.
Cock 4.30 kg (9 1/2 Ib)
Hen 3.40 kg (7 1/2 Ib)
Cockerel 3.60 kg (8lb)
Pullet 2.70 kg (6lb)
Male 1020-1135g (36-40 oz)
Female 850 - 960 g (30 - 34 oz)
Fluff or feathers on shanks or toes. Legs other than yellow or dusky yellow. White in ear-lobes. Wry tail, crooked back, more than four toes. Any other bodily deformity. In the barred varieties red or yellow in any part of plumage; two or more solid black primaries, secondaries or main-tail feathers. See also lists of General Disqualifications and Serious Defects, pages 16-18.
The standard was taken from the Plymouth rock Club of Australia website: http://www.freewebs.com/plymouthrock/standard.htmThis is a work in progress i will update as needed any feedback welcomedReferences:
Dowdle, Les. 2005 The Doyens of Poultry: The Plymouth Rock Bellsouth- Tynong North Vic
The Plymouth Rock of Australia Inc: Site
Hancox, D 2008 The Plymouth Rock Quarterly Vol1 Number 1 "Plymouth Rock in Australia"