Running a farm proves to be an arduous task for many. But then, the benefits that one reaps are amazing. The daily fresh eggs and milk you get from chicken and cows, the juicy meat obtained from your big fat pigs, and the cheese you get from your goats are all the fulfilling farming rewards. However, if you don’t have enough space and want to raise animals on your own, you should consider backyard chicken farming.
Other than the equipment and housing needed to start your backyard chicken business, the most crucial information is about the chicken at large. You need to have idea on the chicken breed that will do well wherever you are and how you should care for them. There are numerous chicken breeds globally, and raising a good breed ensures that you fulfill your main aim of keeping the birds. The Plymouth Rock breed is one of the most preferred breeds of chicken for a few good reasons.
They are the most preferred options farmers can domesticate for reasons. They do well in any climatic condition, both in warmer and cooler regions. The Plymouth Rock chicken is a hearty breed we have around. They can live freely and peacefully with others of different breed and in the same living space.
The Plymouth Rock Chicken is a breed of chicken with numerous varieties. The barred species are the most popular species around. Their overall appearance is everything that makes them a choice for most poultry farmers. The Plymouth Rock chicken is covered with a mixture of white and black feathers. The feathers are larger and more visible; they are easily seen at a distance.
Plymouth Rock birds tend to be docile, calm, and friendly. They are good producers of both eggs and meat for household consumption and commercial use. They make good pets for children and a great family yard bird. An adult male bird can reach 9.5 pounds while a female bird can go up to 7.5 pounds. The birds usually have a single comb with bright red ear lobes and unfeathered yellow legs and the beaks. They tend to have a long and broad back with a slightly deep, full breast.
The Plymouth Rock Chicken is a hearty breed of chicken and can withstand both warmer and cooler temperatures. The breed can adjust well to cold weather and is known for laying eggs throughout the winter, decreasing production. The Plymouth Rock Chicken tends to do well with other breeds in the same area. They do not need a lot of space, but they also like to move around freely.
Where did they originate from?
The Plymouth Rock Chicken was the most popular breed in the United States before World War II after becoming popular for the commercial production of broilers. It was developed in New England and named after the town of Plymouth. By 1882 the Plymouth Rock breed had already been introduced in America. Their hardiness and docile nature, combined with their excellent egg and meat production, made the Plymouth Rock highly popular.
Since then, the Plymouth Rock Chicken has undergone a long, murky history into various parts of the world and has become more famous due to its easy-going nature, making it easy for farmers to take care of them.
Egg and meat production
Choosing a good chicken breed can spell success or failure in your farming venture. For this reason, you need to spell out your expectations before the course of work. A good thing about this breed is that it is domesticated for dual purpose. It is awonderful bird for egg and meat production. They can’t miss laying an egg in any day of a fair climatic condition.
What color of eggs do they produce?
The Plymouth Rock breed produces brown eggs. They can grow and reach a significant 10 pounds size, making them excellent in quality meat production. Many backyard chicken enthusiasts who want chicken for both eggs and meat may resort to dual-purpose breeds like the Plymouth Rock breed to provide both satisfactions.
When do they start laying eggs?
The Plymouth Rock chicken takes about 16 to 20 weeks to reach maturity. This is the time they will also start laying eggs. They lay one egg per day except during the cold season.
How long do they lay eggs?
This is another question farmers may need to have idea about. Usually, the Plymouth Rock Chicken lays egg for about a year. Averagely, they lay about 200 eggs per year.
Apart from the production of eggs and meat, the Plymouth Rock chicken will also help you keep away insects in and around your yard and home since they eat fleas, flies, mosquitoes, and the bugs that destroy your garden. It is a useful breed, especially for those relying on the farm products to sustain your family. The feathers can also be used for stuffing and making pillows for the homestead. This is another useful role the birds play for the farm.
A Strong Mothering Instinct
This is one of the best characteristics of this breed. The Plymouth Rock chicken is one of the best choices for hatching eggs. They become broody quickly and are usually happy to raise the next generation due to their excellent mothering instincts. Chicken farmers are encouraged to consider this breed since they take care of their young ones until they are old enough to fend for themselves, increasing the number of flocks on your farm.
Caring of the Plymouth Rock chicken
This breed of chicken is easily kept in small or large farms and can be easily raised in one flock to satisfy the family’s egg and meat demand. All that you will need to do is provide a safe and a large shelter for the birds to roost in at night and protect themselves from adverse weather. You must also provide a steady clean and freshwater supply as well as maintaining hygiene in their shelter and providing some comfortable nest boxes for them to lay eggs in comfortably. If you live in the country, the birds should be kept inside a protective fence away from other predators like the wild dogs, skunks, and foxes that may try to eat them.
What are some health issues of these breeds?
Plymouth Rock chicken is not particularly susceptible to any diseases. They are a healthy and sturdy breed except for an occasional infestation of parasites and changes in the weather conditions that affect them. Feeding your flocks crushed garlic and other herbs help boost the birds’ immunity and prevent parasites like worms from deteriorating your flock’s health.
In cold weather, a farmer should be alert and be able to keep an eye on the birds, especially the male birds with huge combs as they are susceptible to frostbites. The farmer should always check the humidity level in the coop to ensure that humidity does not build up, condense, and freeze the birds’ combs when temperatures drop.
Frostbites are extremely dangerous to these birds and may turn fatal sometimes. Keeping a watchful eye on their behavior will help them grow healthy and strong since any abnormality will be quickly identified and cared for.
Plymouth Rock chicken, however, has an excellent genetic structure that is capable of fighting off diseases. These birds do not have any special dietary requirements. However, adding calcium to their diet will help boost egg production, but the normal feed should be sufficient for their daily nutrient requirements.
How long do the Plymouth Rock chicken live?
The lifespan of the Plymouth Rock chicken depends on how it is fed and cared. This is a great layer chicken that should be allowed to live a normal life. Averagely, they live for between eight and ten years. However, there are others living longer than this period.
Proper health and sanitation should be the key priority for these birds to live a productive life. A good and nutritious diet and clean water will keep this breed of birds for a long time to supply eggs throughout their lifespan, after which they can be later used for meat.
What are the other varieties of this breed?
The Plymouth Rocks are of several varieties. Apart from the barred variety, there are other common Plymouth Rock chicken varieties that are domesticated in several parts of the world. These include the buff, white, black frizzle, blue, sliver penciled, Columbian, and partridge. They are all good producers of eggs and meat.
In conclusion, raising chicken either on a large scale or in your backyard is a great farming endeavor and a very profitable business. The Plymouth Rock breed will lay eggs every day. All you need to do is provide enough space for them to wander around in the coop where they can also take shelter when it rains or lay eggs. Hens are just one of the vital creatures you would need to have as a food staple on a small farm, unlike the goats and cows, which occupy more space.