The Plymouth Rock Chicken

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The Plymouth Rock was developed in New England in the middle of the 19th century and was first exhibited as a breed in 1869. Several individuals claimed its invention, using crosses of Dominiques, Black Javas, Cochins, and perhaps Malays and Dorkings. John C. Bennett (1804–1867) has been credited with either creating or popularizing the breed.

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.