Avian Aqua Miser: Automatic, poop-free chicken waterers

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Barred Plymouth Rock

Barred Plymouth RocksBarred Plymouth Rocks are another popular breed, although I've been less thrilled with them than I thought I'd be.  These birds are billed as dual-purpose egg and meat birds, but I've found that our two year old birds lay only as well as our four year old Golden Comets in the winter (which is to say, not much.)  They also seem to be pretty shoddy in the foraging department, spending sunny afternoons drowsing on their perches while the Golden Comets are busy scratching in the dirt.  (Can you tell that I really value productivity?)

On the other hand, we might be more pleased with this variety if we used them the way they were intended.  Until World War II, Barred Plymouth Rocks were probably the most popular birds in the entire United States and they were usually kept in mixed farmyard flocks.  Each year, farmers would let the hens set and produce chicks, then eat the males as they reached full size.  If that sounds like your chicken flock, Barred Plymouth Rocks might be worth a shot.

Please leave a comment if you disagree and think your Barred Plymouth Rocks are the cat's meow.  (Many people on the internet do seem to think so.)  Meanwhile, check out our homemade chicken waterer, providing clean water to the whole flock.

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Our pullets/hens are only 6 months old. We have one barred plymouth rock and she is already a very reliable layer, even in the cold weather we're still experiencing. She is also already exhibiting tendencies toward broodiness. We also have 2 Buffingtons who are like clockwork as far as laying. Our speckled sussex does not seem as reliable laying, nor does our Partridge Rock. All of our hens love to forage! No lazy chickens here! Really helps keep down feed costs!
Comment by MC Sunday night, March 24th, 2013
MC --- I've been concluding (based on lots of anecdotal reports from readers), that you can't expect good homestead results even from heirloom breeds any more if you get them from hatcheries. So, I wonder where your Barred Rocks came from? There are still some sources out there, apparently, who are keeping good foraging genetics in play.
Comment by anna mid-morning Monday, March 25th, 2013

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