The Plymouth Rock is one of the oldest chicken breeds in the United States, with its origins traced back to the mid-1800s.
Plymouth Rocks are dual-purpose chickens with excellent meat production, and they are large enough to be considered broilers as early as 8-12 weeks of age.
The Plymouth Rock chicken is also a decent layer, with egg production of around four eggs per week or 200 brown eggs per year.
These beautiful birds come in several color variations, but the most common is the barred color pattern.
They must get along when raising large birds in a backyard chicken flock.
So, are Plymouth Rock chickens aggressive?
As a general rule, Plymouth Rock chickens are not overly aggressive and are considered docile birds. However, the temperament of a Plymouth Rock chicken varies according to the individual bird and how it was raised.
Since Plymouth Rocks are larger birds, they may become aggressive if they are kept in a cramped space or if there are too many roosters in the flock.
Overall, most Plymouth Rock chickens are very friendly birds, and it is not uncommon for them to jump in their owner’s lap to be cuddled.
Keep reading to learn more about the personality of Plymouth Rock chickens and how to keep your birds happy.
How Aggressive Are Plymouth Rock Roosters?
Plymouth Rock roosters are generally mellow birds and do not possess the aggressive traits associated with other breeds of chickens.
However, there is no guarantee your Plymouth Rock rooster will be a friendly chicken.
It is possible to get an aggressive rooster no matter what breed of chicken you choose.
You are more likely to have an aggressive rooster if there is more than one in your flock.
Since it is often difficult to sex chickens when they are very young, it is not uncommon to end up with an accidental rooster when you thought you were getting a hen.
Overall, Plymouth Rock roosters have a docile nature and are not known to be overly aggressive toward hens or people.
A Plymouth Rock rooster only becomes aggressive if it perceives a threat to the hens in the flock.
Even then, the aggressive behavior does not go far beyond loud crowing.
If a rooster is too aggressive, it may need to be culled or butchered.
Further Reading: When should you butcher Plymouth Rock chickens?
Do Plymouth Rocks Get Along With Other Breeds?
Plymouth Rock chickens will do well in mixed flocks with birds with a similar docile temperament and size.
Good chicken breeds to mix with Plymouth Rocks include:
These breeds of chickens are also larger, very docile birds.
Avoid mixing your Plymouth Rocks with more aggressive breeds like Rhode Island Red or Wyandotte chickens.
Plymouth Rock chickens will also get along with other farm animals like goats and pigs.
If you have a friendly dog, your Plymouth Rock chickens will likely become best friends with it.
Related Reading: Do Plymouth Rock Chickens Go Broody?
Are Plymouth Rock Chickens Good Around Children?
Plymouth Rocks are lap chickens because they tend to hop into their owner’s lap to be petted and cuddled.
Many people even consider their Plymouth Rocks as pet chickens.
Plymouth Rock chickens are also very friendly towards children.
If you have children, consider asking them to help you retrieve the eggs from the chicken coop so your Plymouth Rocks will get to know them better.
Smaller children might be too noisy and frighten the chickens, but once your flock knows they are not a threat, the birds will become more friendly.
How To Keep Your Plymouth Rock Chickens Happy
While Plymouth Rock chickens are usually a friendly breed, they may become aggressive in certain situations.
Plymouth Rocks are larger than regular-sized birds, and if they are not given enough room to move around, they are more likely to fight.
Keeping too many roosters in your Plymouth Rock flock will also lead to aggressive behavior.
Chicken temperament also varies from bird to bird according to their happiness.
Unhappy chickens may fight with each other or be more aggressive than usual.
Signs of unhappy chickens include:
- Noisier than usual
- Running from you
- Decreased egg production
- Constant fighting
- Weight loss
Fortunately, there are several ways to keep your Plymouth Rocks happy and avoid any aggression among them.
Build a Secure Coop
When building a chicken coop for your Plymouth Rocks, ensure it is sturdy and secure.
You do not want your flock exposed to wind, rain, or damp conditions.
Your flock also needs to be safe from predators at night.
Regularly inspect the chicken coop for any holes or cracks where predators may be able to enter, and always remember to shut the door at night to keep the flock safe.
Install several roosting bars, so your chickens feel safer while they sleep.
Give Your Chickens Plenty of Space
Plymouth Rocks are large birds, and the standard weight of roosters is close to 10 pounds, while hens weigh about 8 pounds.
You will need to provide at least 4′ square feet of space per chicken in the coop.
Roosting bars must be long enough to allow 8-10″ inches of space per chicken to perch at night.
There should also be at least one nesting box for every four hens in the flock.
Each bird needs around 6-7″ square inches of space using a heated electric brooder for baby chicks.
Provide a Balanced Diet
Feeding your Plymouth Rocks a balanced diet is vital for chicken health.
A high-quality feed will contain all the essential nutrients your chickens require for healthy growth.
Further Reading: Plymouth Rock chicken growth chart and information
Active layers also need a calcium supplement and a layer feed with high protein content.
Oyster shells are an excellent source of calcium to keep your hen’s bones strong and aid in eggshell development.
Provide Clean Water
In addition to a balanced diet, your Plymouth Rocks need access to clean water at all times.
A chicken waterer helps keep the water free from debris.
Use a heated waterer in the winter months to keep the water from freezing.
Give Your Chickens Room to Excercise
To prevent obesity and keep your chickens happy, give them plenty of space in the chicken run for daily exercise.
Your chickens’ quality of life will greatly improve when the birds are allowed to roam freely and free-range.
Plymouth Rock chickens love to forage for treats and minerals to aid digestion.
Always watch your flock and watch for large predators when they are free-ranging.
Ensure Prompt Veterinary Care
Regularly inspect your flock for signs of illness or injury, and seek veterinary care for any sick chickens as soon as possible.
Respiratory illness or physical injuries in chickens may be severe enough to cause death without prompt treatment.
Regularly Treat for Parasites
Inspect the chicken coop and your birds for parasites, as they will quickly spread throughout the flock.
Regularly treat the coop for parasites to prevent an infestation.
Provide a Dust Bath
A dust bath will allow your Plymouth Rocks to control mites and ticks and provide them with some entertainment.
Some excellent ingredients for a dust bath include:
- Diatomaceous earth
- Wood ash
- Powdered herbs
- Fine sand
- Wood shavings
- Loose soil
Place the dust bath in the chicken run, where your birds can access it easily.
Make sure your Plymouth Rocks have plenty of shade for dust bathing, especially during the hot summer months.
Carefully Add New Chickens to the Flock
Avoid upsetting the pecking order by adding new members to the flock very carefully.
An aggressive rooster may see the new bird as a threat to its dominance and is more likely to start a fight to defend its territory.
After quarantining the new chicken to ensure it is healthy, place the bird in a separate pen near the rest of the flock.
Once your hens are used to the new bird, you may allow it to join the rest of the flock.
Wait until chicks are at least 16 weeks old before adding them to your flock.
If the baby chicks are too small, the adult chickens may attack or kill them.
At over 16 weeks of age, the chicks will be large enough to defend themselves.
Keep Your Flock Entertained
Keep your Plymouth Rock chickens happy by providing them with entertainment.
Chicken swings, hanging cabbages, and small balls will keep your chickens happy and occupied.
You may also give your chickens earthworms or mealworms for occasional treats.