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#53499 - 10/31/08 10:22 PM Barred Plymouth Rock: Friendly Breed or Individual Regardless of Breed
Art Ana Offline
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 07/14/08
Posts: 160
Loc: Montana
I lost my best chicken to a dog attack Wednesday. She was a pullet that had just begun laying about 2 weeks ago. She was my best chicken due to her very friendly, endearing personality. She loved to be picked up and petted, jumped on my lap, jumped up anywhere to be closer to humans and "talk." She had personality plus. She was a barred Plymouth Rock, and I miss her terribly.

My question is, is this typical of the breed or are there simply individuals within any breed that somehow are more people oriented than the others? I would love to find another, or a whole flock of Myrnas. Any insights would be appreciated. I never thought I could miss a chicken so much but I do. I would love to hear from Plymouth Rock owners/breeders in particular. Thanks.

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#53500 - 11/01/08 03:11 AM Re: Barred Plymouth Rock: Friendly Breed or Individual Regardless of Breed
Foehn Offline
Administrator
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 1968
Loc: New Zealand
I think you will find that most heavy breeds have individuals who are ultra friendly and easily become pets. I have two such hens that are Silver laced Wyandottes, and a useless but lovable RIR. They all run to me for a chat and a "hug" when they see me.
You will also find it in the bantam population.
Light breeds like leghorns are more flighty and less prone to quiet friendly, but that doesn't mean there won't be any from light breeds, who will stand out as pets.

I've been through that trauma of dog attacks and it is never easy to deal with. Not only does it make your remaining hens very jumpy, but the loss of a loved individual hen is tough too. I think us chooky appreciators bond at a special level to those individuals that give us joy.

The only Barred Rock I have had in a long while was far from a pet. She went under the title of "The Countess Cleopatra Clackerbeak of Plymouth" and a snootier, bad mannered, toffee (nosed) beaked fowl (foul) languaged chook you'd be hard pressed to find. :rolleyes:
Here's a picture of her

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#53501 - 11/01/08 05:33 AM Re: Barred Plymouth Rock: Friendly Breed or Individual Regardless of Breed
Rhea Dean Carter Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 07/24/03
Posts: 1379
Loc: Tennessee
Ana, she was a barred Plymouth Rock.
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Rhea Dean

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#53502 - 11/02/08 03:51 PM Re: Barred Plymouth Rock: Friendly Breed or Individual Regardless of Breed
Chicken Wired Offline
Bantam

Registered: 08/23/07
Posts: 51
Loc: California
I have an 8-9 wk old BPR that I got as a companion for my 2yr old Cochin, who had been my only chook for about a year. I kept her separated from the Cochin for a week or so, then let them out together for supervised visits a couple of hours a day. That Cochin terrorized the little one for the first coouple of weeks, and the little PRB would come running to me to protect her, which I did. She would climb up my leg and end up on my shoulder, where she would look down at Prissy as if to say, Nyaah! You can't catch me up here! Both chookies get along now, and the PR is still very friendly and quite the chatterbox. I wish I could let her sit on my shoulder now, but she tried to peck my eye out the last time she was up there. But she's beautiful and has plenty of spunk and personality. I will never put a baby chick with a full-grown chicken again, though. It was too stressful for the little one. I wish you the best and am so sorry for the loss of your favorite chicken. We can't help but become fond of our girls.

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#53503 - 11/02/08 07:23 PM Re: Barred Plymouth Rock: Friendly Breed or Individual Regardless of Breed
Art Ana Offline
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 07/14/08
Posts: 160
Loc: Montana
Thank you both; it is much appreciated. Thank you, Rhea Dean, for letting me know how to state what I had: a barred Plymouth Rock. I think I must have used those three words in different order each time I said them.

Yes, chickenwired, Myrna was quite the talky bird too and did the climbing, jumping thing and many other different habits, which made her stand out as a special bird. I never thought that a chicken could be so endearing, but she was. I understand that these extra personable birds can come out of any breed, but I think it will be worth looking in amongst the barred Plymouth Rocks for a Myrna-like bird.

It's a long time until spring.

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#53504 - 11/03/08 04:31 AM Re: Barred Plymouth Rock: Friendly Breed or Individual Regardless of Breed
Kathy W. Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 273
Loc: New York
I don't particularly handle my birds and while I like them a lot I don't take the time to make pets of them. I keep lots of Wyandottes, some Dorkings, Buckeyes and now have a few Chanteclers. The Buckeyes stand out as friendly, easy going birds.

... though I am becoming very fond of my Buff Chantecler rooster, "Song". Given that he follows me around and comes right up to me if I'm quiet in his pen, I think he'd be a pet if I had taken the time.

Kathy

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#53505 - 11/03/08 06:05 AM Re: Barred Plymouth Rock: Friendly Breed or Individual Regardless of Breed
Art Ana Offline
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 07/14/08
Posts: 160
Loc: Montana
Kathy- "Song", that is one of the prettiest names for anything I have heard.

I think it is that these birds make pets of themselves. I wasn't seeking, nor expecting that the chicken named Myrna would become a pet. She did all the iniating, insisting really. She, like chickenwired's bird sought me out for comfort when she was being picked on and generally seemed to seek out human companionship.

I can think of worse friends to have smile .

She certainly seemed to be determined to interact and it caught my attention. I didn't realize how attached I was until she was killed by the dog.

Now, I will always be looking out for another chicken that wants to be "friends".

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#53506 - 11/17/08 09:44 AM Re: Barred Plymouth Rock: Friendly Breed or Individual Regardless of Breed
Heritage Hens Offline
Chicken

Registered: 04/29/08
Posts: 113
Loc: Vermont
Artana, I have settled on Orpingtons after raising various breeds over the years. I think the Buff Orpingtons have the best personality. But I am REALLY biased, as you can see. I can't say enough about this breed.
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Heritage Hens

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#53507 - 11/18/08 05:43 AM Re: Barred Plymouth Rock: Friendly Breed or Individual Regardless of Breed
Ckvchestnut Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 06/12/07
Posts: 346
Loc: Canada
Hi Artana, I lost my best bird which also happened to be a barred Plymouth Rock late this past summer to a dog attack. Not only was she as friendly as you describe but at almost 4 years old she still laid every other day huge jumbo eggs. I was SICK when I lost her. I do have to admit that as limited as my experience has been with different breeds, my new Orpingtons are tremendously friendly and so are my Speckled Sussex. When I bought these birds they were point of lay and not little chicks, so I have no idea how much they had been handled. I can tell you though that after I had picked all my birds for their colour and type this one Speckled Sussex, jumped up on to one of my dog carriers and started chatting me up like crazy, she was telling me she wanted to go home with me! LOL I had not chosen her at first because her markings were not as nice as some of the other birds but she wasn't going to take "no" for an answer so she came home with me. "Friendly" now tries to do everything "human" style, when we are feeding horses hay, she has to jump on the wheelbarrow and go for a ride. When the farmers delivered our hay, she had to jump on the big truck and play around in the hay, when the farmer went to take that bale of hay down she almost refused to get off, nothing scares her! When I am cracking butternuts with a hatchet or a hammer she has to get right in there and I have to avoid hitting her in the head. She is definitely a lap bird.

From what I have read there are definitely individuals within each breed. I heard that barred Plymouth Rocks can have some pretty mean roosters but then I am sure it is the same with a lot of roos of different breeds. I now have a Gold Laced Wyandotte rooster and I hope that he will be as friendly with the girls next year as his predecessor was. Oh and to say one thing about the light breeds, I was sure the Blue Andalusians I bought were going to be flighty as it's a known thing for light Spanish types to be that way and, after a day or two of being here these girls were all over the place (super foragers and don't mind snow??) and as social and fun as the other girls. Best of luck replacing your cherished bird, I know exactly how you feel and you will definitely feel better once you have replaced her, we still think of ours though, she even loved to go in the car - what an opportunist!
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Ckvchestnut

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#53508 - 11/18/08 02:33 PM Re: Barred Plymouth Rock: Friendly Breed or Individual Regardless of Breed
Art Ana Offline
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 07/14/08
Posts: 160
Loc: Montana
I intend to keep an eye on for another friendly barred Plymouth, and have no objection to friendly chickens of any breed. The local feed store carries the barred Rock, Orpingtons, Australorps, but no Speckled Sussex. I will check with the smaller feed store to see what they plan to bring in. I still miss that one "chatty" bird. What a personality. I frankly think her own friendliness had a part in her undoing. She simply didn't seem to understand that anything would hurt her. I intervened a couple of times when she approached the grouchy old cat who loves birds, in the hunter sense. I think she did the same with the dog- she left the confines of her forage area and I am guessing, approached the dog. He has an electric collar and couldn't get into the chicken area. The dog did what dogs can do (not all dogs but this one kills raccoons). He didn't eat her, he just paraded around with her and broke my heart.

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