Partridge Rock Chicken: Egg Production, Breed Personality and Care

Partridge Rock Chicken Featured Image
The Partridge Rock chicken is a rare and beautiful variety of Plymouth Rock chicken that is known to be a good layer and produces excellent meat as a broiler breed.

Plymouth Rock chickens were first bred in the 1800’s, and are likely the result of mixing Black Java hens with Dominique roosters.

The barred Plymouth Rock was the result of this crossbreeding, and it wasn’t until the early 1900’s that three additional varieties were introduced – the Partridge Plymouth Rock among them.

The distinctive partridge coloring was infused into the breed by crossing Plymouth Rocks with Cochin chickens.

Partridge Rock roosters are stunning to behold with inky black hackle feathers, emerald and black color-shifting breast, and gorgeous red tipped wings. Partridge Rock hens have beautiful black penciled feathers similar to Wyandottes, and are a rich, reddish brown color.

These beauties have a recovering population due to increased interest from homesteaders, according to the Livestock Conservancy, and have been an officially recognized breed by the APA since 1874. Both bantam and standard size Partridge Plymouth Rocks exist.

Partridge Rock Chicken Breed Overview

Recognized Breed NamePartridge Plymouth Rock
Lifespan10 to 12 years
Coloring and PatternBlack, green, and red roosters, and reddish brown hens with black penciling
Clean yellow legs
Weight7.5lbs to 9.5lbs for standard
2.5 to 3lbs for bantam
Comb TypeSingle comb
Distinctive DetailsRoosters and hens vary considerably in appearance
Feather TypeSmooth
Heritage BreedYes
Tolerant to Heat?Yes
Tolerant to Cold?Yes
Meat Production Breed?Yes
Egg Production Breed?Yes
Lays in Winter?Yes
Egg SizeLarge
Egg ColorLight to medium brown
Egg Production250 to 280/year
Starts Laying20 weeks

Egg Production

Partridge Rock hens are excellent egg layers, though not as prolific as White Leghorns to which they are often compared. Pullets reach the point of lay between 18 and 20 weeks, and this breed is able to lay in winter, though production typically slows down until Spring.

See Also:  5 Considerations Before Buying The Black Silkie Chicken


The temperament of Partridge Rock hens is mixed and can vary depending on the flock. Many backyard chicken keepers report them as being docile, friendly, and social, yet others claim they are highly inquisitive and may be skittish if startled.

This breed is known as a great chicken breed for beginners, as hens are good with both adults and children, particularly if handled extensively when they are young.

Hens are likely to go broody but aren’t known as excessively broody. They do make good mothers to their baby chicks.

Most people will agree that Partridge Rock roosters tend to be gentle and docile, but can be aggressive if they feel threatened or don’t have enough space.

Partridge Rock Chicken Coop

Partridge Plymouth Rocks enjoy foraging and being free-range. They can handle confinement as long as they have adequate time outside to explore.

Partridge Rocks do not fly and appreciate having a large, open coop with plenty of roosts and perches. Perches should be 10 inches for each bird and at the same level, otherwise, those lowest on the pecking order will have to settle for lower perches.

When building your coop, ensure that each bird has a minimum of 15 square feet of space. Overcrowding will result in poor behavior and unhappy chickens – no one wants that!

The chicken coop should have adequate ventilation and insulation that is fit for your climate. It will also require a separate feeding and watering area, along with nesting boxes for hens to lay eggs.

Nesting boxes can be as small as 12 x 12 although a larger standard size of 16 x 16 may be preferred for Partridge Rock hens. Pine shavings make for an ideal nesting box material, and they soak up liquid well.

See Also:  15 Friendliest Chicken Breeds For Your Family Backyard Coop

If you plan to breed your chickens, you will need to set up a few other key areas including a hatchery that features an incubator to assist unattended eggs to hatch.

After the eggs hatch you will need a brooder which acts as a separate area for Partridge Rock chicks to safely grow without interference from your adult hens.

Brooders will have a safe heat source, clean nesting material, and a separate area for food with a chick waterer.

Partridge Rock Feeding and Health

Partridge Plymouth rocks are known for hardiness, particularly in cold weather, and tend to have good health with proper care, feeding, and vaccinations.

Chicks tend to grow feathers quickly, and put on weight rapidly, reaching maturity at 12 weeks.

Feed requirements for Partridge Rocks will vary depending on the age and sex of your flock. Rock chicks should be offered a quality chick starter after they are born which will provide all the basic requirements they need to flourish.

Once a baby chick reaches 6 weeks, they will switch to grower feed to develop into a cockerel or pullet. This feed type is specifically designed to help chickens grow and has all the nutrients they require until they reach adulthood.

Partridge Rock hens should be provided with a high-quality layer feed after they begin laying eggs that has 16% to 18% protein. Oyster shell should be given as a supplement to help calcium intake, which needs to be higher in egg-laying hens.

Partridge Rock roosters can eat the same layer feed as hens yet oyster shell should not be offered to them. They don’t need the extra calcium and oyster shells can cause kidney issues. Your entire flock should have unrestricted access to chick grit to be able to process the food that they eat.

See Also:  Blue Chickens: Popular Types And How To Pick The Best Breed

Partridge Rock chickens will love having table scraps given to them occasionally. Chicken-safe fruits and veggies are best given in moderation and as a supplement to their chicken feed.


What do you need to do before buying a Partridge Rock chicken?

If you’ve decided to purchase Partridge Rock chickens, you want to be sure you’re prepared to bring them home. Adequate outdoor space that is fenced in will be required, as will a well-appointed chicken coop set up for all their needs.

Adequate feed supply, water, chick grit, and supplements should be on-hand prior to bringing any chickens home. Sanitize any area that you plan to place your chicks in prior to their arrival.

How Big do Partridge Rock Chickens Get?

Partridge Rocks are dual-purpose chickens that can be raised for meat, eggs, or both!

Roosters are typically culled and used as meat birds because they don’t lay eggs, and they put on more weight. They are well-suited as a table bird.

The average weight of a Partridge Rock rooster is 9.5lbs and reaches maturity at 12 weeks, but some specimens can clock in at 11lbs if given additional time to develop.

What is the Difference Between a Partridge Rock Chicken and a Rhode Island Red Chicken?

Partridge Rock chickens and Rhode Island Red chickens have a few different qualities, but the main diverging factor is different temperaments.

Partridge Rock ChickenRhode Island Red Chicken
Known for being docile and making great petsDominant and can be bossy in mixed flocks
Are much more flock-focusedAre much more independent
Produces less eggsProduces more eggs
Develops earlierDevelop later

Both breeds remain difficult to source.


A longtime resident of Southern California, Christina recently moved across the globe to Austria, where she bought land specifically to build a small house with room for a backyard chicken coop. Christina spent her childhood summers on a farm, raising and caring for a flock of hens owned by her grandparents, which prompted a lifelong love of chickens, and other farm animals. Christina is passionate about writing, having written hundreds of articles for well-known websites, and uses her English degree in service of her love for animal welfare, most recently taking on a writing position at Chicken Care Taker in 2022.

Recent Posts