Scientific name: Gallus gallus domesticus
Country / Place of origin: United States
History: The Amrock chicken was created in the
United States, and has the same ancestry as the Barred Plymouth Rock. The difference between the breeds is mainly productive abilities. For many years the Barred Plymouth Rock was bred for showing, and the Amrock for utility. After, World War II, most of Germany’s birds had been consumed. The United States sent over Amrocks to help provide meat and eggs. Consequently, the breed has become popular throughout Europe, but is almost unheard of in the United States.
Current Uses: Eggs and Meat. Approx 240 brown eggs/year.
Appearance: The Amrock is a large breed of poultry with barred plumage. They have red single combs, wattles, and ears. The Amrock is an auto-sexing breed, meaning the genders can be told apart by their colors. Males will hatch lighter, with more white on their heads. As birds age the females will have wider black barring, and the males will have wider white barring.
Average weight: 7 - 10 lbs.
Lifespan: 8 - 12 years
Diet: The Amrock does well if left to forage, and fed a basic commercial diet. Birds should be supplemented with fresh fruits, veggies, bugs, and grit if not permitted to free-range. Hens may need oyster shells added to their diet, if their feed is not high enough in calcium. Fresh water must be available at all times.
Housing: Housing can be simple, but does require planning. You will need a coop that provides your birds with a safe place to escape the weather, night and day-time predators, and is well-drained, clean, ventilated, and comfortable. Roosts should be provided for sleeping, and nesting boxes for egg laying.
Health issues: The breed is relatively healthy, and tolerates most climates. Combs of the roosters can get frostbitten in the winter. Rubbing oil on their combs and wattles will help prevent frostbite, as well as chapping. Birds will need proper housing, care, feed, and parasite control and treatment to live full healthy lives.
Behavior / Temperament / Activity level: The breed is calm and makes a great backyard bird for the pet owner, or small farmer desiring a dual-purpose breed.Written by Jamie Clark