Barred Rock Vs. Ameraucana [What You Need To Know]

Chickens are becoming a regular part of many people’s lives. With more and more people opting to keep backyard chickens or starting small homesteads, chickens are becoming popular. When looking for chickens to purchase, you will come across the Barred Rock and the Ameraucana chickens, but how do these chickens differ?

These chickens have many similarities, but they have some noticeable differences that make them stand out from one another. These chickens have an interesting appearance and history, but they might not both be for you due to their temperament. So, you need to choose a breed you can handle. 

We’ll look at the history of the Barred Rock and Ameraucana chickens? What do the chickens look like? How do these chickens’ temperaments differ? We will discover these answers, plus a lot more, in this article!

Ameraucana Vs. Barred Rock: Which Chicken Should You Get?

Chickens are fantastic to have in your garden. Not only do they make lovely pets, but they can help keep your garden in good condition, and the hens produce a good number of eggs that can easily sustain a small family. 

When deciding on chickens for your backyard or small homestead, you will likely come across the Barred rock chicken and the Ameraucana chicken. Both these chickens are extremely popular among backyard chicken keepers and small homesteaders. 

Why are these chickens so popular, and how are they different from each other? We will need to cover many aspects of these chickens to answer these intriguing questions. 

So, let’s look at what these chickens are like and how they differ to see which one might suit your needs best. 

History Of The Barred Rock Chickens

First, we will look at the history of these two chickens, starting with the Barred Rock chicken. Barred Rock chickens are one of America’s oldest chicken breeds. These chickens first appeared in America in the mid-1800s. 

After this, the breed seemed to disappear from America for a few years, reappearing in the country again in 1869. This reappearance is due to Mr. Upham from Massachusetts bred barred roosters with Java hens. 

This then created the Barred Rock chickens many people know and love today. These chickens were and are still mainly used as production chickens due to their size and good egg production. 

History Of The Ameraucana Chickens

Ameraucana chickens are much newer to America than Barred Rock chickens. This chicken breed is relatively new to chickens in general. The Bantam Ameraucana chickens were only accepted in America, with the APA’s seal of excellence in 1979. 

The standard Ameraucana was only accepted in 1984. Until the APA accepted these chickens, it was rare to find them, as no one wanted to breed them. Once this breed was accepted, they were bred from the Araucanas chicken breed mixed with various other breeds in America. 

However, even though this chicken breed is relatively young, it’s extremely popular due to many factors we will cover in this article. First, people use them as show chickens for their looks, but they are also good egg layers.

Appearance Of The Barred Rock Chickens 

The Barred Rock chicken breed is a beautiful chicken breed that will catch the eye of chicken lovers who visit your yard. These chickens have a single comb with five points. These chickens’ wattles, earlobes, and combs are a lovely bright red. 

The legs of this chicken breed are yellow and unfeathered, and the beak can be a horn color or yellow. The body of this chicken is long and broad. The Barred Rock chickens come in many colors in America, including blue, barred, silver-penciled, and white. 

Barred Rock hens can grow to 7.5 lbs when fully grown, while the roosters can grow to be about 9.5 lbs when fully grown. 

Appearance Of The Ameraucana Chickens

Ameraucana chickens have a distinct appearance and are stunning.

This breed will bring a smile to anyone’s face because of its looks. These chickens have beards and muffs that give their faces a puffy appearance. 

Ameraucana chickens have a bright red pea comb, which means the comb is relatively small. Ameraucana chickens are also lighter compared to most other chicken breeds. 

The Ameraucana hens weigh about 5.5 lbs when fully grown, and the roosters will weigh about 6.5 lbs when fully grown. These chickens are also extremely varied in color, with some colors being black, white, blue, and wheaten. 

Barred Rock Chicken Temperament

When you compare chickens, you need to consider the temperament of each chicken breed. 

The Barred Rock chicken breed is a calm and hard-working member of its flock. These chickens are friendly and docile; once they get to know you, they can be extremely affectionate. 

These chickens are great with children, as they enjoy being cuddled and picked up, which is unusual for chickens. These chickens are lap chickens and will follow you around looking for cuddles. 

Ameraucana Chicken Temperament

The Ameraucana chicken breed is a laid-back and friendly breed that is docile and makes great flock members. These chickens are friendly, but they are not lap chickens. They prefer to be left to themselves where they can stay out of trouble. 

These chickens are great with the family if you have older children that won’t try to pick them up. They won’t harm the person who picks them up, but they will make it known that they aren’t enjoying it with a scream. 

Barred Rock Chicken Egg Production 

The Barred Rock hens will lay brown, medium to large-sized eggs. One Barred Rock hen can lay around 200+ eggs every year. 

The hen will lay well for its first few fertile years, after which it will start to slow down. After three years, you will notice a loss in egg production per hen. 

Ameraucana Chicken Egg Production 

Ameraucana chickens also have an excellent egg-laying rate. The Ameraucana hens can lay about 200 eggs annually, which is quite good egg production for a smaller chicken. 

What is interesting about the eggs of an Ameraucana hen is that they are blue that are small to medium-sized. 

As with the Barred Rock chickens, the older an Ameraucana hen gets, the lower her egg-laying rate will become. So, after two or three years, you will notice a decline in egg production. 

Final Word

Barred Rock and Ameraucana chickens are great to have as a part of your flock. These chickens are excellent egg producers, with the Barred Rock chickens being a good meat supply. 

Both chicken breeds are friendly and docile and won’t cause any issues. 

The Barred Rock chicken is more affectionate than the Ameraucana chickens, but the Ameraucana will still appreciate some affection now and then. Good luck deciding on only purchasing one of these chicken breeds for your flock!

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