One of the more recognized breeds because of its distinctive pattern of black and white feathers is the Barred Plymouth Rock. Plymouth Rocks are one of the oldest American heritage breeds and were recognized by the APA in 1874. They are sought after for their egg and meat production, second only to Rhode Island Reds, and tend to be calm, hardy, and broody. They often make great additions to a flock. According to the Livestock Conservancy, their status is “recovering.”