Dominique Chickens

Breed Rating (3 reviews)

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History

Imported to America by Columbus on his second voyage of 1493, the Dominique may be the first chicken bred in America. Chickens with rose combs and barred plumage were officially recognised under the name Dominique in 1849 but originally the breed was a much smaller one. However, successive breeding has produced a larger bird which became extremely popular as a dual purpose farm breed in the late 1800s. The breed was first seen in the UK in 1870 but went into decline and was re-imported in 1984. In America, breed numbers diminished so much around 1970 that only 3 breeders remained until conservation efforts established a few flocks throughout the USA. There is still only a population of around 500 hens so the breed is listed as critical and in real danger of extinction. Dominiques are recognised by their rose combs and barred feather pattern. This comes from feathers which are crossed all along their length by irregular slate and light bars. They have distinctive yellow legs, 4 toes and bright red wattles. Males have a long sweeping tail while the hens are darker, smaller and are rounded with plump full breasts and high tails. The Dominique was a popular breed to cross with other hens and the Barred Plymouth Rock is a result of such a cross. The presence of the rose comb differentiates the Dominique from the Barred Plymouth Rock. The heavy plumage was used for making feather beds and pillows. There is a bantam version available.

Behaviour

The Dominique is a dual purpose breed, producing both eggs in good quantity and meat for the table. They are very hardy birds and are able to withstand very bad weather. The hens do go broody and are instinctively good mothers. Chicks hatch well, feather up quickly and are early maturing. Dominiques are excellent foragers and are therefore cheap to feed as they find their own food whilst free ranging. They are calm birds, happiest outside in the wild but they will adapt to being kept in large coops. Their barred plumage not only keeps them warm in winter but is good camouflage against predators. Cocks weigh 7lbs while the hens are 5lbs.

Latest Reviews For Dominiques (3 of 3)

  • 5 Star: 1 (1)
  • 4 Star: 2 (2)
  • 3 Star: 0 (0)
  • 2 Star: 0 (0)
  • 1 Star: 0 (0)
Average Rating:

           (Based on 3 reviews)

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           Our most reliable breed

- Dee, 19 February 2014

Our 1st chickens were Dominiques. Years later we have 11 breeds, but hubby's fave is the Doms. They are not as visually striking as some breeds, but are super friendly, even the roosters. They are protective of the hens even from hawks ( the hawk lost the fight and hasn't come back). We have cats, Pomeranians, German shepherds, goats etc, and nothing phases them. They are our most reliable layers even through winter in an unheated, unlit barn. 6-7 eggs per week until they were about 4 years old, now about half that. They are excellent foragers, very hardy. We are planning on getting some more to add to our breeding program. You won't be disappointed! We crossed some with our Americaunas and got our own cream-leghorn type, even seems to autosex!


           CURIOUS UNAFRAID AS CHICKS

- Sylvester017, 04 December 2013

Got a hatchery Dom chick which was the last one from a feed store. We wanted two as companions but it wasn't to be. She was a delightful spritely little 8 day chick who immediately bonded on the ride home. She didn't like being alone and continually chirped to us. We set her up on the computer table so she could run from her cage to our work area at will. If we left we kept conversing with her little chirps from the other rooms so she didn't panic. She slept in our arms, got on the computer mouse or keyboard to sleep until an itch would wake her up. If she wasn't eating or sleeping she was constantly preening her growing feathers. All chicks curiously come running, get bored and run off. Not her. She further explored our clothes, our hair, our eye glasses, always chirping. We knew this was a unique temperament compared to other breeds we've had. Sadly we lost her to a very sudden seizure at 19 days old - chick mortality is always a possibility - maybe because she was an end of season hatchery chick? Doms for centuries have acclimated to hardy outdoor free-range conditions and love their freedom. We're told they also adapt to roomy pens. Breeders tell us that the curious outgoing temperament of Doms continues from chicks to adulthood. Their feathers are very soft. We can't tell about laying but understand med to lrg up to 4x week. We will get more Doms. Not huge hens but adequate as layers with good feed conversion and calm temperaments.


           I love my Dominiques

- LeAnna, 25 March 2012

I have two Dominiques that I got from a local farmer here in North Carolina. He buys eggs from Murry Mcmurry hatchery and then sells the chicks at 3 days old. They are great birds and my favorite breed. I recommend them to anyone.

 
 
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