I bought 4 girls and a cockeral 6 weeks ago, since arrival they have settled in and are very friendly. However they have laid about 6 eggs in total in that time. Also all six of the eggs were damaged due to them breaking them! So in total unimpressed.
I have kept these for the past three years and would recommend them if you have a little time to care for them. I have found they are prone to respiratory diseases so they need their bedding kept clean and dry. I have found the use of garlic and ACV helps to combat this. The rooster is a majestic looking bird and can be very friendly. They lay good sized white eggs most of the year. I keep the white egg layers as these are the originals. Any strains which lay blue eggs have had to be crossed at some point with Legbars or Araucanas so you could say they are crossbreds.
We hatched out a trio of these last spring from some eggs bought on ebay. I have had lots of hens over the years but these are my favorites by far!
Ours are a blue egg laying strain and they lay really well. The hens free range and roost in the barn rafters which makes them very low maintainance. They do roam a long way which can make them a bit vulnerable.
They are really beautiful and ridiculously freindly.
Our cockeral is magnificent but can't be allowed to free range as he can be a little bossy.
I'd highly recommend this rare breed to anyone.
I'm a Dorking fan. I think they're one of the most beautiful breeds around, and their history makes them extra interesting. And don't believe people who tell you they're poor layers. It depends on the strain, but our Dorking girls laid better in their first year than our Rhode Island Reds or Welsummer (all from good laying strains)! Even better, they lay well through winter. All of our Dorkings have been especially friendly birds, they love to follow me round the garden, singing and scratching as I weed or harvest. And being quite shiny- feathered, they're a joy to stroke (and make very good lap-chickens!) I wouldn't be without them.
These birds should get more credit, they look great, they are super table birds, great show birds and they were a common and a reliable breed in the victorian time!
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