Day Old Dominique Baby Chicks
Hatching February to November.
Apple pie, baseball, and Dominiques! As the oldest American breed, Dominiques hold a special place in the poultry fancy of this country. They are prized for their ability to forage, their egg laying abilities, and their ease of keeping.
Production: Dominiques are considered a dual purpose breed, but they are excellent layers, producing 230-275 eggs annually. They do grow to a good table weight, as well. Traditionally, homesteaders used their ample feathers for pillows and mattresses.
Temperament: Hens are known to be calm and reliable, but roosters can be quite protective. Some owners even report that roosters have killed small rodents, cats, or snakes!
History: This breed is so old, that no one can really say where it came from or how it was developed. Many believe that Dominiques came to this continent with the pilgrims, and they are even sometimes called Pilgrim Fowl, but there is no documentation or proof that they actually did arrive with the pilgrims.
In fact, no one even knows why they are called Dominiques. There are many myths and half-truths and theories about this much loved breed. What we do know for sure is that there have been Dominiques in this country for a very long time. The breed was a favorite with homesteaders because they are good foragers, good mothers, and generally easy to care for.
Dominiques survived the Great Depression, probably due to their self-sufficiency, but then began to decline in numbers. The development of the Plymouth Rock, and its rising popularity led many away from raising Dominiques. By the 1950s, they were very nearly extinct.
The efforts of dedicated breeders and a renewed interest in heritage breeds saved this iconic and distinctly American chicken. Today, there are healthy numbers of Dominiques, roaming around in small flocks and farmyards across the country!
Colors: The distinctive, irregular, black and white barred (“cuckoo”) pattern of the Dominique is one of it’s defining characteristics, along with a rose comb.
Status: American Livestock Breeds Conservancy Conservation Status: The ALBC now lists Dominiques in the Watch category.
Body Type: Males have an almost U-shaped back, because they carry their heads and tails so high. Females slope from head to tail. They are medium-sized, fluffy, round chickens.
Standard Weights: Rooster 7 lbs, Hen 5 lbs, Cockerel 6 lbs, Pullet 4 lbs
Classification: American Poultry Association Class: American