Dominique chicken

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Dominique
DominiqueCockZeus.JPG
A Dominique cockerel (6 months old, center)
Conservation statusWatch
Other names
  • Dominicker
  • Pilgrim Fowl
Country of originUnited States
UseDual purpose breed
Traits
WeightMale: 7 lb (3.2 kg)
 Female: 5 lb (2.3 kg)
Skin colorYellow
Egg colorBrown
Comb typeRose
Classification
APAAmerican
ABARose Comb, Clean Legged
PCGBRare Soft Feather: Heavy[1]
Chicken
Gallus gallus domesticus
 
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"Dominicker" redirects here. For the triracial group in Florida, see Dominickers.
Dominique
DominiqueCockZeus.JPG
A Dominique cockerel (6 months old, center)
Conservation statusWatch
Other names
  • Dominicker
  • Pilgrim Fowl
Country of originUnited States
UseDual purpose breed
Traits
WeightMale: 7 lb (3.2 kg)
 Female: 5 lb (2.3 kg)
Skin colorYellow
Egg colorBrown
Comb typeRose
Classification
APAAmerican
ABARose Comb, Clean Legged
PCGBRare Soft Feather: Heavy[1]
Chicken
Gallus gallus domesticus

The Dominique, also known as Dominicker or Pilgrim Fowl, is a breed of chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus) originating in the United States during the colonial period. It is considered America's oldest breed of chicken,[2] probably descending from chickens brought to New England from southern England during colonial times. By the 19th century, they were widely popular and were raised in many parts of the country. Dominiques are a dual purpose breed, being valued for their meat as well as for their brown eggs. They weigh 6 to 8 pounds (2.7 to 3.6 kg) at maturity. In earlier times, their feathers were much sought after as stuffing for pillows and mattresses.

History[edit]

After the Plymouth Rock breed was developed from the Dominiques in the 1870s, the Dominiques' popularity declined, until by 1950 they were so rare as to be considered nearly extinct. During the 1970s, Dominiques were listed in "Critical" status by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, with fewer than 500 breeding birds in North America. However, due to a revival of interest in them and other rare breeds, the Dominiques have made a comeback and are now listed on the "Watch" list, indicating lesser danger of extinction.

Appearance[edit]

A Dominique pullet (6 months old)
An adult Dominique's head

Dominiques are quite distinctive in appearance. They have a rose comb and a heavy plumage of irregularly striped dark grey and light grey feathers (a pattern called "barring" or sometimes "hawk coloring"). This dark/light grey striping is often mistaken for black and white striping. The breed matures quickly, producing eggs at about six months of age.

At first glance, Dominiques and Barred Rocks appear strikingly similar, often leading to confusion when discerning a particular breed. The strongest indicators are the comb, plumage, and color.

Comb[edit]

Dominiques possess a rose comb while Barred Rocks possess a single comb. This is generally the most obvious difference.

Plumage[edit]

Dominiques exhibit staggered barring in their plumage, lending to a somewhat mottled appearance. Barred Rocks exhibit crisp, parallel barring.

Color[edit]

Dominiques exhibit a softer contrast of "not quite black on not quite white", while Barred Rocks exhibit a high-contrast black-on-white color.

Disposition and behavior[edit]

Dominique hens tend to be calm, personable birds (a desirable trait in an egg production bird). Their calm, steady demeanor makes them successful as show birds or family pets. However, Dominique roosters can sometimes be even more aggressive than the Rhode Island Red and have been known to kill small cats, snakes, and even mink.

The hens tend to be good mothers, brooding and raising chicks with a high rate of success.

The Dominique is hardy and a good forager, traits which are attributed to the harsh conditions in which the breed first developed.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Breed Classification. Poultry Club of Great Britain. Accessed August 2014.
  2. ^ Beranger, Jeannette (Spring 2013), Out Here, Issue no. 35; America's First Chicken, Brentwood, Tennessee: Tractor Supply Co., p. 25. 

References[edit]

External links[edit]