- Breed Purpose:
- Dual Purpose
- Climate Tolerance:
- All Climates
- Egg Productivity:
- Egg Size:
- Egg Color:
- Breed Temperament:
- Friendly, Easily handled, Calm, Bears confinement well, Quiet, Docile
- Breed Colors/Varieties:
- Correct Dominique barring is not quite black on not quite white, and the bars are staggered, rather than the parallel and sharply contrasting black and white barring of the Barred Rock.
- Breed Size:
- Large Fowl
The Dominique also known as Dominicker or Pilgrim Fowl, originated in the USA during the colonial period. It is considered America's oldest breed of chicken, likely descending from chickens brought to New England from southern England during colonial times. By the 19th century, they were very popular and were raised in many parts of the country. Dominiques are a dual purpose breed, being valued for their table bird qualities as well as for their brown eggs. In earlier times, their feathers were much sought after as stuffing for pillows and mattresses.
After the Plymouth Rock breed was developed from the Dominiques in the 1870s, the Dominiques' popularity declined, and by the 1950 they were so rare, they were considered nearly extinct. During the 1970s, Dominiques were listed in "Critical" status 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.
To learn more about this breed and their owners' and breeders' experiences with them, see our breed discussion here: https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/chicken-breed-focus-dominique.1103078/
Chicken Breed Info:
Breed Purpose: Dual Purpose
Climate Tolerance: All Climates
General Egg Info:
Egg Productivity: High
Egg Size: Medium
Egg Color: Brown
Friendly,Easily handled,Calm,Bears confinement well,Quiet,Docile
Breed Colors / Varieties:
Correct Dominique barring is not quite black on not quite white, and the bars are staggered, rather than the parallel and sharply contrasting black and white barring of the Barred Rock.
The Standard of Perfection lists the standard weight of a Dominique cock is 7 lbs, while the standard weight of a hen is 5-5.5 lbs.
Both sexes should have a medium sized head, neck carried well up, with a short, stout beak. A rose comb should be compact, firm and straight on the head, free from hollows, and ending in an upward curving spike. The neck should be of medium length, gracefully arched, and the back should be of medium length and breadth, rising with a concave sweep to the tail. The tail of the cock should be carried at 40 degrees from the horizontal. Full, round and prominent breast, moderately long thighs, with shanks fine in bone and medium length toes. Shanks and toes should be yellow in color and free from feathers and stubs.
The Large Fowl Dominique falls under the American class, while the Bantam variety is in the Comb Clean Leg (RCCL) class.
Dominique chicks are sex linked, which makes it much easier for breeders to sex their chicks as soon as they hatch. A cockerel chick has a light and scattered spot of yellow on the top of the head, while the head spot of a pullet chicks is more compact and solid. Also, the shanks & feet of a pullet chick is darker and much more shadowed than that of a cockerel chick.
Currently, the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy lists the Dominique as being on "Watch" status. They have enjoyed a resurgence of popularity and their numbers are slowly climbing. Dominiques have the honor of being one of the breeds listed on the Slow Food USA Ark of Taste.
Recent User Reviews
Pros - Tame, loving, kind, sweet, and pretty feather patterns
Cons - None that I can think of off the top of my head
Dominiques. They're gorgeous. Their feather pattern is white and black, making a beautiful chicken. Don't forget the chicks, though! They have little white caps on their heads until they grow in their adult feathers, and it is adorable! Everyone should get a Dominique, for eggs and beauty.
"True Heritage Breed"
Pros - Quiet, calm, takes the cold and heat very well. Good foragers. Roosters are very attentive to their hens.
Cons - Doesn't lay as many eggs as I'd like.
These chickens take me back in time to my childhood on my grandparents farm. Grandma always had Dominiques in her flock. They're beautiful birds with a wonderful disposition. Love em.
"I think mine's broken.:)"
Pros - Great forager, people freindly, dependable layer.
Cons - Can be bossy with other chickens.
I'm the lucky owner of one dominique hen and I absolutely adore her. Personal experience as soon as I intergrated her she flogged the rooster and beat up the lead hen " dominique was still a pullet". She quickly took over lead postion amonst the hens. I had no issues at all with her as she behaved like she had known me forever the first day I got her. I've had her a year come August and she's laid a medium sized brown egg nearly every day with no issues. My little hen actively hunts squirrels and other things she probably shouldn't but that's just her. She's vocal and absolutely beautiful, even with all the quirks I'd highly recommend this breed.