Dominique

Average User Rating:
4.39683/5,
  • Breed Purpose:
    Dual Purpose
    Comb:
    Rose
    Broodiness:
    Average
    Climate Tolerance:
    All Climates
    Egg Productivity:
    Medium
    Egg Size:
    Medium
    Egg Color:
    Brown
    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
    70b226a4_munin713.jpeg

    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.

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    Dominique eggs

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    Dominique chics

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    Dominique juvenile

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    Dominique hen

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    Dominique rooster

    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/
  • 70b226a4_munin713.jpeg 0f7fabd2_dominique-341-846366.jpeg 1d8cf12e_dominique-341-193017.jpeg 7deea8d5_5914186988_b6971bddc6_z.jpeg 6eab8fdb_6067745758_9a0f9113f4_z.jpeg a57b8040_6204604029_375c251212_z.jpeg fe3cb566_6864170877_2fc7e5f716_z.jpeg 26386332_DominiqueSide.jpeg 5b65ee37_dominique-341-510685.jpeg 08aef72b_100_2491.jpeg b3e83d29_IMG_20120716_190253.jpeg 33f045fd_IMG_20120627_142726.jpeg 8027e29d_tinylight3.jpeg 7a834083_noname.jpeg 608532ac_freyas3.jpeg 5438583a_magrat.jpeg a5e0cf16_dom4.jpeg 60291a7c_vnspullet.jpeg 15df0266_6.27.13.DominiquesAtPlay004.jpeg ecc223d3_6.27.13.DominiquesAtPlay008.jpeg 10bbd1d2_IMG_0996.jpeg 37ad3398_IMG_0998.jpeg 700.jpg

  • Chicken Breed Info:
    Breed Purpose:
    Dual Purpose
    Comb: Rose
    Broodiness: Average
    Climate Tolerance: All Climates

    General Egg Info:
    Egg Productivity:
    High
    Egg Size: Medium
    Egg Color: Brown

    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 Details:
    STANDARD
    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.
    STATUS
    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.

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    Rooster
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    Hen
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    Egg
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    Chick
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    Adolescent
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Recent User Reviews

  1. Gillybean05
    5/5,
    "Dominique"
    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.
    Sylvester017 and BlackHackle like this.
  2. Sdominique
    5/5,
    "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.
    BlackHackle likes this.
  3. Chickassan
    5/5,
    "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. 20180215_162609.jpg 20180215_161456.jpg 20171003_142210.jpg 20170828_173812.jpg 20171026_141845.jpg
    Purchase Price:
    She was free
    Purchase Date:
    Aug 18, 2007

User Comments

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  1. The Yakima Kid
    Actually, Barred Rocks look like Dominiques - not the other way around. It seems that Barred Rocks were a cross of assorted breeds - including Javas and Dominiques.
      VHoff likes this.
  2. hellbender
  3. BantamFan4Life
    Dominiques came from France, I believe. I'm not positive on the timing, probably in the 1700's.
  4. Sylvester017
    To Speedbird - I never thought I would like barred feathers either. I still consider the overall look a little boring probably because of the common Barred Rocks always pictured with RIRs in backyard photos. We had BRs on my folks farm. However once I held a very soft feathered Dom chick and felt how very soft her growing juvenile hardfeathers were, I was hooked. I've read other Dom owner reviews and blogs about how incredibly soft the Dom feathers are. It must be the thicker underdown they have. No wonder they were used for Colonial pillows and comforters!
  5. Sylvester017
    Hi - regarding hellbender comment about camouflage feathering. Yes, some birds are predator bait simply because of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, or not being aware, or IMO the coloration can be a detriment. Standing up high over a flock the solid white coloration like in Leghorns is very visible. I know predators have a different spectrum of vision from humans but anyway you look at it, the bright white is very visible when viewed aerially. Even solid black is quite discernible. Speckling, barring, multi-colors, pencilling, lacing, blue/gray, browns, all seem to get blurred more from an aerial view. White Leghorns are prominent to detect BUT because of their intense agility, wariness, and alertness have never been predator bait in our past flocks - probably the only white breed aware enough to avoid predation 99% of the time - those that get attacked are fierce fighters - this from our experience. However I have discontinued getting White Legs for free range (hopefully to reduce their stress of being spotted aerially) and have chosen Buff Legs now who have the same agility and alertness as the White but with a subtler coloration. The Buff has a calmer temperament but still has the wariness of her White cousins. Just my 2 cents worth.
  6. Gallusfarm
  7. speedbird
    I actually LIKE the barred feathering! to bad I lost mine :(
  8. hellbender
    Let me just throw this in...I really like the Dom breed of chickens but they are not for me. My point in commenting is to raise an issue with the color of the bird being 'camouflage'. That is a myth because the color of the bird has little to do with it's abilities to avoid predators but rather their abilities to recognize the presence of predators and ability to fly, run or hide in whatever cover might be handy.

    There will be some who try to debunk my assertions but I rest upon my families' seven decades of poultry raising and I have personally witnessed just about every kind of predator attack ....multiple times.

    Still...in my opinion, the Dom is a great bird and if I didn't have my own favorites, I would strongly consider them!
      VHoff likes this.
  9. Sylvester017
    I must add that the reason I did not give a full 5 stars is because we were not able to raise our chick to an adult. Sadly for whatever reason we never found out how many eggs she could lay, how big they'd be, or how she would integrate with our lightweight LF flock. But I am of the firm conviction that she definitely matched the qualities the American Dominique Club breeder identified and fully trust her chick traits would have continued into adulthood. I love the kooky gentle APA Ameraucana and Buff Leghorn pullet we have with our two Silkies and were very confident the Dom pullet would've been a gentle-tempered, economically industrious, and sweet addition to our mixed lightweight flock.
      VHoff likes this.
  10. Sylvester017
    I contacted the American Dominique fellow listed on the website about the nature of Dominiques. There are some beautiful breeds to choose from and the Dom wasn't my first choice because of the mundane feathering. However I was interested in the Dom because they are a lighter weight LF about 4-4.5 lbs average w/ gentle temperaments and decent productivity (about 4 eggs/wk) which is what I was looking for to mix w/ a gentle flock of under 5-lb birds. Plus they have a nice camouflage for free-ranging. Huge eggs or table meat was not as important as temperament w/ somewhat decent productivity. The American Dominique breeder said that Dom chicks are an outgoing, curious, friendly, soft-chirping talkative baby and those traits continue into adulthood. They will fit the need as a pet as well as utility bird. Plus the broodiness has not been bred out of them if we wanted to raise our own flock. I took his confirmation to heart and purchased a Dom chick who was not just friendly and outgoing but downright curious about everything on our clothes, our glasses, our hair, our fingers, our computer, the mouse, etc. She was incredibly softer than other chicks to touch. She was a constant forager and made big hens look lazy. Most chicks will come running to look for treats but bore easily and run off but not the Dom pullet chick. After checking everything out, she'd nestle in our clothes, or hand, or arm, or lap or wherever close to us. She imprinted w/ us always chirping to us to make sure we were closeby as she went exploring. Unfortunately she suffered a traumatic seizure at 19 days old right before our eyes and was gone instantly. It happens w/ chicks in all breeds as well as juveniles - we had lost an Ameraucana pullet just 2 weeks before yet her sister was fine. You never know what happened w/ one chick when all the others are fine. But we definitely will get more than one Dom again next Spring thanks to the few days we had w/ her!
      VHoff likes this.

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