The Dorking is a very old English breed that has primarily been raised throughout its history as a table bird. The breed has two unusual distinguishing features, having an extra hind toe and rather short legs. The exact origins of Dorkings is shrouded in time, but table birds with five toes whose description fits the Dorking, were mentioned as far back as AD47 in Roman writings, and it is believed the Romans introduced the birds to England. It was a landrace from around the town of Dorking, England which was eventually developed into the breed that we know today. The breed has a fairly calm, gentle temperament, the birds are good foragers and are not inclined to wander. Besides being considered one of the best table birds, and primarily bred for that, Dorking hens are good winter layers. The hens do go broody fairly often and make very good mothers and are often used to foster other chicks. Dorkings also have red earlobes, which is uncommon in layers of white eggs. They come in a number of colors, including, White, Red, Cuckoo, Colored, and Silver Gray. They were introduced into the US early on, exactly when is unknown, but they were shown in their first poultry show in 1849. Quite popular in their time, they were gradually replaced by the commercial hybrid meat birds, and they are a rather rare breed now. It was recognized by the APA in 1874 and is on The Livestock Conservancy's Threatened list. Details: Breed purpose: Meat, Dual Purpose, Comb Type: Single and Rose. Broodiness: Frequent, good mothers. Climate Tolerance: Cold hardy. Weight: Roosters 9lbs, hens 7lbs. Egg Productivity: Fair, good winter layers. Egg Size: Large. Egg Color: White/Tinted. Rooster, picture @pysankigirl Flock, picture @Yellow House Farm Dorking Chicks @Rockashelle Dorking Cockerel @ki4got Dorking Hen @ki4got Dorking Cockerel @Jwhip Dorking Flock @Yellow House Farm Dorking Pullet @Yellow House Farm The Dorking Cockerel Statue in Dorking, Surrey county on the Deepdene roundabout, England. Created by sculptor Peter Parkinson, the statue was unveiled in 2007, is about 10 feet high and weighs over a thousand pounds. BYC Breed review: https://www.backyardchickens.com/products/dorking General breed discussions & FAQ thread: https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/118388/b-y-c-dorking-club/0_20 Exhibition, Genetics, & Breeding to the Standard of Perfection thread: https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/882047/the-dorking-breeders-thread/0_20 As Meat Birds: https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...s-and-weight-of-our-last-dorking-rooster/0_20 Do you own Dorkings? Are you a Dorking breeder? If so, please reply to this thread with the your thoughts and experiences, including: · What made you decide to get this breed? · Do you own them for fun? Breeding? Some other purpose? · What are your favorite characteristics about this breed? · Post some pics of your birds; male/female, chicks, eggs, etc!