Dominique chickens are the ideal dual purpose chicken. Most of the chicken keepers are fond of breeding this unique chicken variety.
People not only keep them for meat and eggs, but also their feathers are used to stuff the pillows.
For their unique features, they are being loved by every chicken keeper, and most of them wish to add them to their flock.
In this article you will get all the details about Dominique chicken including its general features, egg production, temperament, benefits and problems associated with raising it.
These amazing tips would help you to raise this chicken variety in your backyard coop.
What is Dominique Chicken?
- 1 What is Dominique Chicken?
- 2 Life expectancy of Dominique Chickens
- 3 Common Names of Dominique Chicken
- 4 History of Dominique chicken
- 5 Eggs Production
- 6 Dominique Chicken Temperament
- 7 Color, Size, Appearance, Characteristics of Dominique chicken
- 8 Difference in Appearance Between Dominique & Barred Rock Chicken
- 9 Benefits of Raising Dominique Chicken
- 10 Problems in Raising Dominique Chicken
- 11 Care Tips for Dominique chicken
- 12 Summary
Dominique Chicken is said to be America’s oldest chicken breed. The chicken lovers brought it to the United States, and the settlers helped them survive during the first year of colonization.
Dominique Chicken is also known as pilgrim fowl, and their feathers are used to stuff the pillows. It is a breed of chicken that originated in the United States in the colonial period.
This is a multi purpose chicken breed which is valued for its meat, brown eggs and amazing soft feathers. Dominique is quite famous and was raised in many parts of the country during the 19th century.
Feathers of Dominique chickens are much softer and are used as stuffing material for the pillow and mattresses. They weigh up to 6 to 8 pounds.
Life expectancy of Dominique Chickens
Usually Dominique chickens live around 6-8 years but mostly it depends upon the caring. The life expectancy varies because of good feed and nourishment given to the flocks.
Common Names of Dominique Chicken
Dominique chickens are known by various names all over the globe. Here are some of the popular names of this breed-
- Old spotted hen
- Old grey hen
- Pilgrim fowl
- Blue Spotted Hen
History of Dominique chicken
This is the conventional American breed of chicken known to be brought by the settlers in the eastern USA since the 1750s. They are thought to be brought by a pilgrimage to the USA; therefore, they are also known as Pilgrim fowl.
Dominique was documented for the first time in the United States, particularly in the northeast around Boston. After the Plymouth Rock breed, it was developed from the Dominique’s in 1870.
The 1st timeline of decline was in the 1920s where it survived its first depression during the 1st world war. Due to its hardiness and thriftiness, many folks kept this chicken.
The Dominique chicken crisis occurred 2nd when the industrial revolution occurred, due to which the poultry industry became industrialized and mechanized.
American livestock breed conservancy has listed this Dominique chicken in critical status during the 1970s, with fewer than 500 birds in North America.
Due to revival interest in them, they have made a comeback and are now listed on the watch list indicating the lesser danger of extinction.
The exact origin and the lineage of the bird are not known till now, but this chicken breed is indispensable to the early settlers as it was a hardy little bird that forged its existence.
Many rumors about Dominique chicken come from the French colony of the saint Dominique that is now called Haiti, and it seems like this Dominique name came from this story.
Dominique hens produce 4 eggs in a week. Dominique is known as one of the best egg-laying chicken breeds which lay medium-sized light brown eggs.
They lay around 230-270 eggs per year. Today’s, some of the breeds go occasionally broody, and they are excellent mothers and are quite attentive to their chicks.
The success rates of raising their chicks by them are high. The Chicks of Dominique are auto-sexing and could easily be classified upon hatching.
Most of the Dominique chicks have white spots on their head; in females, these spots are small and concentrated, while in male chicks, these spots are more diffused and scattered.
Here is the list of chickens that lay colored eggs.
Dominique Chicken Temperament
These are very calm nature chickens. This is the most common reason for the popularity of this chicken breed. Dominique chicken only attack when they feel only any danger.
We can say this chicken breed has a calm and gentle personality. Dominique is a very hardy bird and can survive in all bad weather conditions.
The hens of this breed are more calm and friendly with chicken owners. Unlike other hens, these birds are independent, and love to freerange.
Color, Size, Appearance, Characteristics of Dominique chicken
Dominique has a softer bright white and black colored feathers. The white color is covered with black zigzag patterns.
It is a small-medium size chicken. Weights of hens and roosters will be approximately 5 to 7 pounds. The Male will weigh around 7 lbs, and the female will weigh around 5 lbs.
Bantam Dominique is also available, and the male one weighs around 1.75 lbs, and the female one weighs around 1.5 lbs.
It is well-rounded, broad, and medium in length. The wings are large, have round and full breasts, and have a whitish head spot.
Female chicks have small and concentrated spots, whereas males have diffuse and scattered spots. Dominique chicks are auto-sexing, so they are easily classified after hatching.
Dominique chickens have a unique and attractive appearance. They have dark and grey feathers and may also have light grey feathers. The hens of this breed start laying eggs at six months of age.
Dominique can easily be recognized by its rose comb and barred feather pattern. This chicken has irregular slate and light bars which causes a mottled appearance.
Dominique chicken has a contrast of not quite black or white color. Also they have distinctive yellow-colored legs with four toes. The color of the skin is yellow; they have bright red wattles, a red comb, and earlobes.
Roosters have a long sweeping tail and are beautiful, whereas hens are darker and small with plump breasts and high tails.
Rooster weight is 3.2 kg, and the hen’s weight is 2.3kg. Dominique hens are good layers and produce brown-colored eggs.
Difference in Appearance Between Dominique & Barred Rock Chicken
To make it easy first we should understand that Barred Rock is not a breed, the Plymouth Rock is the breed. Dominique is a chicken breed.
Dominique and Barred Rock both are dual-purpose chicken. So, they both are popularly used for eggs and meat.
The Dominique chicken has a rose comb whereas Barred Rock has a straight comb.
Both the chickens look similar but the patterns are different on their deaths. Dominique has very irregular pattern bars and Barred Rock has straight lines.
The color of Dominique chickens is brighter than Barred Rock. Dominique chickens are smaller than Barred Rock.
Egg size of Dominique chickens are smaller than eggs of Barred Rock however the color of the eggs are the same light brown.
Benefits of Raising Dominique Chicken
Dominique is non-aggressive and gentle to children. These are very low maintenance breeds and are suitable for a newbie chicken raiser. These birds grow faster and can survive in bad weather conditions.
Dominique chickens are easy to tame and are very calm and easygoing. They have a unique, frenzied appearance. and behave in a relaxed, laid down manner. Dominique hens go broody and are attentive mothers too.
Although they have ridiculous feathers, they still show their love and care for their younger ones. Since these chickens are small, they don’t need a ton of extra space in the chicken tractor.
Problems in Raising Dominique Chicken
This Dominique breed seems destined to sink into oblivion. Most of the chicken of this breed is calm and docile and have a steady demeanor; that’s why they are used as a pet chickens.
The docile nature may become dangerous for the flock some time because predators easily attack and kill them. Some of them are quite a bit aggressive and are known to be more aggressive than Rhode Island Red.
They have been known to kill small animals like cats, mink and even snakes. The roosters are very aggressive, especially during the mating season but are not aggressive to their keepers.
Care Tips for Dominique chicken
There are four major things we should check on raising this chicken breed – feeding, coop set up, run, and roaming-
- We should first think about their enclosure. These birds are free-range. They should have a free and safe place to go when they want. We should have plenty of space for these birds.
- Dominique needs proper feeding. Most of the chickens need 2 times more food a day.
- Give your chicken constant access to fresh water. We should take care of the water as we have to change the water if the water gets dirty as we know that chickens are dirty, so we have to change the water twice a day.
- We should provide proper coop heaters which are responsible for our survival.
Dominique is charming and delightful. Dominique is a non-aggressive bird that is content to either free-range or hang out with other girls in confinement. It is hard to beat as exhibition birds.
These have many offers in the way of gentle, quiet companionship. Dominique was so well-behaved. Many folks keep these Dominique as house chickens.
For the non-demanding and perpetually happy nature, they are a delight to look at; Dominique has it all.