Dominique chickens are the ideal dual-purpose chicken. Many chicken owners like to raise this unique chicken breed.
People keep them for meat and eggs, but they also use their feathers to stuff pillows. Most of the chicken keepers want to add them to their flock because of their multi-purpose use.
In this article, you will find out everything you need to know about Dominique chickens. This includes general features, history, lifespan, egg production, size, temperament, appearance, benefits, and problems with raising Dominique’s.
What is Dominique Chicken?
It is said that the oldest chicken breed in the US is the Dominique Chicken. 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 multi purpose chicken breed 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 from Dominique chickens are softer and are used as stuffing for pillows and mattresses.
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 first seen in the United States, especially in the northeast around Boston. After the Plymouth Rock breed, it was developed from Dominique’s in 1870.
The first timeline of decline was in the 1920s, where it survived its first depression during the first World War. Many people kept this chicken because it is hardy and saves money.
The Dominique chicken crisis happened second time because of the industrial revolution. This revolution, made the poultry industry more industrial and mechanical.
The American Livestock Breed Conservancy considered this Dominique chicken to be in critical condition in 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.
Even though it’s not known the exact origin of the bird, the 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 story of a French colony called Saint Dominique, now called Haiti, and it seems like the name Dominique came from this story.
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 gray hen
- Pilgrim fowl
- Blue Spotted Hen
Dominique Chicken Lifespan
Usually, Dominique chickens live for about 6-8 years, but this depends on how well they are taken care of. They have a good life expectancy as dual-purpose chickens.
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. Few Dominique hens 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 Dominique chicks 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 why people like this chicken breed. Dominique chickens only attack when they feel threatened.
This chicken breed is known for its calm, gentle personality. Dominique is a tough bird that can live in all kinds of weather.
The hens of this breed are more calm and friendly with chicken owners. The hens of this breed are independent and love to free range.
Color, Size, Appearance, Characteristics of Dominique Chicken
Dominique chickens have black and white stripes (bars) on their feathers. In the US, the black and white barred pattern is the only accepted color variety.
They look like Barred Rock chickens, but the major difference is Barred Rock has a straight comb and Dominiques has rose comb with spikes.
Dominiques are medium size chickens. Weights of hens and roosters will be approximately 5 to 7 pounds. The male and female will weigh around 7 and 5 lbs, respectively.
Bantam Dominique is also available, and the male one weighs around 1.75 lbs, and the female one weighs around 1.5 lbs.
The body of the chicken is well-rounded, broad, and medium in length. The wings are large, have round, full breasts, and have a whitish head spot.
Female chicks have small, concentrated spots, while male chicks have bigger, more spread out spots. Dominique chicks are auto-sexing, so they are easily classified after hatching.
Dominique chickens have a unique and attractive appearance. Light gray feathers may be present as they have dark and gray feathers. At six months of age, the hens of this breed start laying eggs.
Dominique can be easily recognized by its rose comb and barred feather pattern. This chicken has a mottled appearance because of the slate and light bars.
Dominique chicken has a contrast of not quite black or white color. Also, they have yellow legs with four toes. The skin is yellow, and they have bright red wattles, a red comb, and earlobes.
The long sweeping tail of roosters is beautiful, whereas the hens have plump breasts and high tails.
The rooster weighs 7 lbs, and the hen weighs 5 lbs. Dominique hens are good layers and lay 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 feathers. 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.
The eggs of Dominique chickens are smaller than the eggs of Barred Rock chickens, but they are the same light-brown color.
Benefits of Raising Dominique Chicken
Dominique is non-aggressive and gentle to children. These breeds are very easy to care for and are good for beginners who want to raise chickens. These birds grow faster than other birds 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 good mothers.
Although they have ridiculous feathers, they still show their love and care for their younger ones. Since these chickens are medium, 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 of Dominique chicken can become dangerous for them because predators can 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 they 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 be able to go somewhere for free-ranging and safely when they want to. We should have plenty of space for these birds.
- Dominique needs more 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 chickens. Dominique is a calm bird who is happy to either free-range or hang out with other birds in a cage. It is difficult to beat as an exhibition bird.
There are many offers in the way of gentle, quiet companion. Dominique was so well-behaved. Many poultry raisers keep the Dominiques as house pet.
It’s a delight to look at them, they are non-demanding and happy at the same time.
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