If you are eager to know all about Dorking chicken, read this complete breed guide.
Dorking is an excellent modern chicken that serves as a fantastic table bird and an egg-laying bird.
In this Dorking chicken complete breed guide, you will get complete information such as their history, size, color, appearance, benefits, and problems associated with raising them.
Before buying this chicken breed, go through this informative article to decide whether this breed will suit your backyard or not?
What is Dorking Chicken?
- 1 What is Dorking Chicken?
- 2 History of Dorking Chickens
- 3 Egg Production by Dorking Hens
- 4 Temperament of Dorking chicken
- 5 Lifespan
- 6 Color, Size, Appearance, Characteristics of Dorking Chicken
- 7 Benefits of Raising Dorking Chickens
- 8 Problems in Raising Dorking Chickens
- 9 Care Tips for Raising Dorking Chickens
- 10 Conclusion
Dorking is a British domestic chicken breed. It is named Dorking for the town in Surrey in South East England.
This is an ancient English chicken that mainly built its history as a table bird. Dorking has two significant characteristics, having an extra hind toe and relatively short legs.
It is believed that Romans first introduced Dorking chicken in AD 47 England. This chicken is considered a good winter layer.
The hens of this breed are excellent mothers and are broody. Dorking has red earlobes, which are uncommon in layers of white eggs.
You can see this chicken in white, red, cuckoo-colored, and silver-gray. They were introduced in 1849 on their first poultry show in the US. Gradually they were replaced by commercial hybrid meats, and now they are a rare breed.
The APA recognized it in 1847, and it is listed on ‘The livestock conservancy threatened‘ list.
History of Dorking Chickens
Dorking chicken is the oldest among all British chicken breeds. It is derived from five-toed chickens brought by Romans to Britain within the first century AD.
The Dorking is initially named for the market town in home countries which is near South East England.
It is a meat breed supplied to the metropolis unless Sussex replaced it in the early twentieth century. This chicken was shown in an exhibition at the London zoo in 1845.
Dorking was included in the Poultry Club of Great Britain in 1865 by William Bernhardt Tegtmeier. It was included as the first poultry standard.
In the late nineteenth century, various color breeds were formed. Dorking and Scottish Dorking are the two colored breeds.
As the Second World War was on its decline stage, none of these breeds existed. The Dorking club was formed again in 1970.
In 1874, three varieties like colored, silver-grey, and white, were added to the Primary Standard of Perfection of the American Poultry Association. They added red color in 1995, and three bantam varieties like silver, grey, and rose-comb were added in 1960.
Egg Production by Dorking Hens
Dorking hens produce eggs consistently throughout the winter rather than other breeds. The eggs are considered white or creamy. Read our list of chickens that lay colored eggs.
They usually lay medium to large-size eggs that are lightly tinted color. A healthy Dorking lays around 140-150 eggs per year.
Temperament of Dorking chicken
Dorking chickens are calm, friendly, and tolerant. They are broody and also good mothers because they raise their chickens well. The hens of this breed are caring for their chicks as well as chicks of other hens.
They don’t kick their babies out of their nest. Most Dorking chickens care for other hen babies that go out of the chicken coop. Dorking chickens are in the last of the pecking order.
Here is our list of best portable chicken coop ideas with DIY
But this breed is going extinct. Dorking hens lay eggs in the early part of the year; they can take up to 2 years to mature.
Dorking chickens have a life span of seven-eight years.
Color, Size, Appearance, Characteristics of Dorking Chicken
It has three varieties according to APA-
The size of a Dorking Chicken is around 8lbs. It is a bulky meat chicken with a weight of around 5-6 kg standard-sized roosters and 1-1.5 kg bantam roosters.
The standard size hens of this breed have around 3.5-4.5 kg, and bantam hens have 0.9-1.1kg weight.
They have a long back with a broad chest. They appear to be small due to their short legs, but they are good meat chickens.
Dorking is a strong chicken breed that has shorter legs. The white silver–grey variety has a large comb that is bright and beautiful but not suitable for cold temperatures.
The comb of Dorking is large and sometimes looks like a toddler. If you reside within the hemisphere, this white bird should be your first choice.
But it is one of the most endangered species having the fifth toe. It just hangs out on the back of Dorking’s foot.
Characteristics of Dorking Chicken
Dorking chicken is a very calm, gentle personality and is a good forager.
Dorking chicken is a large bird with a dual purpose use. They are versatile chickens that can produce both good meat and egg, but they are mainly famous for meat production purposes.
They appear to be small and short, with five-toed legs, and have a rectangular body. Dorking chicken had a single comb with very few chicken breeds with red earlobes.
Dorking hens lay large size white shelled eggs. They can survive and perform well in all climatic changes.
This breed has white-colored feathers and has five recognized color varieties.
Benefits of Raising Dorking Chickens
Dorking hens are great mothers as they are more protective and patient with young cockerels and pullets. It is perfect for every chicken enthusiast who needs good quality eggs and a good hen for their young chicks.
In case you’re seeking to opt for chickens to get a few fresh eggs weekly for personal use, this breed is perfect for you.
Dorking chickens are great foragers. They love to graze to find common worms and food in the yard.
Problems in Raising Dorking Chickens
They require more breeders- it is difficult to find pure Dorking Chickens due to the low number of devoted breeders. As such, hard & impossible are not the same, so you may find one of them near you with some effort.
Dorkings get dirty and messy faster than other chickens. On a tight program, chicken keepers do not have the time for unscheduled baths and cleaning rituals. This chicken breed takes time to mature as compared to other species.
Care Tips for Raising Dorking Chickens
Dorking chicken needs extra calcium to support strong eggshells if you find yourself with thin, brittle, or soft eggshells.
It will help if you put your growing Dorking pullets on a bit of diet at the age of 12-14 weeks so that their bodies can prepare themselves for egg-laying.
Dorking needs a warm, dry, and predator-proof place to roost at night. You need to allow 4 square feet of floor space per chicken inside the coop because they are free-range birds.
Read to make a predator-proof PVC coop
It is an older breed that has built a solid immune system over decades. Keeping our flock in clean conditions and sufficient space is essential to have the healthiest birds possible.
If you see any internal and external parasites, treat them as soon as possible. Please read our complete guide on chicken dewormers.
Dorking chicken is the oldest chicken breed in to all the other British chicken breeds.
It has a very calm, gentle personality and a good forager. It is a versatile dual-purpose bird that can use for both meat and egg production.
This is a pleasant yard bird that is friendly, lovable, and an excellent mom. These birds came from Ancient Romans, but today, they are becoming rare.
I hope this Dorking chicken complete breed guide helped you to understand more about this breed. Do you have any Dorking fowl in your backyard coop?
Share your experience in the comment section.