If you want to know all about Dorking chicken, this breed guide will help you a lot.
Dorking is an excellent ancient chicken that serves as a fantastic table bird and an egg-laying bird.
Information such history, size, color, appearance, benefits, and problems associated with raising Dorkings flocks are included in this guide.
Before you decide to purchase this chicken breed, please go through this informative article to see whether this breed will be suitable for your backyard or not.
- 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
What is Dorking Chicken?
Dorking is an old British domestic chicken breed. It is named Dorking for the town in Surrey in South East England.
This is an ancient British breed of chicken that was mainly used as a table bird in its history. Dorking chickens are known for their extra hind toe and relatively short legs.
It is believed that Romans first introduced Dorking chicken in AD 47 in 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 to the United States poultry show community in 1849. 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 believed to have originated from five-toed chickens brought to Britain by the Romans within the first century AD.
The Dorking is initially named for the market town in the home country, which is near South East England.
Unless Sussex replaced it in the early twentieth century, it is a meat breed supplied to the metropolis. 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.
None of these breeds existed at the time when the Second World War was on its decline stage. The Dorking club was formed again in 1970.
In 1874, the American Poultry Association added three colors, like silver-grey, white, and gray, to its Primary Standard of Perfection. They added red color in 1995, and three bantam varieties like silver, gray, and rose-comb were added in 1960.
Egg Production by Dorking Hens
Dorking hens produce eggs throughout the winter, unlike other breeds. The eggs are considered white or creamy. Read our list of chickens that lay colored eggs.
Dorking hens begin laying in the early part of the year and are capable of laying for about two to three years until they mature.
They usually lay medium to large-size eggs with a lightly tinted color. A healthy Dorking hen 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 baby chicks 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.
Dorking roosters are typically calm and docile, just like the hens. However, any breed of chicken will have some aggressive roosters.
Here is our list of best portable chicken coop ideas with DIY
But this breed is going extinct.
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 0.9-1.1 kg 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-gray variety has a large, bright red comb, but it is 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 good at producing both meat and eggs, but they are best known for their meat production.
They look like they are small and short, with five-toed legs and 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 kinds of weather. There are five recognized color varieties of this breed.
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.
If you’re looking for a breed of chicken that will provide you with a few fresh eggs a week 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
Dorking Chickens are in high demand, especially among dedicated breeders. It can be difficult to find purebred Dorking Chickens. 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 requires 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 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 yardbird that is friendly, lovable, and an excellent mom. These birds came from Ancient Romans, but today, they are becoming rare.
I hope this breed guide on Dorkings helped you learn more about them. Do you have any Dorking chicken in your backyard coop?