Dominique Chickens, Complete Easy Guide

According to legend, Dominique chickens are the oldest chicken breed in the United States. Settlers brought it to America, and it saved their lives during the early years of colonization.

They served as both egg producers and meat producers, and their feathers were even put to use stuffing pillows.

They weren’t treated any better than our hens are today, but instead had to fend for themselves when out on the range

Everything you need to know about Dominique chickens, from egg production to temperament to distinguishing them from barred rocks, and more, is covered in this article.

You may also want to read about the best chicken feed.

Breed History

Several scenarios have been proposed to explain where Dominique chickens come from. The name “Pilgrim fowl” comes from the legend that the Pilgrims brought the bird to the New World.

Saint Dominque, the former French colony in the country of Haiti, was also mentioned as a possible origin. This is the origin of the surname Dominicker.

Blue-spotted hen, old grey hen, pilgrim fowl, Dominic, and Dominicker are just some of the other names for this bird.

Although its ancestry and precise beginnings will likely remain a mystery forever, we do know that the early settlers relied heavily on this intrepid little forager.

Eastern American settlers have been familiar with this particular chicken breed since the 1750s, making it the oldest American chicken breed by a long shot.

In the beginning, there were no standards, so the original Dominique could have either a single or rose comb. The Dominique is a rose-combing breed that was standardized by the New York Poultry Society. The Dominique’s career has seen both peaks of popularity and near extinction.

The first decline began in the 1920s, when it was already old enough to have weathered the Great Depression and World War I. Because of its durability and efficiency, the Dominique was kept by many small farmers.

The second disaster occurred as the poultry business became increasingly mechanized and industrial. Like many other breeds, the Dominique began a slow but steady decline after being labeled “not productive” enough for the commercial industry.

Only four breeding flocks were known to exist in the 1970s. In order to save Dominique, the American Livestock Breed Conservancy successfully persuaded the flock’s owners to take part in a breeding program.

Thankfully, the Dominique’s threat level has been reduced to “watch” since their numbers have been steadily increasing thanks to renewed interest in keeping them as a pet or pet bird.

Dominique chickens


Dominique chickens have a rose comb, which is a flattened cushion comb, while Barred Rocks have an upright single comb.

Since rose combs are not affected by frostbite, they are a useful plant in the chilly Northern regions. A genuine rose comb will have what is called a “leader,” which is a small, slightly rearward-pointing spike at the very tip.

The second identifying feature is the Barred Rock’s barring, which is sharp, black and white with strong contrast between the colors. The contrast between the black and white feathers in the Dominique is muted, while the barring or cuckoo pattern in the former is more pronounced.

A brown egg layer can be identified by the red coloring of the comb, wattles, and earlobes.
The yellow or horn-colored beak is short and stocky. There is a hint of red in the eyes, making them a bay color.

The Dominique has a round body with a medium-length, moderate-width back. There is a 45-degree swoop to the tail, and the back is concave all the way up to it. The wingspan is substantial, but they’re always folded up neatly. Round and full characterize the breasts.

Boys typically have longer, more curved hackles, saddles, and sickles than girls do. The legs are short and stocky, with bright yellow feathers that are clean and unmuddled. Each foot has four individual toes.

Egg production

Eggs produced by these hens are moderate in size and a light brown color. Between 230 and 270 eggs per year is possible for them, which is about 4 eggs per week.

It is said that modern Dominiques can get broody at times; if this were not the case, the breed would not have survived past the colonial era.

Mothers have a reputation for being caring, nurturing caregivers to their young. When it comes to raising their young, they also have a very good track record.

Because of their innate ability to determine their gender, Dominique chicks can be easily sorted after they hatch.

In the case of Dominique chickens, the spots on their heads are white. The spots on females tend to be small and clustered, while on males they tend to be larger and less uniformly distributed.

Males have dark yellow/orange legs, while females have burnt orange/brown legs.

The head spot is more accurate than this method, especially when comparing different bird species.

Are Dominique chickens for you?

The Dominique is ideal for a household flock because of its friendliness and lack of aggression. A good option for kids because they don’t mind being carried around in your arms, despite not being a “lap chicken.”

Protect the Dominiques from any bullying that may arise from the more dominant breeds in your flock.

They’d thrive in a flock with other calm birds like Cochins, Orpingtons, and Polish.

In terms of care and attention, they require very little of their owners, making them ideal for novice chicken keepers. Another plus is that they develop rapi

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