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All About the Dominique Breed

Updated: Feb 5


Dominique Chicken Breed
Photo: My Pet Chicken

Today we’re going to talk about a breed that looks so much like the Barred Rock, it’s almost hard to tell the difference. In fact, you have to look pretty close at their combs to tell them apart!


Barred Rocks have a single comb while Dominiques have a rose comb. Their feather patterns differ a bit as well, but you have to look pretty close to see that. I have Barred Rocks and I love them!  But I look forward to having a Dominique or two as well.


History of the Dominique Breed

The Dominique is a beautiful heritage breed. Striking black and white feathers with a bright red rose comb and waddle, they will sprinkle your yard with beauty. Thought to have been brought over by colonists from southern England, Dominiques are considered the oldest breed in America. According to the Livestock Conservatory, “They have also been known as the Dominico, Blue Spotted Hen and the Old Gray Hen. However, they arrived, they have been in America since at least the 1750s, and were a popular dual-purpose bird. The Dominique was bred plentifully on American farms as early as the 1820s.”

 

Traits of Dominiques

Dominiques are a perfect family chicken. They are hearty, docile and friendly. They do well in both the heat and the cold. And a huge plus is that they will average around 250 eggs per year! They would be a great breed to add to your beginner flock. They get along well with other breeds and aren’t any noisier than a normal chicken.


Dominiques’ lifespan is typically 6-8 years, but this obviously depends on its living conditions and care. Their rose comb makes them a great winter hearty bird because it isn’t easily susceptible to frostbite. This breed will lay really well the first two years. After the first two years, their egg production declines a bit every year. Dominiques’ eggs are light brown and small to medium in size. Dominiques can go broody, but not like some breeds. They are sometimes used as dual-purpose birds but are mostly known for being egg layers. The roosters have beautiful tail feathers and stand upright.


Dominique Chicken Breed Eggs
Photo: Cackle Hatchery

My Experience with Dominiques

One thing I have learned while raising our backyard chickens is that chickens have their own personalities! No matter what the statistics tell you, they will be their own chicken! Hahaha! That’s been the most fun for me. Getting to know my flock as pets has been so life-giving. It’s been one of my very best “yes’s”.


We had two Dominique roosters with our very first flock 17 years ago, and they were very protective of their ladies. After a showdown with our 2-year-old son, they got to move to a different home. But overall, the Dominique is a very docile and friendly breed. Again, it all comes down to their individual personalities.


Dominique Chicken Breed
Photo: BackYard Chickens

If you’re planning for your spring chicks like I am, I hope you’ll consider the Dominique!

 

Until next time,


 –The Wing Lady

 

 

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