Nantahala Farm & Garden in North Carolina
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How to Order Chickens, Chicks or Eggs
Types of Chickens We Sell- Overview
Dominique Chickens- Detailed #1
Dominique Chickens- Detailed #2
Dominique- Determine Sex After Hatch
How to Order Ducks, Ducklings or Eggs
How to Incubate & Hatch Chicken/Duck/Turkey Eggs (Part 1)
How to Help Hatching Babies (Part 2)
How to Brood Chicks, Ducklings, Turkey Poults (Part 3)
Buy Bantam Chicken Hatching Eggs
Feed Comfrey to Chickens & Ducks: Reduce Food Costs

DOMINIQUE CHICKENS

 

America's First Chicken

A rare, heritage breed.

The exact origin of the American Dominique chicken is not known, but they came from European chicken breeds and later in its refinement, some Asian breeds. They were probably brought from southern England to New England in Colonial times.

The name "Dominique" probably came from birds imported from the French colony of Saint-Domingue (Haiti). Early names of these poultry include Blue Spotted Hen, Old Grey Hen, Pilgrim Fowl, Dominico, Dominic, Dom, Dominecker and Dominicker.

Dominique fowl was common on American farms as early as the 1820s, where they were kept as a dual-purpose (egg and meat) chicken. They were popular all during the 1800s and found throughout the United States.

In 1871 the New York Poultry Society decided that only rose combed Dominiques would be the breed standard. The single combed Dominiques were folded into the barred Plymouth Rock breed- a larger breed common in New England which were created by crossing large, single comb Dominiques with Java chickens. In 1874 the Dominique breed was officially admitted to the American Poultry Association's Standard of Perfection.

The above photo is Dominique chickens, Banty chickens, and Ancona ducks.

Almost Extinct by 1970

Dominique chickens The Dominique was popular until the 1920s but then interest decreased. The breed survived during the Great Depression of the 1930s because it was hardy and easy to keep. It was a great survival chicken.

By the end of World War II in 1945, as the large-scale poultry industry began to increase, the Dominique again declined. Small mom and pop farms decreased as food commercialization increased.

By 1970 there were only four known flocks owned by: Henry Miller, Edward Uber, Robert Henderson, and Carl Gallaher. According to reports by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, from 1983 until 2006 Dominiques steadily increased in numbers.

As of 2007, they were once again beginning to decline. However, populations may increase as more and more people become interested in self-sufficient living and the preservation of heritage poultry.

They are categorized as "Watch" on the Conservation Priority List of the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy.

The photo to the right is some Dominique hens enjoying a dust bath they created.

Physical Characteristics

The Dominique chicken is a medium-sized black and white barred "cuckoo" patterned bird. The pattern is called barring or hawk coloring. It makes the Dominique less visible to predators.

Dominique fowl have a rose comb with a short upward curving spike. Plymouth Rock or Barred Rock chickens look similar to Dominiques. One difference is that Barred Rocks have a single comb. Dominique have staggered barring whereas Barred Rocks have crisp, parallel barring. Dominque colors are almost white and almost black whereas Barred Rocks are pure white and black.

Dominique cockerelThe Dominique's tightly arranged feathers keep the birds warm in winter and provide plenty of feathers for pillows and featherbeds. Dominiques carry their heads high up on well-arched necks. Their body is broad and full with long and full tail feathers that are held the highest of the American breeds. Their legs are yellow.

The roosters average 7 pounds, and the hens 5 to 5.5 pounds. Roosters are lighter in color than hens. There is also a Bantam version of this breed.


: "Calm and Self Reliant Chickens", "Broodiness in Hens", and "Good for Meat, Eggs and Feathers".

The photo to the right is a Dominique cockerel a few months old on the roof of his chicken hut.

This is a Dominique pullet about 6 months old in comfrey and stinging nettle. Another hen is behind her. All farm animals love comfrey.
 



This and the next photo are Dominique pullets about 3 months old.
 
 

This is a wild photo of Dominique hens dust bathing together. There are 6 hens in there!
 
This is a chart of the relative egg production of a hen over 10 years.

The first year is considered to be 100% and then each year thereafter the percent goes down. The first few years hens are very good layers.

I have an 8-year-old Brabanter hen named "Friendly" who I keep as a pet with the rest of my chickens. She lays about 5-6 eggs a year, all in the spring. Usually hens live to be about 8-15 years. Though I heard about one hen who was 17 years old.
Here is a picture of "Friendly" the Brabanter hen. She is broody. Those are Dominqiue chicks with her that she hatched. She decided to sit on the eggs of other hens. Friendly and her chicks are happy together. She is a very good mother.

 
Nantahala Farm in the Mountains of Western NC
Macon County (close to Cherokee, Graham and Swain Counties)
Topton, North Carolina 28781
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By appointment only. Please email or call before coming over.

828-321-9036
Please call between 8 am and 9 pm Eastern time, any day.
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