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Dominique Chickens #1 (History)
Dominique Chickens #2 (Looks)
Dominique Chickens #3 (Personality)
Dominique- Determine Sex After Hatch
More about Bantam Chickens
Types of Chicken Eggs We Sell
How to Incubate & Hatch Poultry Eggs (Part 1)
How to Help Hatching Babies (Part 2)
How to Brood Poultry (Part 3)
Make Your Own Poultry Incubator
Feed Comfrey to Chickens & Ducks

"A Guide to Better Hatching" Book
"Sexing All Fowl" Book


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.

Plymouth Rock, Barred Rock or Barred Plymouth Rock chickens look similar to Dominiques. Dominiques have staggered barring whereas Barred Rocks have crisp, parallel barring.

This photo is a hen eating comfrey. Then a photo of a hawk.

Feather Barring

Dominque colors are almost white (silver) and almost black whereas Barred Rocks are pure white and black.

The white stripes on Dominiques are wider than the black stripes. Whereas in Barred Rocks the two are the same width.

The photo to the far left is Barred Plymouth Rock feathers. The photo to the right of it is Dominique feathers.

Traits of Dominiques & Barred Rocks

Dominique fowl have a rose comb with a short upward curving spike. Barred Rocks have a single comb. A rose comb is less likely to get frostbite in winter.

Dominiques are smaller than Barred Rocks. Dominique roosters weigh 7-8 pounds; Barred Rock roosters weigh 7.5-9.5 pounds.

The photo to the left is a Dominique rooster. The photo right/top is a Barred Rock rooster.

Parts of a Rooster

Dominiques have angular, erect bodies. They look stately. Barred Rocks are less upright with a fuller body and neck.

Dominiques have long tails that are carried up high. They are full and flowing with long sickle feathers. The sickle feathers are wider than Barred Rocks.

Barred Rocks have a lower tail with shorter feathers.

Proud Looking Birds

The Dominique's tightly arranged feathers (heavy plumage) keep the birds warm in winter. Their soft feathers also provide luxurious stuffing for pillows, comforters, and featherbeds.

Dominiques carry their heads high up on well-arched, graceful necks. Their body is broad and full with long and full tail feathers that are held the highest of the American breeds.

Their legs and feet are yellow. Their beaks are short and stout.

There is a Bantam version of this breed.

This photo is a 7-month-old Dominique rooster.

Dominique Hen

Dominique hens weigh 5 to 6.5 pounds compared to 6 to 7.5 pounds for Barred Rock hens.

Dominique hens have a dish-shaped back whereas Barred Rock hens have an evenly sloping back. Dominique hens have a longer neck and back so are more refined looking than Barred Rocks.

Some old-time breeders feel that darker breeds of birds stay warmer in winter than lighter-colored breeds.

This photo is a Dominique hen taking a stroll in light snow.

American Dominique Male

"I was really happy to find your site as I did not want to buy from a big hatchery. I have found the Dominique to be a really gentle breed so much nicer than the Rhode Island Reds I had previously. I love the fact that they are the first American breed and worth preserving." -Ailish, Dighton, Massachusetts

"Thank you so much, i am very pleased with my chicks and hatch:) your tips help tremendously, and i have recommended my friends to you as well:)" -Gabriella, Bartow, Florida

This photo of a Dominique rooster was taken in 1919.

American Dominique Female

"Just wanted to tell you what fun I am having with the new Dominique girls. Sassy is acting like a lap cat. She actually lays down in my lap and goes to sleep. My other girls that are friendly like to be held and rubbed on their heads for a short time, but actually laying down and konking out from the head rubs for 20 minutes is a first for me. I was the one that had to wake her up and put her down! The other two hens are super friendly also and love affection. This breed of chicken is just awesome!" -Lori, Chesterfield, Virginia

This photo of a Dominique hen was taken in 1919.

Dominique Cockerels

Dominique cockerel The photo to the left is a 7-week-old cockerel.

The photo at the right/top is a 4-week-old cockerel. The photo at the right/bottom is a 10- to 12-week-old cockerel.

Dominique Pullets

The photo to the left is a pullet about 3 weeks old.

To the right a pullet 4 weeks old.

The color is a little off in the photo to the right since it was shot in a barn.

Dominique Cockerel and Pullet

The cockerel is on the left, the pullet on the right. You can see the pullet is darker. They are 7 weeks old.

Dominique Chicks

The photo to the left is a 1-week-old chick.

The photo to the right are 2-week-old chicks. You can see less down and more feathers in the older group.

Determining Chick Gender

Dominique chicks are sex linked, meaning the males and females look different at hatching.

A cockerel chick has a light and scattered spot of white/yellow on top of the head.

Pullet chicks have a spot that is more compact, solid and small. The shanks and feet of a pullet chick are darker and more shadowed.

Good for Feathers

From Colonial times to the early 1900s, their feathers were used to stuff mattresses and pillows.

The photo to the left is feathers of Dominique hens.

The photo to the right is Dominique rooster tail feathers.

Good for Meat and Eggs

The Dominques are a dual-purpose breed (meat and eggs), but are mostly kept for being good egg producers. Their eggs are flavorful.

Pullets start laying at about 6 months old. Hens average 230-275 small- to medium-sized brown eggs per year. The eggs vary a little in the shade of brown.

Dominiques are great birds for backyard poultry flocks and homesteaders. A wonderful American chicken.

Below are photos and stories about farming, chickens and Dominiques.
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.
I recommend the book "Holy Shit: Managing Manure to Save Mankind" by Gene Logsdon.

It is a down-to-earth book about properly managing manure so farms and gardens get the best productivity. Great for anyone with livestock: chickens, ducks, turkeys, donkeys, goats, cattle, sheep, horses, rabbits, etc.

"In our family we have a standard joke that every conversation, even around the dinner table, eventually winds up about manure. And Gene Logsdon, in his naughty and inimitable style, has captured the essence of soil building, pathogen control, food ecology and farm economics by explaining the elegantly simple symbiosis between manure and carbon. What a great addition to the eco-food and farming movement. Logsdon's deep bedding approach for livestock housing, elegantly explained and defended, is the primary fertility engine that drives all of us beyond organic farmers." óJoel Salatin, Author of "You Can Farm" and "The Sheer Ecstasy of Being a Lunatic Farmer"

Check out Gene Logsdon's blog, "The Contrary Farmer". It has insightful accounts of his farming and the downside of large agribusiness. Frequently humorous.

Dominique Chickens #3 (Personality)

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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