Other common names: Dominicker; Dominecker; Pilgrim Fowl
The Dominique Chicken played an important role in U.S. history as one of the first chickens to be kept by colonial Americans. During the early to mid 1800’s the Dominique was the most popular chicken in the U.S.. However, with the introduction of newer, more productive chicken breeds the Dominique declined in numbers, and today is kept in relatively small numbers by heritage breeders. There is also a smaller Dominique Bantam chicken breed.
In 1849, the rose comb barred chickens became recognized under the name "Dominique". In the mid-1870’s the American Poultry Association reclassified single comb Dominique chickens as a Barred Plymouth Rocks chickens and today, Dominique chickens must be rose combed. The name "Dominique" is often corrupted, and the breed is frequently referred to as the "Dominicker" or "Dominecker" instead.
Types: Bantam, Largefowl
Varieties (Rosecomb): Barred
Uses: Eggs, Meat
Bantam: 24 - 28 oz
Largefowl: 5 - 7 lbs
Personality: Mild mannered
Broody: Yes, usually after their first year
Preferred climate: Any
Handles confinement Yes
Egg production: Very good (4/week)
Egg color: Brown
Egg size: Extra Large
mellow disposition, cold weather, excellent meat, Heritage Breed, excellent forager, Dual purpose breed
mitelice infestation, irregular layer
excellent homestead, ALBC Conservation Priority, Pilgrim fowl, colonial times, speckled bird
Dominiques make up the vast bulk of my free-range flock. They may not lay as well as many (a small egg every other day) or get quite as big (my hens average a little over four pounds) but you can't beat these guys for economy. Spring through fall these birds do great on what they can forage off of my couple acres and a small meal at night.
They aren't the best choice for someone who's looking for a pet--but their flighty, skittish nature will keep them alive if you have hawks or raccoons ready to get at a unsuspecting bird. I've also found my birds to be uncommonly noisy, fine for a set up like mine with a lot of space between me and the neighbors, but maybe not so great for urban flock keepers..
From ColeAP Jun 24 2015 3:57PM
I was attracted to Dominiques because they are a heritage breed. They are a great dual purpose breed for eggs and meat. For this small homestead they work. I do get enough eggs and meat for the family but I am not drowning in surplus. I love the meat. They are not as fast growing as many other meat birds but that does not bother me. Again, this is for a family homestead and not on a commercial level.
My Dominiques have never tried to escape on their own but they also know what it means when you open the fence.
When I do sell chickens they are often mistaken for the Barred Plymouth Rocks, which can be frustrating because I really like to promote the heritage breeds and get information about them out there.
I started out with 10 and I find it is more pleasant to own a handful of these guys. They seem calmer and more productive in smaller numbers. They hardly cost me anything in feed though as they forage all day..
From farmgirl2015 Sep 6 2014 2:13AM
Pretty, But Not Practical
Being from the south, we call these beauties "Domineckers", and they are a staple of the southern chicken yard. It took me two tries to get my first half dozen. The first time, the poultry farm delivered Barred Rocks, which look almost the same. I might have kept those, but he delivered 15 and charged me a lot more than the price agreed per chicken. So loaded up 15 Barred Rocks in a little,bitty Toyota Celica, returned them, and bought my Dominiques from his competition.
Because I thought I had to have them. Every self-respecting chicken person in my family for generations had a Dominecker or 12.
In retrospect, maybe I should have kept the Barred Rocks. Of the many chicken breeds I owned, the Dominiques were the most likely to peck for no reason. One "hen" turned out to not be a hen at all, and as far as roosters go, this one was pretty angsty.
The hens were okay at egg laying, but not exceptional like the leghorns. The eggs are also smaller and it takes the hens forever to mature.
On the good side, they were great at fending for themselves, and ate very little feed because they preferred berries, bugs, weeds, and even snakes and worms. They tolerated heat and cold well, but were hard to train to go into the coop at night. Once they got their minds set on roosting in the trees, it was hard to manage them.
They aren't really a bad breed, but they are a little more work for what you get back. Their biggest asset is their attractive plumage and the richness of the eggs. They do make good meat birds though. For some reason, it seemed like they were easier to pluck than other chickens..
From JKinsey Mar 7 2014 2:35PM