Oklahoma, United States
Posted Mar 07, 2014
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.