Acquired: Breeder (non-professional, hobby breeder)
Florida, United States
Posted Oct 14, 2011
We obtained our two Dominicker hens for five dollars each two years ago and these hens are beautiful with their black and white barring of feathers. They are mistaken for Black Rocks a lot but differ in that they have a rosie comb versus a single comb. We did not raise these hens so I am not familiar with how long they take before they begin to lay. I have done research and most agree six months. They are a nice size meat bird and grow to six to 8 lbs at maturity.
In my experience, these are not the friendliest of our flock, in fact, my kids hate to put them in the coop because they are the ones that will bite you . Yep, not a peck but open beak looking for blood bite. They are also not the most intelligent birds either.Our birds free -range and are trained to come into the coop on command and if we ever have a bird that is missing it is usually one of these hens. They are very very stubborn when they decide to go broody and will find a very high out of the way place to do it. So make sure you have a ladder handy and some young flexible offspring of the homo sapien kind around.
They will go broody and sit on eggs and will make your life easier by hatching the chicks out for you but don't get ready to hand out "Mother of the Year " award to them they tend not to care about the chicks. Oh don't mess with them if they have eggs under them or have just layed an egg these gals will peck!
Are they hardy? Yes! They are great birds if you want eggs but do not wish to form a relationship with the birds and want to keep costs down. We had bought these birds in Missouri and had them in Arkansas. They had no problem with the cold and continued to lay eggs in the winter with no problem. We have never had a worm problem, and since they are not favorites with the roosters, feather loss is minimal , and they tend not to go broody for very long or very often. Our hens in the winter laid an egg every other day. We moved to Florida this year in May, so can we type hot weather? They had no problem with it . Although I believe they liked the cooler months better but they had more bugs in the summer. Their egg production stayed the same with an egg every other day no matter what the climate was.
Traveling with these birds is a breeze. They were in a cage for 15 hours (no eggs during that time) with food and water and when we put them into their new coop laid eggs! No ill effects at all.
This breed is not a cuddle chicken. If you want one of those pick another breed. If you want something pretty that eats insects in your yard, can count on to lay eggs, will hatch chicks that you will have to raise, low maintenance, hardy and a bird that you can eat then this is the hen for you. Just make sure you wear gloves when they are on the nest or put your hands in your pockets and dig out some patience and collect the eggs later.
Now some might not agree with my review but keep in mind this is my experience with two hens of this breed.
I apologize for the blurry picture that accompanies this review. This hen decided she would try her best to impersonate a donkey or a movie star running away from the paparazzi. (I really have to stop leaving my magazines in the yard)