Dorking chickens may grow a little slower than other modern breeds, but this heritage poultry breed produces a highly marketable, gourmet meat. This actually works to your benefit anyway. It will be very uncomfortable for the chicken unless you are doing something to protect that comb. If you choose to keep one of these gentle hens as a backyard pet, you can expect around seven years of calm, feathery companionship. We have several breeds of chicken, but our favorite are the Dorkings. This is why we chose them as the only chicken we breed for eggs and meat. In fact, this is a chicken breed that tends to work best when it is sent out there ‘free range’. As the name suggests, this chicken breed comes from Dorking in England. Dorking Chicken hatching eggs, baby chicks, and breeding pairs available. Dorking Qualities. They are well known for their versatility as a good breed for both meat and eggs production. This breed is well known for excellent meat qualities and winter egg-laying – both sought after qualities. Dorking chickens are one of the oldest English breeds of chicken, named after the town of Dorking in England. Though they were developed as a meat bird, they function decently as a dual-purpose chicken to those who choose to gather their eggs! For now, feel free to continue reading. What matters is that this is a chicken that has been around for a very long time, and for good reason too. These chickens also lay in the deep winter months. Special Characteristics: Dorking chicken is a quiet breed, educate, breed. When America was being colonized, the Dorking was hugely popular as a meat bird until the development of the Plymouth Rock, which…was bred from a cross of Dorking and Black Cochin hens (J. Robinson, 1921). If you’re looking for the perfect dual-purpose breed for your homestead, you’ll definitely want to consider the Dorking chicken. In its time the Dorking became a popular show bird in the UK making its first show appearance at the London Zoo, which held one of the first poultry shows, in 1845. Chicken connoisseurs of the past often requested Dorking for their meal. If, however, you want to raise chickens for meat, here are the best meat chickens to consider: Dorking – If you want calm birds, the Dorking is the Heritage chicken for you. Review characteristics, behavior and full breed profile of Dorking chicken below. Most other chicken breeds are going to really slow down their egg production when it gets a little bit cold, but the Dorking Chicken seems to be fairly consistent throughout the year. You will likely find that your other chickens will bully your Dorking Chickens. Very short legs. Dorking Breed Qualities They are primarily and historically a white-skinned meat breed, though they lay a fair few round white eggs. This chicken is mainly known for its high-quality meat production. If your chicken is wandering around ‘free range’, then it can pick up insects and things. However, if you have a decent specimen, and you live in a fairly large area, there will always be a couple of shows each year to show off your Dorking chickens. The Dorking Chicken has a single comb which means that it is not ideal to raise this breed in some of the colder temperatures. Category: Pet, eggs, & meat Origin: England Egg-laying ability: Moderate-good Broodiness: High Meat production: Good-exceptional Cold tolerance: Poor-good (depends on comb size) Heat tolerance: Poor-moderate Predator evasion: Good Foraging ability: Good Once the principal meat bird that supplied London for decades until it was replaced in the early 20th century by the Sussex breed of chicken. 1 was here. This is the reason why it was bred. They have a long back with a broad breast, but some enthusiasts will refer to the Dorking chicken as a boxy-looking breed. IN Britain, the Dorking was prized their ample delicate light flesh and ease of … Britain is credited for Dorking Chickens, although the ancient writings of Columella, a Roman farmer and writer, suggests that the first stock of the breed possibly originated in Italy and was brought to England by the legions of Julius Caesar in approximately 54 BC. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Cockerel: 8 lbs. Once established, Dorking and a few other villages raised prime poultry for the nearby London meat markets, among them the Dorking chicken famed for its tender, juicy breast meat. Dorking chicken is large size dual purpose bird. The Dorking is especially good for winter laying. There really isn’t any demand for the breed any more from meat farmers. The area supplied chicken meat to London markets and gained a reputation for its tasty chicken. The problem is that they do not get on with other breeds of chicken quite so much. If you can get it in one of the more unique colors, then it is going to be an even better breed to own. However, those short legs are supporting a rather large body. On this page, we are going to introduce you to this absolutely stunning breed, as well as give you a few ideas on what it is like to be raising this type of chicken. You may also like to read Wyandotte Chicken. This is, partly, due to the lower number of breeders that are producing this type of chicken. The Dorking Chicken is another chicken breed in a long line of chicken breeds to originate in the United Kingdom. It has sometimes been suggested that it derives from five-toed chickens brought to Britain by the Romans in the first century AD, but it is not known whether the Romans brought poultry with them, nor if they found five-toed poultry when they arrived. Although, that toe serves no function at all. There are concerns whether the Cornish rock is genetically modified to produce large meat but the fact is that the genes are not altered. Dorking chickens are an excellent breed for homesteading and sustainable farming with some characteristics that aren’t found in just any chicken. Leg of a Dorking Rooster; very dark chicken meat full of flavor. However, unluckily for the chicken, commercial chicken farms have found a better breed to work with. You can just admire the beauty of this chicken as it runs around. Characteristics of Dorking Chicken Breeds. Size and Weight. Best Dorking at the Federation 2011. Dorking chicken facts. As they migrated from Italy, they brought with them livestock, one of these being the Dorking chicken. See why you should add Dorking to your flock! Stay tuned for the first newsletter in the morning, straight to your inbox. Like chickens the Romans had, the Dorking Chicken actually has a fifth toe. It is a true foundation breed with important influences in many of the other British, French and American breeds. Dorking chickens are usually asked for by name. Traditionally, the Dorking Chicken was mostly used for meat purposes. Enlarge. A matured Dorking roosters weigh about 3.60-6.35 kg and the hens weigh about 3.60-4.55 kg. Standard Weights Cock: 9 lbs. This chicken has short legs. Dorking Chicken hatching eggs, baby chicks, and breeding pairs available. They are good layers (about 5 medium size eggs per week) and great producers of meat. The real thrill of the Dorking Chicken is that it tends to work well during the winter months. And this is because the meat it produces is of excellent quality. This is important, because this is a larger chicken, which means that it is going to be eating a lot! However, we do know that it is likely one of the oldest, if not the oldest, chicken breeds in the country. Temperament and Behavior. In this post, you’ll learn where you can find the different varieties of Dorking chickens. They make a quiet place, noise popping squeaks. It was the principal meat breed supplied to the metropolis until it was displaced by the Sussex in the early part of the twentieth century; it also became popular as an exhibition bird. Nestled in the foothills near Mount Hood. That being said, if you have these as a backyard chicken, they are going to make a tremendous meat source. Since the Dorking is a larger chicken, you can expect roosters to reach 9 pounds and hens to hit 7 pounds. To be honest, it doesn’t matter all that much. A chicken being great forager it means that if it gets lost to know its way back and to be observant of threats and to recognize friend from foe. That is the good old Sussex chicken which, incidentally, comes from exactly the same area that the Dorking comes from. The most interesting part is that, a total absence of the fifth toe means automatic disqualification of the fowl from a show. Not only will they provide eggs and meat for your family, but these birds The Dorking chicken breed is well-natured, and it can be used both for meat purposes, as they have high-quality meat, and egg production, as they lay up to 190 medium to large-sized eggs per year. The Dorking is among the oldest British chicken breeds. Dorking chickens are named after the English town of Dorking and mare best known for their tender, fine-textured white meat. Dorking chickens: docile, delightful, and delicious—that is, if you have the heart to eat one. The larger chickens are mostly meat, and the breeders haven’t really focused on ensuring that the eggs that are produced come through regularly. In fact, this is one of the main reasons why people buy the Dorking nowadays. The Plymouth Rock was shown in the Dorking class for many years. Since the white Dorking chicken has a rose comb. The Dorking (English Class) is a dual-purpose bird traditionally used for the production of white shelled eggs and white-skinned meat. The Dorking is one of the friendliest, tastiest and oldest of all the breeds of chickens. It is distinctive having an extra hind toe. The American Poultry Association (APA) recognizes the White, Silver Gray, Colored, Red, and Cuckoo Dorking. This may not actually seem like a lot, but if you have ever raised a larger chicken breed before, then you will know that the eggs are not really a focus for the breeds. The Dorking chicken eggs are medium to large and they are white or tinted in color. Dorking Chicken Meat. This doesn’t mean that such a market doesn’t exist – it’s just a “niche” that only the smaller farms can afford to cultivate. The Dorking chicken is one of the oldest breeds dating back to ancient rome. Silver Gray Dorking chicken (single comb). It’s origin is also USA, where the Cornish strain was crossbred with Plymouth Rocks to produce a large chicken for meat production. One of the main reasons as to why we believe the chicken was brought over during the Roman era is due to a rather unique quirk in the look of the chicken. They are prized for their tasty white meat and a gourmet favourite. Even though they appear small, due to their short legs, they are quite meaty. Disclosure. Dorkings are a … According to the breed standards, the Silver Gray Dorking should have silver-white neck and saddle, free from straw tinge or any markings. It’s a non-aggressive bird that is great for both kids and other pets, and you’ll find the breasts and wings of the Dorking … That is how useless that toe actually is. It is rare that you will get a ‘bad apple’ with this breed, to be honest. This is an ancient breed of chicken that was developed from birds believed to have been brought to Britain by the Romans. This, sadly, has had the impact of making the Dorking incredibly rare. The Standard of Excellence in Exhibition Poultry included the Dorking in its first poultry standard in its publication in 1865. Obviously, we would always try and recommend that you get yourself a Sussex chicken if you can, but if you want something that is a bit more ornamental, while at the same time producing some fantastic meat, then the Dorking Chicken is going to be fantastic for you. Though the hens have a tendency to go broody, they usually lay at least 3 medium-sized, white eggs a week. Keep this in mind if you want to raise this amazing fowl for showing. The number of eggs that the Dorking Chicken can pump out will average at about 160 per year. Despite their size and being very active, these chickens are ridiculously friendly and docile. Of course, you do not have to send it off to shows. Dorking Chicken Eggs. It is just… there. The Dorking excels as a quality meat producer. This chicken breed is one of the oldest chicken breeds around and it comes from the United Kingdom. They are named for the city in the area, once called Darking. The Dorking chickens allow other, tougher, chicken breeds to walk all over them. Have you seen how amazing the Silver Gray Dorking looks? Some historians describe the popularity of the Dorking chicken as “love at first taste.” Modern commercial poultry growers can’t afford to consider taste, because the vast majority of buyers have repeatedly demonstrated an unwillingness to pay extra for better flavor in any type of meat. These are large and dual-purpose breeds. Overview The Dorking Chicken is one of the oldest pure British breeds and is named after the southern county of Dorking.A Roman writer described birds with five toes of the Dorking Chicken type at the time of the invasion by Julius Caesar. However, beyond this, we do not know much about the origins. However, unluckily for the chicken, commercial chicken farms have found a better breed to work with. Interestingly, there does seem to be a little bit of evidence that this chicken was either bred during the Roman era or, more likely, it comes from chickens that were brought over during the Roman era. By today’s standards they mature slowly, but most agree justify the wait. So, either try to keep all Dorking Chickens, or opt for one of the various breeds that works well with the Dorking. The Dorking originated in the southern home counties in south-east England, and is named for the market town of Dorking, in Surrey, from where birds were sent to the markets of London. These birds are also frequently raised for eggs, producing up to 140 large white eggs each year. Dorking chicken has always been prized for its white flesh and its eating qualities. These are the APA’s recognized varieties of this chicken: The silver gray Dorkign chicken is the most common and the most famous variety of this fowl. Weighing in at around 8lbs, the Dorking is a hefty meat chicken. That is the good old Sussex chicken which, incidentally, comes from exactly the same area that the Dorking comes from. They make great backyard pets as well as hardworking additions to the small farm. We are located in beautiful Damascus, Oregon. However, they are the dual purpose breeds and can lay 150-180 eggs per year. Dorking chicken is a species that is used mainly for the production of its meat. Photo: Cuckoo Dorking owned by Victoria Roberts. We waited two days to cook one of the chickens, to let the soul rest as my dad would say. In shape, the Dorking is best described as rectangular with the body being carried horizont… Along these lines, if you become connected to your fowls, raising a Dorking as a meat chicken may not work very well for you. In heritage chicken meat taste-offs, they are usually in the top three and usually win. There have indeed been studies on the “most delicious” chicken breeds, but nothing recent. Chickenmag.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. References: Chicken Breeds and Varieties (A2880), John L. Skinner, University of Wisconsin-Madison "Dorking Breeders Club." We have no idea if the fifth toe has ever served a function, we just know that the Dorking Chicken simply doesn’t use it. It was developed for its especially fine quality meat. See why you should add Dorking to your flock! Dorking Chicken Facts This chicken is calm and friendly Hen: 7 lbs. The White Dorking chicken, for instance, is pretty much close to extinction. Dorking Chicken Eggs are large and white. Having long and massive body they can weigh up to 14 pounds. By Queen Victoria’s reign (1837-1901), Dorkings were one of the most sought-after breeds in England. Dorking Chicken Characteristics. Nowadays, the Dorking Chicken is really not being used much in shows. It is a five-clawed chicken breed that is distinct and unique from other chicken breeds, which only have 4 toes, and they were initially used as meat producers only. About Turken Naked Neck Chickens: Is it a Turkey or a Chicken? 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Olive Egger Chickens: Enchanting Green Egg Laying Chicken Breeds, About Rhode Island Red Chickens: One of the Most Popular Breeds, Cubalaya Chicken: The Showy Bird from Cuba, Croad Langshan Chicken: A Dual-Purpose, Asiatic Breed. Dorking Breeders Club of North America. They are recognized to be quiet, neighborly, and open-minded; extraordinary characteristics, all the same not all that good on the off chance that you have forceful fowls in your group, similar to the Cornish chicken. Dorkings have a tender, fine-textured, flavorful white meat. [8] Dorking Chickens Make Great Foragers In order for a hen or a rooster to be called a great forager they need to have something more than the regular worm and food finding in the run. Traditionally, the Dorking Chicken was mostly used for meat purposes. So, it is a surprise to see that the Dorking Chicken is able to pump out so many eggs each and every year. It doesn’t even touch the floor when the chicken is walking. 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