Dominiques are one of America’s oldest chicken breeds. They were originally brought here from England and were common on American farms up through the 1800s.
Qualities of the Dominique
If you’re looking for a sustainable breed of chicken, and particularly if you have plenty of room to let your chickens free range, there are several good reasons to consider the Dominique:
- Foraging – Dominiques are well known for being good foragers. They will actively search out and eat insects and seeds, which cuts down on garden pests and reduces feed costs.
- Broodiness and rearing baby chicks – Dominique hens often go broody and generally make good mothers.
- Brown egg layers – Dominiques are moderate layers of brown eggs. The eggs tend to be medium in size or smaller.
- Meat – Dominique roosters reach about 7 pounds at maturity. This is not as large as some of the other heavy breeds, but big enough for a good meal. Hens are about 5 pounds at maturity.
- Cold Hardy – Dominiques have rose combs and fluffy, heavy plumage, which makes them well suited for cold climates. They also lay well through the winter.
The Dominique and the Barred Plymouth Rock
Originally, Barred Plymouth Rocks, or Barred Rocks, as they are commonly known, were partially derived from the Dominique. Although both breeds share similarities in their plumage coloration, they are distinct from one another.
Below are some of the differences:
- Comb Style – Dominiques have a rose comb. Barred Rocks have single combs.
- Plumage Pattern – the barred pattern of the Dominiques’ plumage is wider and more uneven than that of the Barred Rock.
- Tail Length – Dominiques have a longer tail than Barred Rocks. This is true of both roosters and hens.
Video of Baby Dominique Chicks
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Other Names for the Dominique
The Dominique is also known as the Dominicker, Pilgrim Fowl, Puritan Fowl, or Plymouth Country Fowl.
We’d like to hear from you. If you’ve raised Dominiques, please leave us a reply letting us know what your experience with them has been.