Breeds of Livestock, Department of Animal Science
Poultry Breeds - Dominiques Chickens
Origins: The Dominique breed was developed in New England from the fowl in the area. These were of the type predominating in the south of England and from which the Sussex and Dorking descended. The breed was generally known as Dominique except in the region of origin where they were known as Plymouth Rock and occasionally as Pilgrim Fowls. The differentiation between Plymouth Rock and Dominique was not made until 1870 when the management of the New York state poultry show ruled that only rose combed fowl of intermediate size could compete as Dominiques, and that all medium and large single combed fowl of this color would be known as Plymouth Rocks. A small single combed bird of this color was called a Dominique Leghorn. A great increase in popular interest began in 1875 with the "improved" type finding an enthusiastic response among exhibitors and farmers. The breed was never used commercially, and was eventually eclipsed on the farm by the gradual shift to "Plymouth Rocks" when the preferred type of "Dominique" had been transformed into the "Plymouth Rock."
Characteristics: The Dominique have many advantages besides their handsome appearance. They are hardy, do well on open range as well as in confinement, are generally calm by nature and are easy to work with and show. They hatch well, feather early, mature young, and are of moderate size. The females are good mothers, reasonably good layers of light to dark brown, and show less tendency toward broodiness than many other exhibition breeds. There are both large and bantam Dominiques. The Dominique is a medium sized bird with black and white barring over the entire body. The rose comb is characteristic. The heavy plumage not only protected the birds in cold weather, but provided material for pillows and featherbeds. The plumage coloration also made them less conspicuous to predators. They were expected to make a part of their living by foraging and to raise a clutch or two of chicks each year.
Standard Weights: Cock: 7 lbs; Hen: 5 lbs; Bantam Cock: 28 oz; Bantam Hen: 24 oz
Varieties: None (According to the APA)
Egg Shell Color: Brown
Uses: A dual-purpose breed, these birds were kept to produce brown eggs and meat. The Dominique is expected to lay around 100-150 eggs per year, dependant on the surrounding condition; for example: the weather or the level of comfort for the hen.
Status: While for many years the Dominique were very rare, they are no longer a "lost breed". There has recently been a revival of interest in them which has placed them in a unique category of their being uncommon enough to be interesting and unusual, but not so common as to be a "me, too" breed.
For additional information:
The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, Box 477, Pittsboro, NC 27312
"Dominique Chicken." The Livestock Conservancy. The Livestock Conservancy, n.d. Web. 24 June 2015.
Ekarius, Carol. "Chickens: Dominique." Pocketful of Poultry: Chickens, Ducks, Geese, Turkeys. North Adams, MA: Storey Pub., 2007. 64-65. Print.
Lewis, Celia. "Breed Profiles: Dominique." The Illustrated Guide to Chickens: How to Choose Them, How to Keep Them. New York: Skyhorse Pub., 2011. 82. Print.
Watt Publishing, 122 S. Wesley Ave., Mt. Morris, IL 61054 USA
Dominique Club of America, Mark A. Fields, Clark, Missouri.