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."
Dominiques 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, are early feathering, mature young, and are of moderate size. The American Poultry Association's Standard of Excellence indicates that cocks run 7 pounds; cockerels, 6 pounds; hens, 5 pounds; and pullets, 4 pounds. 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. Dominiques are also good meat birds.
While for many years Dominiques 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.
The Dominique is a medium sized bird with black and white barring over the
entire body. The rose comb is characteristic. A dual propose breed, these
birds were kept to produce brown eggs and chicken for the pot. 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.
For additional information:
The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, Box 477, Pittsboro, NC 27312
Dominique Club of America, Mark A. Fields, Clark, Missouri.