One of the breeds on my wanted list that we were finally able to order this year. Will sex them once they are a bit older. At 4 weeks they look to be all females by the current feathers.
Medium to Large
6 - 8 lbs
Likes to range
Winter layer, good forager, famous for flavor
Hatching March to September.
One of the oldest known breeds, Dorkings are reliable layers, good meat birds, and very cold hardy.
Production: Dorkings are good layers, but have been prized as excellent table birds from the earliest times.
Temperament: Silver Dorking roosters are quite protective of their hens, but the breed overall is friendly, docile, and likes to stay close to home. One of the most frequently mentioned qualities about Silver Dorkings are the fact that the hens make excellent mothers, and have even been known to raise chicks of other breeds.
History: Dorkings are five-toed breeds. Ancient Roman texts mention birds that seem to fit the description of the Dorkings, and it is said that the Romans brought the birds to England. They are named after the English town of Dorking, where they took on the physical characteristics by which they are known today.
The town of Dorking became a production center for the chicken breed of Dorkings. The birds were so highly prized that it was extremely difficult for years to purchase a live bird. It may have even been illegal for breeders in the town of Dorking to sell their stock.
Silver Dorkings are beautiful, and practical birds. They will forage, but tend to stay near home. The hens are good layers, but will certainly go broody, and will hatch and raise chicks quite well. No one is sure when Dorkings first came to the United States, but by the time the American Poultry Association was formed, they were well-distributed across the country, and were first admitted into the Standard of Perfection in 1874.
Colors: Silver and black.
Livestock Conservancy Status: Threatened. More breeders are needed to bring this old and beautiful breed to healthy population numbers.
Body Type: Dorkings are heavy birds, with very large combs and very short legs.
Standard Weights: Rooster 9 lbs, Hen 7 lbs, Cockerel 8 lbs, Pullet 6 lbs
APA Class: English
The Dorking is a breed of chicken that is believed to have originated in Italy during the period of the Roman Empire under the reign of Julius Caesar. They believed it was the purist breed as it had 5 claws. It was introduced to Great Britain where much of its development took place. It appeared in the very first British poultry show in 1845. It has always been prized for its white flesh and its eating qualities.
The Dorking is a hardy bird and is quiet in nature. They are large foraging birds that require space as they are very active. They can become weedy if not given enough space. They are kept for both their eggs and meat and make good show birds. Their egg laying tends to be in the early part of the year. The eggs are of a good size and are white. The Dorking can take up to two years to mature and can live for up to seven years. This is a docile bird to keep. To keep them at a good weight and size they do need to be given a good quality feed. They can become very broody.
There are five standard colours for the Dorking - Silver grey, dark, red, cuckoo and white. The silver grey is the most commonly found. The silver grey hen is a delicate shade of silver grey, with darker grey pencilling. The dark is a darker version of the silver grey all but a black crescent on the salmon breast and back. The red is very dark. The white is pure white with no straw tinge. The cuckoo has fuzzy bands of grey and dark grey across each feather. All colours have red eyes, combs, wattles and earlobes with white legs and feet.