Dominiques, sometimes called Dominicker or Pilgrim Fowl, have roots based in North America during the colonial period. They are considered to be America’s oldest chicken breed. Their ancestors are what helped the very first settlers to the Thirteen Colonies survive their first winters here. They were America’s all around dual purpose bird for both meat and egg production but their feathers were also used to stuff pillows! They were the epitome of foragers because they primarily survived on what they could find themselves as settlers just didn’t have the means to feed them. Like the earliest settlers, they had to fight to live and find their primal instincts to thrive. During the Great Depression and World War I many farms and small families kept Dominiques for their thriftiness to survive on hard times.
Dominiques have rose combs which are resistant to frost bite. Dominiques have a staggered barring that is similar to cuckoo patterns. The contrast isn’t as crisp as a true barred bird like the Plymouth Rock. The black is grayer and the white is an off white which makes for a “fuzzier” pattern. Legs and feet are yellow and free from feathers. Legs are also a little shorter compared to most breeds. The overall build and shape of the birds are broad and stout.
Modern day Doms have retained their instincts to forage. They still enjoy their time free ranging. Hens are sweet, friendly, and docile. They’ll quickly learn to follow you around for treats. Cock birds can show minor aggression to strangers but not as much to their flock keeps, so a well socialized bird is important for any families planning on keeping these roosters in their flocks. Hens will go broody if allowed and make wonderful, attentive mothers. Chicks are auto sexing too! All chicks will have white spots on their heads, however, pullets will have small, concentrated spots. Little cockerels will have spots that are more diffused and more scattered around the head.
Dominiques make for an all around bird ideal for self sustainability and family bird.
Hens lay 230-270 medium sized brown eggs a year.
Cocks mature to 7 pounds.Hens grow to 5 pounds