Dorking chicken is one of the most ancient of all domesticated poultry breeds. It is a large size, dual purpose breed and the origin of Dorking chicken is a bit of a mystery. This chicken breed is believed to have originated in Italy during the Roman Empire period. They were well distributed in the America before 1870 and were admitted in to the American Poultry Association’s Standard of Perfection in 1874. Dorking chicken breed was considered as a fast grower with good conformation during the nineteenth century. But nowadays it is criticized as a slow grower compared to the modern fast growing chicken breeds.
Definitely, modern expectations of growth are now skewed toward the broiler production specialists. Although, Dorking chicken still possesses a good meat conformation and they are well suited to range conditions. Many of the modern poultry breeds derived from the Dorking chicken. For producing table birds Dorking cocks were used to cross on Indian Game chickens. They were also used for creating some new modern breeds such as the Buff Orpington and the Speckled Sussex chicken. They were introduced to Great Britain (they appeared in the very first British poultry show in 1845) where much of its development took place. Dorking chicken has always been prized for its white flesh and its eating qualities. Review characteristics, behavior and full breed profile of Dorking chicken below.
Dorking Chicken Characteristics
Dorking chicken is large size dual purpose bird. They are well known for their versatility as a good breed for both meat and eggs production. But they are mainly popular for meat production purpose. They are of short, five-toed legs and have a rectangular body. They have single comb and they are among the few chicken breeds with red earlobes. Dorking hens lay large size white shelled eggs. They can tolerate and perform well in almost all climates.
This chicken breed has white colored skin beneath their feathers. There are five recognized color varieties available of Dorking chicken. The color varieties are Cuckoo, Dark, Red, Silver-grey and white. On an average, an adult Dorking cock weights about 3.60-6.35 kg and a hen weights about 3.60-4.55 kg.
Dorking chickens are kept for both of their meat and eggs and they also make good show birds. They are quiet in nature and hardy birds. They are large foraging birds, very active and require much space. If they are not given enough space, then they can become weedy. Dorking hens tend to lay eggs in the early part of the year. They lay white shelled eggs and the eggs are of good size. This chicken breed take long time for maturing. Usually, the Dorkings can take up to two years to mature. They have an average lifespan of seven years. Dorking is a docile bird to keep and they can become very broody. Hens are great mothers. See full breed profile of Dorking chicken below.
Dorking Chicken | Breed Profile
|Breed Purpose||Dual Purpose|
|Breed Temperament||Friendly, Docile, Easily Handled|
|Breed Size||Large Fowl|
|Climate Tolerance||All Climates|
|Rarity||Rare (Silver-Grey Variety is Common)|
|Varieties||Cuckoo, Dark, Red, Silver-grey and white|
- Easy to handle
- Very friendly
- Good personality
- Great foragers
- Hens are great mothers
- Lay large eggs
- Very good meat quality
- Hard to find quality breeding stock (quite rare)
- Take long time to mature
- Not too good layer
Is Dorking Chicken Good for You?
Yes, Dorking chicken is good for you if you…….
- Want to raise some beautiful chickens.
- Are looking for some chickens which are friendly and very easy to handle.
- Are willing for keeping some heritage chicken breeds.
- Want to keep chickens for meat production rather than eggs.
- Want to produce large size white eggs.
- Are looking for such chicken breeds which go broody and hens are good mothers.
- Prefer chickens with white skin and looking for excellent meat quality.
- Are looking for such chicken breeds which are great foragers.
- Want to raise very hardy and active birds.