My Favourite Breed

Discuss a new breed every month. Tell us what you love or hate about a breed. Vote for the next 'Breed of the Month'

My Favourite Breed

Postby Hen-Gen » Tue Nov 28, 2017 4:25 pm

My favourite breed is the Dominique. They are hardy, easy to keep and prolific layers of eggs. This makes them ideally suited to the place in which I live.
They are thought to be the USA's oldest breed having descended from birds taken from England in colonial times. The breed was then developed in the area we now call Quebec. They have thick barred plumage, rose combs and yellow legs. This distinguishes them from Barred Rocks which have single combs and more crisply defined barring.
I should say though that I was originally unable to obtain Dominique hatching eggs so I developed my strain from crossings between Barred Rocks, Black Australorps and Columbian Wyandottes. They now breed true for the breed characteristics and look like Dominiques. To those who may be critical of this methodology I would point out that Lavender Leghorns, Lavender Wyandottes and Gold Laced Orpingtons have all been created in modern times from outcrosses to other breeds and nobody holds that these are not the breed to which they have been ascribed. Furthurmore outcrossing leads to enhanced vigour, fertility and disease resistance.
There is one other advantage to keeping barred or cuckoo breeds. On the years that I do not need to replenish my stock then I cross my hens to another self coloured breed, usually a Lavender Araucana. Because the barring gene is sex linked this gives sexable chicks, the cockerels being barred and the pullets black. This means I can dispose of the males at hatching and only rear the females. These are easy to sell because they will grow to lay green-shelled eggs. This next year I will be using a Gold Appenzeller to see whether.the Appenzellers head gear is inherited. Chicken breeding should always be fun!
So all in all a practical and excellent utility breed.
I look forward to reading of other folks favourites.
Hen-Gen
Regular Forum Contributor / Laying Well
 
Posts: 128
Joined: Mon May 15, 2017 5:12 pm
Location: Island of Fetlar, Shetland Islands

Re: My Favourite Breed

Postby Marigold » Tue Nov 28, 2017 7:35 pm

I really like the sound of your Lavender Auracana crosses, HenGen. I wish you lived a bit nearer, for when I have room for some newbies.
Is there any chance you could post some pics of the Dominiques? How many eggs per year do they lay, do you think? You say they're a utility breed, so are they good to eat? If so, do you rear some of the cockerel chicks as well? And how do they stand up to the climate on Fetlar, up there on the edge of the known world?
User avatar
Marigold
Moderator
 
Posts: 5341
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2011 6:27 pm
Location: Hampshire, U.K.

Re: My Favourite Breed

Postby Hen-Gen » Tue Nov 28, 2017 7:55 pm

The pullets from October to October lay about 300 eggs.
No, I've never reared the cockerels. The pure reed is sexable with about 80% accuracy by the leg colour method ie cockerels having clean yellow legs whereas the pullet chicks usually have some grey shading on the front of their legs. For this reason I don't usually rear them.
My hens live in a large shed with roof lights so most days they choose whether to come out or not. In fierce conditions they are confined to barracks.
Can't do pictures as I don't have the technology. (a really ancient I pad). But imagine a more lightly built Barred Wyandotte with less clear barring and a more upright stance.

Two neighbours have had birds from me and they are happy with their performance. But most birds are sold on the big island which has a population of circa 18,000.
Hen-Gen
Regular Forum Contributor / Laying Well
 
Posts: 128
Joined: Mon May 15, 2017 5:12 pm
Location: Island of Fetlar, Shetland Islands

Re: My Favourite Breed

Postby rick » Wed Nov 29, 2017 12:57 am

Do these look right Hen-Gen? (I nicked the images from Wikipedia)
...Thought better of putting up images - they are easy to find and are beautiful!
Looks like you have improved their egg laying productivity too.
Last edited by rick on Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
rick
Part of the Flock
 
Posts: 1106
Joined: Sun Aug 31, 2014 12:52 pm
Location: Warwickshire UK

Re: My Favourite Breed

Postby valeriebutterley » Wed Nov 29, 2017 7:37 am

Very interested in your description so looked them up, they are based on Plymouth rocks, but I prefer the straight Plymouth as I'm not keen on rosecombs, except on Indian game where they seem to be right,

My Plymouth rock, Gloria, seems to have all the characteristics of the Domininique but she was coddled in the cradle by two adoring 16 year old girls,
she was a lone hatch and I aim to get another two or three next year, she has started to lay which is brilliant, a huge pale brown egg almost cream.

Plymouth rocks are my 2nd favourite breed, posessive, friendly, chatty, tolerant, gentle, large and cuddly, Gloria loves a cuddle and she is so soft she is like a stripey cushion.
valeriebutterley
Regular Forum Contributor / Laying Well
 
Posts: 784
Joined: Tue Nov 23, 2010 3:08 pm
Location: N.W. Surrey

Re: My Favourite Breed

Postby Hen-Gen » Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:13 am

The Plymouth Rocks that I have kept are very calm breeds. This makes keeping them enjoyable. Just once I had an Exchequer Leghorn. Lovely markings but hard work!
Hen-Gen
Regular Forum Contributor / Laying Well
 
Posts: 128
Joined: Mon May 15, 2017 5:12 pm
Location: Island of Fetlar, Shetland Islands

Re: My Favourite Breed

Postby valeriebutterley » Thu Nov 30, 2017 12:35 pm

Leghorns are my 3rd favourite, pretty, light, scatty but friendly, and phenominal layers.
valeriebutterley
Regular Forum Contributor / Laying Well
 
Posts: 784
Joined: Tue Nov 23, 2010 3:08 pm
Location: N.W. Surrey

Re: My Favourite Breed

Postby MrsBiscuit » Fri Dec 01, 2017 11:54 am

Going against all the common sense reasons and breeds stated above, which I completely understand, my favourite breed is the LF black Orpington. I fell in love the first time I saw one, and the feeling has not worn off. I know they are overbred feathery ornaments, but to my eye there is nothing more beautiful than a stately LF black female orp free ranging on green, green grass :D

I have bred red Sussex and white utility Sussex as they are my native breed, to try to do my bit to preserve them, but they never captured my heart like the orps. My second favourite breed is the Poland, for their looks, character and egg quality. I want to try other crested breeds such as crevecoeur and thuringian, but that will have to wait till I am more settled. I also fancy having a go at Jersey Giants, there is just something about large black birds which really appeals!
MrsBiscuit
Regular Forum Contributor / Laying Well
 
Posts: 143
Joined: Wed Jun 12, 2013 12:02 pm


Return to Breed of the Month

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest