Dorking chicken is an ancient breed of poultry originating in Dorking, England. These birds are known for their distinctive five-toed feet, which were once dubbed “El Dorking”. Dorking chickens are considered a dual-purpose breed, meaning they can be used for both meat and egg production. Their flesh is tender and flavorful, making them a popular choice for roasting or braising. Their large, white eggs are also desired by many bakers and chefs.
In terms of size and shape, Dorking chickens are quite large and have a round, broad body. They have a deep, single comb atop their heads, with wattles and earlobes of a deep rose color. They boast a thick, white plumage with feathers resembling scales, and their legs and feet are a slate color. Dorking hens are known for their good mothering skills, with some hens adopting chicks from other breeds and raising them as their own.
Dorking chickens are active and docile, making them a great choice for backyard flock keepers. They are quite hardy and can adapt to a variety of climates and terrains. Many owners report the breed’s calm demeanor, making them easy to handle and great with children.
Dorking chickens have a slow growth rate and take around eight months to reach their full size. Reaching five to eight pounds, these birds are an excellent choice for smaller homesteads. As an added bonus, they are resistant to many common poultry diseases, including Marek’s Disease.
When it comes to diet, Dorking chickens can eat a wide variety of items. They do well on backyard foraging, and a good quality layer feed should be provided for their nutrition. To maximize egg production, oyster shell and other calcium rich supplements should be included in the diet.
Overall, Dorking chickens are a wonderful choice for both small and large flocks. They are easy to care for, produce high-quality eggs, and thrive in numerous conditions. If you are looking for a lovely, dual purpose breed for your homestead, Dorking chickens are an excellent choice.