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DominiqueHenSweetie

Dominiques were brought to America early on and though they once faced extinction have recovered.  They will be my next acquisition for the poultry yard we call home.  The following is an exact account of the lovely chickens published in 1920.

“In color they resemble the Barred Plymouth Rock.  In size they are not so large, they have a longer tail, and a rose comb.  Dominiques are one of the oldest varieties and a pure American breed.  They are very hardy; chicks grow rapidly and mature early.  The pullets often begin laying when five to six months old.  The hens not being clumsy and heavy, make excellent setters and splendid mothers.  They seldom break an egg while setting.

American Dominiques are excellent layers of eggs.  The color of the shells is from a light to a dark brown, and the eggs are of good size.  The birds make splendid table fowls, many claiming them superior to all others.  They have a fine yellow skin, dress well, and are plump at all ages.  The birds are active, and are very gay, stylish and fine in appearance.

They are well adapted for confinement in yards, or if left to roam at will they are good foragers.  On account of their old-fashioned ‘dominecker’ color, they are adapted for city, country or village poultry keepers; the soot, smoke or dirt will not mar their appearance; their homespun clothes are always clean and attractive.

For general utility they have few, if any superiors.  In weight they are large enough for most people not as heavy as the Plymouth Rock and heavier than the Leghorns.  Having a rose comb and being a rugged and hardy fowl the American Dominiques are a splendid fowl for our northern climate.

Many people want a rose combed bird; they also want an intermediate one in size—something between the Leghorn and the Rock—one as active and prolific a layer as the Leghorn, yet carrying some of the meat properties of the Plymouth Rock.  To these people I would recommend the old Dominiques which have been my favorites for years.  As chicks they feather more quickly than the Rock, mature more quickly and are more active.

The present day Barred Rock is the result of crossing a Dominique male on Black Cochin hens.  The barring of the Dominique is not the same straight across the feather barring found in the Rock, nor does it show the same black and white contrasts between the light and dark bar.  The Standard calls for irregular barring and the color should be of a bluish tone.  On full blooded birds, the last bar at the tip of the feather is shaped like a new moon.

Double mating is not required as the Standard calls for a male one or two shades lighter than the female.  The Standard under color is slate.

The Standard weights are cock, 7 lbs.; cockerel, 6 lbs.; hen, 5 lbs.; pullet, 4 lbs.  The Dominique has red earlobes and lays brown shelled eggs like the Rock, but has much more plumage—more like the Leghorn.  W. F. Gernetzky.”  – “American Poultry Journal”.  July 1920.  Please do not republish without permission and inclusion of credit. ©

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