Chickscope

EXPLORE
ROOSTS
SCHOOLS
SEARCH
HELP
NEXT UNIT NEXT PAGE UP CATEGORY PREVIOUS PAGE PREVIOUS UNIT

Standard Varieties of Chickens:

Dorkings


This English bird is one which may be considered an ideal bird for general purposes. It is a hardy fowl and can stand almost any amount of cold weather, providing the ground is not damp. FIG. 33. - Silver Gray Dorking cock. This is proved by the fact that they do well in the northern part of Scotland and in the extreme north of Ireland, among the Cumberland Hills, and in other places equally as cold and exposed. This should be remembered by those who contemplate raising them, that the soil must not be damp if success is expected with them. The Dorking (fig. 33) is one of the oldest of domestic fowls, if not the oldest. There are no definite records to show when it first lived in England, or whence it came, but the supposition is that it was carried to England by the Romans, who evidently possessed fowls of similar characteristics.

The chief distinctive mark of the breed is the presence of a fifth or supernumerary toe, springing behind, a little above the foot and below the spur. It has been sought by various writers to deprive Dorking of the honor of being the original and principal rearing place of this justly celebrated variety, and it is asserted that the true Dorking fowls are raised at Horsham, Cuckfield, and other places in the Weald of Surrey, and that the ancient and superior white fowls from Dorking are a degenerated race compared with the improved Sussex breed. The feature in which this bird is most popular is its table qualities. The flesh is white and very delicate in texture. It is claimed by many to equal if not excel the French varieties. The broad, deep and projecting breast of the Dorking admirably fits it for table purposes, and in the respect it is conceded by some the rival of the Indian Games. As layers the Dorkings are good, and are careful sitters and attentive mothers. They are splendid fowls for the farm and are profitable for practical purposes.

There are three varieties of Dorkings - the White, Silver Gray, and Colored. The White Dorking is really the purest blooded of the three, as for years this was the only variety which produced invariably the fifth toe, although the Colored and Silver Gray varieties seldom fail to breed this peculiarity. In color the White Dorking is of clear, unblemished, glossy white. The comb and wattles are a bright-scarlet red; the legs are either white or a delicate flesh color.

Silver Gray Dorkings are beautiful in plumage. The head of the cock is silvery white; hackle, pure silvery white, as free from stripes as possible; comb, face, earlobes, and wattles, bright red; beak, horn or white; eye, orange; breast, thigh, and underparts, black; back, shoulder coverts, saddle and wing bow, pure silvery white; coverts, greenish black; primaries, black, edged with white; secondaries, part of outer web forming wing bay, white; remainder of feathers forming wing butt black; tail, greenish glossy black; legs, feet, and toe nails, white. The eye, beak, comb, face, wattles, legs, feet, and toe nails of the hen are the same as in the cock; head, silvery white, with slight, gray markings; hackle, silvery white, clearly striped with black; breast, rich robin red or salmon red, shading off to gray in the lower parts; back, shoulder coverts, saddle, wing bow, and wing coverts, bright silver gray, with minute pencilings of darker gray on each feather, the shafts of the feathers white; primaries, gray or black; secondaries, gray; tail, gray, of a darker shade than body; quill feathers, black.

Colored Dorkings differ from others only in color, the general color of male being black and straw color, and the female is marked with black and mixed gray, with breast of dark salmon edged with black. The combs of Dorkings differ in the three varieties; the White has a rose comb, Silver Grays have single combs, and Colored Dorkings may have either single or rose combs, but single is preferred.

The standard weights for Dorkings differ. The weights for Whites are: Cocks, 7 pounds (3.4 kg); hens, 6 pounds (2.7 kg); cockerels, 6 pounds (2.9 kg); and pullets, 5 pounds (2.3 kg). Silver Grays: Cocks, 8 pounds (3.6 kg); hens, 6 pounds (2.9 kg); cockerels, 7 pounds (3.2 kg); and pullets, 5 pounds (2.5 kg). Colored: Cocks, 9 pounds (4.1 kg); hens, 7 pounds (3.2 kg); cockerels, 8 pounds )3.6 kg); and pullets, 6 pounds (2.7 kg).


FOR FURTHER READING...

The first two images below come from the Oklahoma State University Department of Animal Science's Poultry Breeds pages. The third image is from the FeatherSite, "an on-line zoological garden of domestic poultry". The Dorking page at Oklahoma and the Dorkings page at FeatherSite contain further information about this breed's history and more images of these fowl. Clicking on each image takes you to the page specifically about that particular variety.


White Dorking Silver-Gray Dorking Silver-Gray Dorking Hen

Image Credits (from left to right): Copyright © 1996, Oklahoma State University Board of Regents; Copyright © 1996, Oklahoma State University Board of Regents; Courtesy of Barry Koffler

Please note: These links point to pages that are being served off of the Oklahoma State University's web server and off the cyborganic.net web server, which are not part of the Chickscope project. Because of this, the pages may be missing or corrupted, and control of this is generally out of the hands of the Chickscope development team.

- Page 23 of 47 -

NEXT UNIT NEXT PAGE UP CATEGORY PREVIOUS PAGE PREVIOUS UNIT
FROM EGG TO CHICK REFERENCES SOFTWARE STANDARD VARIETIES OF CHICKENS SELECTED WEBLINKS HOME Copyright (C) 1998 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign