Thursday, April 10, 2014

Why We Raise American Dominiques

Been thinking about getting chickens? Are you struggling to pick a breed for your small homestead or mini farm?

At first, I was drawn to the history and heritage of the Dominique--it is the oldest American breed and an endangered breed. But I later learned of all of the Dominique's wonderful and practical qualities and am convinced it is the ideal homestead bird.

Below are my top reasons for why we chose to stick with the American Dominique as the chicken breed for our family.

1. They are dual-purpose birds (good for meat or eggs)

2. They are excellent, dependable layers

3. They are INCREDIBLE foragers and very independent, also quite curious

4. They are very hardy, and seem to do just fine in cold harsh weather

5. They don't go broody too often, but will go broody when you want them to with the right factors in place.

6. They are good mothers and successful at raising chicks by themselves

7. Due to their inquisitive nature, they will usually try any type of new treat or leftover I give them to supplement their diet

8. We have not had any major problems with disease in our flock due to their hardiness

9. All of our Dominique roosters have been respectful, good protectors and providers, and have never been aggressive towards us. 

So there you have it. Yes, I am biased towards these birds :) If you do already raise Dominiques we have a great and active Facebook group page that you should definitely check out! 

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  1. Your pictures are beautiful! I'm sold! I love a diverse flock so I am going to look into getting these this spring.:)

  2. Hi! Your pics ARE beautiful. Just wondering what size eggs they lay. Large? Medium? I have read they are a little smaller than barred rocks, so I am wondering if their eggs are smaller, too.

  3. #10: They are an endangered heritage breed in need of preservation and you're doing a service to the breed by keeping them!

    Gorgeous flock!

    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick

  4. I LOVE this! I've just embarked on my own chicken-keeping journey (I have 10 2.5 week old chicks living in my laundry room right now.) While we were only able to order 5 chicks of a particular breed from the hatchery and ended up with 5 Buff Orpingtons and 5 Dominiques, the Dominiques are the breed I've been sold on since I first started researching chickens. We live in Western New York so something cold-hardy is a must! Also we've got a toddler who adores animals which means I wanted fairly friendly chickens. So far my little Doms are very curious and easy going--more so than the Buff Orpingtons for sure. I'm really excited to see how my chickies progress as they get older, and will check back here for more Dominique news!

  5. For those of you in the desert SW I know several people who keep Doms so they do well in heat too. Just give them some shade and plenty of water--like you'd do any chicken in the desert.

  6. Your doms look great. Where did you get your stock?

  7. I can't wait to get my coop built and order some Dominiques. I love their history, and feel a strong connection to them/the name. My great grandmother's maiden name: Dominique. Her ancesters (and mine)immigrated from Quebec....where the breed is believed to have been started.