Dorking

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Dorking

Postby Raven81 » Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:30 pm

History
One of the earliest known mentions of the Dorking was by the Roman agricultural writer Columella during the reign of Julius Caesar. In his text, Rei rusticae libri, he described the breed as, "square-framed, large and broad-breasted, with big heads and small upright combs...the purest breed being five-clawed". Although Caesar noted that poultry was already raised in Britain prior to his invasions in 55–54 BC, the Red Dorking is believed to have been introduced in Great Britain by the Romans at an early date where much of its development continued to take place.

They appeared in the first British poultry show in 1845, together with the Sussex breed, which is believed to be derived from the Dorking. The birds are named after the market town of Dorking in Surrey which in the nineteenth century became one of the main centres of production.

Characteristics
The Dorking has a rectangular body with very short, five-toed legs. Due to its relatively large comb it generally requires protection in cold weather. Dorkings are also well known for their versatility as a breed for both egg and meat production. It is one of the few breeds with red earlobes that produces a white-shelled egg. The skin colour beneath the feathers is white. The standard weight is 9 pounds for a cock, 8 pounds for a cockerel, 7 pounds for a hen, and 6 pounds for a pullet. Furthermore, the breed is very docile. The bird has five recognized varieties: White, Silver-grey, Red, Dark and Cuckoo.

They are noted for being exceptionally broody at times in entire flocks refusing to lay and preferring to set on eggs to incubate them.
Last edited by Raven81 on Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dorking

Postby Heir » Sat Mar 31, 2012 11:23 am

Does anyone have any Dorking pictures? Please email them through to me if you do!
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Re: Dorking

Postby 99chooks » Sat Mar 31, 2012 11:44 am

I breed Silver Pencilled Dorkings, I will try to snap some pics.
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Re: Dorking

Postby Raven81 » Sat Mar 31, 2012 2:07 pm

Sorry i moved the pics & they disappeared from here.
young rooster
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adult rooster
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hens
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Re: Dorking

Postby Heir » Sat Mar 31, 2012 2:20 pm

Would you mind emailing them through? That way we can host them forever!
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Re: Dorking

Postby Raven81 » Wed Apr 11, 2012 7:34 pm

where do you want them emailed to??
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Dorkings

Postby ChickyMum » Fri Oct 11, 2013 11:21 am

I'm resurrecting this thread as hopefully in 9 days I will have some little dorking chickies running around :D

I've read that they can be sexed from day one with the females having a black stripe down the back of their heads while the males have little or no markings - is this correct?
I currently have no chickens due to travelling
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Re: Dorking

Postby Graham48 » Fri Oct 11, 2013 2:14 pm

Not sure about day one but the hens get their brown chest feathers pretty quickly
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Re: Dorking

Postby Marina » Fri Oct 11, 2013 3:20 pm

Either the males or the females have a lighter down colour. When it was first explained to me the lady got it the wrong way round.
Also I wouldn't rely on it unless you can be absolutely certain that they are well bred (I mean that the breeder has ascertained for several generations that his/her line can indeed be sexed at hatching. If you've got them from the source I think you've got them from - she's only scrambled up a breeding group this season from whatever she could get - but having said this she's selling sexed chicks of this breed so may be it works - don't know. I didn't cull the single 'male' chick - which turned out to be the only pullet.
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Re: Dorking

Postby 99chooks » Fri Oct 11, 2013 4:43 pm

The female chicks have a pronounced pointed brown stripe on their head whereas the male has little or no brown stripe.

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Re: Dorking

Postby buzzard » Fri Oct 11, 2013 6:14 pm

Marina wrote:..Also I wouldn't rely on it unless you can be absolutely certain that they are well bred (I mean that the breeder has ascertained for several generations that his/her line can indeed be sexed at hatching. ...

I agree, males still should have an arrow, with unbroken dorsal stripes, its the darkness of the eye stripe is what is most reliable, if you know for sure that the line breeds true
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Re: Dorking

Postby Chookhen » Sat Oct 11, 2014 9:42 am

I have two Silver Gray hens, 4 years from someone in the north island area.
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Re: Dorking

Postby Chookhen » Wed Nov 12, 2014 4:42 pm

[post removed]
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Re: Dorking

Postby trtapp » Thu Aug 29, 2019 12:55 am

Dorking hen

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Re: Dorking

Postby trtapp » Thu Aug 29, 2019 11:28 pm

Dorkings in New Zealand
I am breeding to the NZ Standard but should my Silver Grey Dorking hens have a flopped over comb like UK and USA standard
As mine seem to have a small fingered comb is this something I should be working on ?
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