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How To Raise And Care For Dorking Chickens

The Dorking breed is one of the oldest chicken breeds known, and experts theorize that this breed can be traced back to 43 AD. They are a dual-purpose breed that is most often raised for their meat, but can also lay a decent amount of eggs. Dorkings are friendly and even enjoy the company of humans. Unfortunately, their docile and friendly nature can make them a target for aggressive chickens. That doesn’t mean, however, you shouldn’t raise these amazing birds. In fact, if you want to know how to raise and care for Dorking chicken, keep reading this care guide. 

Farm with Dorking Chickens

Dorking chickens are docile birds that do well in backyard flocks. They need a safe and secure coop, plenty of space, a diverse diet, fresh water provided daily, and enrichment to keep them happy. They can experience a few issues that should be addressed before bringing this breed home.

While Dorkings are a wonderful choice for just about any flock, this breed doesn’t do well in temperatures that are extremely high or low. They are susceptible to frostbite and heat stroke, so take care to protect Dorkings from both high and low temperatures. Additionally, Dorking hens can go broody and both the hens and the roosters are prone to obesity, thanks to their large size. Thankfully, you can combat the obesity issue by making sure your Dorkings have plenty of space to walk and run. 

How Big Does A Dorking Chicken Grow?

The average size of a chicken breed is vital information that can help you decide whether or not that breed is the right choice for you. After all, the larger the breed, the more food it consumes and the more space it will need.

Dorking chickens are large birds with males that can reach up to 14 pounds. These large birds are a dual-purpose breed that is often described as built like a brick or stocky. Their legs are usually shorter than other common chicken breeds, which can make them look small.

What Is The Average Weight Of A Dorking Chicken?

Farm with Dorking Chickens

Dorking chickens are a large bird that weighs more than the average chicken breed. 

Dorking roosters can weigh between 10 and 14 pounds, while the hen typically weighs between 8 and 10 pounds. Dorking bantams are much smaller in size, reaching only about 1 1/2 to 2 pounds at maturity.

When Will A Dorking Chicken Start Laying Eggs?

Each breed of hen will start producing eggs at various times, with most breeds beginning to lay eggs after they have reached several months old.

Dorking hens can produce up to 180 eggs per year, but they won’t start laying these eggs until they are about 5 or 6 months old. However, once the hens start laying, they will continue to lay reliably for many years.

Will A Dorking Chicken Lay White Or Brown Eggs?

Box of white chicken eggs

Most people are well aware that chickens lay white eggs, but did you know that the color of the shell can vary from one breed to the next? Keep reading to learn what color eggs the Dorking hens will lay.

Dorking chickens lay large eggs that are white or creamy in color. One of the benefits of raising this breed is that they can be used for meat and eggs, but you should remember that Dorking hens can go broody.

The shell color of an egg has little to no impact on the taste or nutritional value of that egg. In fact, how fresh an egg is has more of an impact on its flavor than the shell color. 

Do You Need A Same Breed Rooster To Get A Dorking Chicken To Lay Eggs?

Roosters provide many different benefits to a flock, but are they required to get your Dorking hens to lay eggs?

Dorking hens do not require a rooster to lay eggs; hens of all chicken breeds will produce eggs without or without a rooster in their flock. You do, however, need a rooster if you want the eggs that your hens produce to be fertilized.

The breed of the rooster doesn’t matter even if you want the eggs fertilized. It is actually extremely common in backyard flocks for one breed of rooster to mate with every hen in your flock, no matter what the breed. 

What is The Lifespan Of A Dorking Chicken?

Chickens in coop

One of the reasons that people choose raising chickens over other livestock is that they are one of the easiest farm animals to raise. They also don’t typically have a very long lifespan. Let’s take a look at the average lifespan of the Dorking chicken.

Dorking chickens have an average lifespan that is similar to most other chicken breeds. You can expect them to live between 5 and 7 years. Although not properly caring for and protecting your Dorking chickens will reduce their lifespan.

Keep in mind that there are various aspects that can impact how long your Dorking chickens live for. To help ensure your birds live for as long as possible, make sure they are protected from predators. You should also monitor their health and take care of any issues that arise as soon as possible.

Are Dorking Chickens Friendly?

While the friendliness of a breed may not seem like an important factor, you would be surprised to learn just how the attitude of your flock can greatly impact whether or not you are successful at raising chickens. 

Dorking chickens are a friendly breed that is known to be calm, gentle, and tolerant of humans and other animals. Unfortunately, because of their gentle nature, they are often picked on and bullied by other breeds that are more aggressive.

All in all, the Dorking chicken makes a wonderful choice for backyard flocks. They love to forage, but won’t wander too far from their home. Just remember that they can become a target for more aggressive chicken breeds, which means they may not thrive in flocks that contain aggressive chickens. 

How Many Eggs Can A Dorking Chicken Lay A Day?

White chicken eggs in nest

The amount of eggs a hen can lay in a day will vary from one chicken breed to the next. Let’s take a look at the amount of eggs you can expect to get from Dorkings. 

Dorking hens lay, on average, 3 eggs a week. Although this amount can vary from one week to the next. During the winter months, your hens might lay much less than this amount, but they should pick back up once the weather starts to warm up and the days become longer.

Remember, the best way to ensure your Dorking hens lay as many eggs as possible is to keep your flock as healthy and happy as possible. This means a clean and secure coop, good nutrition, enrichments for the birds, and no stress. If your Dorking hens are being bullied, they will not produce many eggs and may even stop laying all together. 

When Will A Dorking Chicken Stop Laying Eggs?

Like any other breed, Dorking hens will usually slow down in their ability to lay eggs as they age. 

Dorking hens typically start to slow down in the egg laying department once they reach about 4 years old. Some hens will even stop laying all together when they are 5 years old. Keep in mind that this timeline can vary depending on several factors, including the overall health of the hen.

This article was first published on May 12, 2023 by Pentagon-Pets.

During the winter when the nights are longer, it is not uncommon for hens to slow down or even stop laying eggs. This is a natural occurrence that will correct itself once the days get longer and the temperatures start to warm up a bit. 

At What Age Is A Dorking Chicken The Most Delicious?

Cooked chicken wings

Dorkings are a dual-purpose breed that is usually raised more for their meat than for the eggs they produce. Because they are a meat bird, you will want to know when is the best time to butcher this breed to ensure you have the most delicious meat possible.

Dorking chickens need to be 6 or 7 months old before being harvested. This gives the chicken time to grow large enough for a nice-sized table bird. Waiting until they are older than 9 or 10 months old could mean the meat is a bit tougher, but butchering them too young gives you a small bird.

If you wait and butcher the Dorking chicken when it gets older, consider cooking the meat slowly with a lot of moisture, such as in a crock pot or slow cooker. This will help make the meat more tender and delicious. 

Best Housing Setup For A Dorking Chicken

Dorkings are not a picky breed and can do well in a lot of different types of coops. They do, however, require plenty of space to ensure they are happy and healthy. 

Dorkings are large chickens, which means they will need more coop space. Expect to have at least 11 square feet of floor space per bird. The coop will also need to have a perch or roosting bar, as well as wooden nesting boxes.

The floor of the coop will also need to be lined with litter, which you will need to change regularly. The good news is that Dorking chickens are not too picky and can thrive in a wide array of coop types. However, no matter what type of coop you decide on, it should be secure, to protect your flock from predators, as well as comfortable for your birds.

Don’t forget to provide your Dorkings with dust bathes to keep parasites at bay, while also enriching the lives of your flock. 

Typical Health Problems Of A Dorking Chicken

Chickens roaming in farm

While Dorkings are not prone to a lot of health problems, there are some potentially serious issues that you should know about before raising this breed.

Dorking chickens are a large breed and are prone to health issues that traditionally affect large birds. This includes obesity and respiratory infections. Thankfully, making sure your birds have enough space to move around and exercise helps to prevent obesity.

Pentagon Pet is the owner of this article that was first published on May 12, 2023.

As for respiratory infections, making sure their coop is cleaned and sanitized regularly will help reduce the chance of these infections. You should also quarantine any birds that appear sick away from the rest of your flock to help prevent the spread of any diseases.

Another potential issue with this breed is that Dorkings have a fifth toe which has a long toenail. This toenail may need to be trimmed every so often.

Typical Problems Raising Dorking Chickens

Dorking chickens are usually an easy-going chicken breed that doesn’t have a lot of problems that you should be worried about. That doesn’t mean, however, that this breed is immune to issues. 

Dorking chickens cannot handle extreme temperatures. They can experience heat stroke when the temperature is too high, so make sure to provide them with plenty of shade and fresh cold water. When the temperature is too cold, their large combs and wattles can develop frostbite.

Another potential problem that can occur when raising Dorking chickens is that these birds are easy targets for aggressive breeds, since Dorkings are docile and friendly. Additionally, Dorking hens are known to be broody. This isn’t a problem if you want the hens to hatch their own eggs. In fact, Dorking hens are excellent mothers. Their broodiness can become an issue if you want the eggs for culinary purposes only. 

What Type Of Food Is Best For Dorking Chicken?

Pile of chicken feed

Most chicken breeds require the same type of diet, which is typically a mixture of commercial chicken feed and foods that the birds forage for. 

Dorking chickens thrive when they are given a mixed diet of commercial supplement feed, whole grains, table scraps, and items that the birds have foraged. Don’t forget to give your flock fresh cool water every day.

The exact commercial supplement feed you give your birds will vary depending on their stage of life. For example, adult hens will need a laying feed, while chicks need starter mash.

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This article and its contents are owned by Pentagon Pets and was first published on May 12, 2023.

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