Several people have embarked on poultry farming in the world. There exist several chicken breeds in the world. Choosing a breed to domesticate can be a great challenge at large. The choice you make depends on two factors. This is your personal preference and the intended use of the chickens. The key factor that should guide you when selecting your breed is the intended use.
There are many reasons why people rare chicken. They include;
- Need for fresh, health eggs
- Need for meat
- As a way of controlling weeds and insects to allow for a friendly environment
- Some use them as a source of fertilizer
- Some even can opt to have them as pets.
In this article, we will learn more about the Dominique chicken breed. We shall also look at unique features that make it exceptional from other breeds. Before we end it, you shall learn how to care for them, and the purposes they serve at large. The article also covers some healthy tips on how you can keep your Dominique chickens’ health.
What is the Dominique chicken breed?
This is one of the oldest chicken breeds we have in the world. It was brought to the limelight in the 19th century. During their inception, they acted as the source of both fresh meat and eggs to the settlers. At that time, they will move out to look for food by themselves. These hens can survive even in the worst environmental conditions.
What are the features of the Dominique chicken?
- They have rose combs with a barred feather pattern. This gives them a mottled look.
- The Dominique chickens have yellow legs with four toes.
- They have yellow skin.
- The Dominique chicken has red wattles.
- They have red earlobes.
These are some unique features that make them stand out from the rest. Let’s talk more about these breeds to help you decide whether they are the ideal breeds to domesticate.
How big do they grow?
These breeds are domesticated in many parts of the world. Full-grown chicken weighs between six and eight pounds.
A look at their temperament
Dominique chicken is very gentle and non-aggressive. They are good layers, and their meat quality is unmatched. The breed fits in free-range conditions. They can also withstand adverse weather conditions. However, to get quality products from them, ensure you supplement their diet.
Tips on how to raise Dominique chicken breeds
We have learned some insights about the Dominique chicken. Let’s now look at the recommended ways you can care for them for maximum productivity.
Poultry farmers must understand that they will incur some costs to care for them. You also need to work hard to raise them into a full-grown chicken.
The primary thing to start with is setting aside enough space for your chicken. For every chicken, 2 square feet of space is enough. The coop should be able to provide security to your chickens as much as possible. Ensure you construct a sturdy living space where predators cannot find entry into. Extensive care is required to care for these breeds until they are full-grown. It is essential to spare some time to look after your chickens at all times. Check them both during the day and at night.
The chickens need freshwater supply daily. This should be supplemented with quality feeds. Feeding the Dominique chicken is not different from other chickens. They require a well-balanced diet of whole grains. Once you have given them that, they can add up to their diet by eating worms and bugs during the free-range mission.
Equally, Dominique chickens require animal protein. Although they can obtain them from the bugs, it is recommended that you add on top of it some fish meal and grains. By providing these feeds to your chicken, you will be assured that they are healthy and eventually more productive. The chicks are very friendly to live with. They will always be near every time you are around.
Are the Dominique chickens good egg layers?
Most people prefer the Dominique chicken breed for some reason. They are tolerant to any weather condition, and they have a docile temperament. The Dominique breed is also an excellent egg layer. They lay even during the cold weather condition.
How many eggs do they produce annually?
Dominique breed can lay 250 to 270 eggs annually. They lay medium-sized eggs, about four eggs a week.
How long do they lay eggs?
The Dominique chicken breeds start laying eggs during maturity. Once they start laying, they remain productive for about six to ten months of age.
What color eggs do they produce?
The Dominique chicken lay light brown eggs. Proper feeding of your chicken and continued maintenance of their coop should be on top-notch for maximum egg production. You should also allow them to bask in the sun for about 12 hours daily.
These hens sometimes they can go broody and sometimes not. The hens are always friendly and resilient enough to their chicks. Thus, enjoy a higher success rate in raising their brood.
Identifying them is easy even when they are young. The males have orange-like legs and their head spots scattered. The females have head spots concentrated and brownish legs.
Are they the best breeds to domesticate?
Most people like domesticating dual-purpose chickens. If this is your preference, then the Dominique breed can be an option to consider. They are domesticated for both egg and meat production. They are very docile and gentle; the breed can be easily amalgamated with other chicken breeds. The maintenance costs of the Dominique breed are relatively low as compared to other breeds. Due to these factors, this breed is highly recommended for first-time chicken keepers.
Health issues associated with the Dominique chicken breed
Like people and other animals, chicken also gets sick. However, the Dominique chicken is known for its ability to withstand even the worst environmental conditions. Its rose comb provides it with enough warmth; hence it can’t be troubled with frostbite. However, they can be attacked by a parasite like the mites and lice. Always look for such parasites and immediately find a way to end the infestation if there is.
Even though they are not susceptible to diseases, they can contract any bird-related disease. Seek the help of a veterinarian to advise you on the medications and vaccines appropriate to prevent such disease.
How to identify chicken diseases
You always need to ensure your chickens are safe and free from diseases. Even though these breeds are susceptible to infections, they can be attacked by other common chicken diseases. Below are a few ways to learn when your chickens are sick.
You should be aware of the common diseases that affect chicken to rare them successfully. Amongst them is Coccidiosis, which affects young chicken due to warm and moist conditions. If you realize this is your chicken, the best way to treat it is by keeping the chicken coop dry during hot times and also ensure that your coop is well ventilated.
This disease is highly infectious. Therefore, it is recommended that you separate any chicken that got it and killed it to avoid possible spread. The presence of blood in the chicken’s droppings indicate that the chicken has Coccidiosis.
If your chicken experience a cough, there is a possibility that they have developed a condition known as mycoplasma, which is a respiratory disease, and it should be treated quickly.
The Newcastle disease is another common viral disease that attacks these breeds. The virus attacks the nervous system, and it is highly contagious and quickly leads to a chicken’s death. Since no cure has been identified for this disease, you should vaccinate your Dominique chicken against Newcastle.
How long do they stay?
The life expectancy of these breeds depends on how you care for them. Caring the chicken means providing them sufficient feeds and preventing them from contracting diseases. If all these are done, they can live for between eight and twelve years.
How to keep them free from danger, injury, and pain
Just like any chicken breed, the Dominique breeds need happiness. They should also be free of any pain. If any of your chicken gets injured, you must move quickly to offer the necessary medical attention.
Some injuries like a torn off claw are minor. However, they should be addressed before they develop deeper. Adequately clean their wounds to prevent them from worsening.
Sometimes you might be required to seek a veterinary surgeon in situations where there are ailments like peritonitis, which strictly need surgery. This disease occurs inside the body and is extreme pain and eventually causes severe swelling.
You have learned more about the Dominique chicken breed. Its features make it one of the favorite breeds worth domesticating. However, you need to ensure that you consider all the discussed essentials to enjoy the Dominique chicken’s success. Although the breed is not common, it is recommended that first-time chicken keepers need to reap big in poultry farming. They can withstand adverse conditions. This, in turn, gives them the expertise to incorporate other breeds into their backyard.