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Bollith Bred Poultry

Specialising in quality, free range poultry, perfect for your backyard

Silver Grey Dorking

Quirks:

Docile ~ Ancient roots ~ Five toes



Country of Origin:

Unknown. Records suggest the breed has been around for over 2,000 years although their specific origin remains a mystery. Possibly Britain or Italy.



Approximate Weight (Hen):

Between 3.6kg – 4.6kgs.



History:

The Dorking is arguably one of our oldest breeds of domestic chicken.

Having been around at the time of the Roman invasion of Britain in AD 43, the Dorking is possibly the oldest English breed of chicken. As mentioned above the true origin of the Dorking is unknown, but some people believe the breed existed in Britain before the Romans arrived, however others suggest invaders brought it with them. During the ninth century, the Dorking was crossed with many other breeds, including the French Crevecoeur, to improve its suitability as a table bird.

With the advent of faster growing crossbred strains of laying and meat birds in the 50's and 60's, the Dorking fell into decline. It has been maintained by a few dedicated breeders, but is regarded as a critically endangered breed.



Eggs:

Dorking hens will lay around 100, medium sized, white or cream coloured eggs per year, but they only lay during the spring and summer months - not all year round.



Colour Variations:

  • White
  • Dark
  • Red
  • Cuckoo
  • Silver
  • Grey

*Not all colours found in Australia


Appearance:

One of the best-known facts about the Dorking is that it has five toes on each foot the fifth separate from and above the normal hind toe, pointing upward. Silver Grey, Red and Dark chicks can easily be sexed by around 2-3 weeks as their juvenile feathers come through, with the males showing a black breast and females showing salmon/chestnut breast feathering.



Personality:

The Dorking is a great breed for the domestic keeper, combining traditional good looks with an appealing temperament. The birds are calm and docile, easily tamed and are generally always happy to be handled.



Care:

These birds enjoy foraging on a free-range basis, and they are not really happy in cramped confined conditions. They are reasonably hardy birds and the hens make good mothers. Dorking chicks can be delicate and slow to develop; they are best hatched in spring so that the warm summer can help to build up their strength for the winter.

They are one of the slower growing breeds; while pullets may come into lay as early as five months, they may not attain their full adult size until 18 months to two years old.



Dorking Breeder Group Australasia: www.australiandorkings.com

Silver Laced Wyandotte

Pros:

Fantastic Layer ~ Great Temperament ~ Attractive ~ Hardy


Country of Origin:

USA


Approximate Weight (Hen):

3kg – 3.5kg


Eggs:

Average 200 eggs per year, but usually somewhere between 175-240 eggs per year.

Brown or tinted in colour

Some colours lay better than others, with the Silver-laced variety being the best layer


Colour Variations:

22 colour variations are recognised throughout the world including:

  • Barred
  • Black
  • Blue
  • Blue-laced
  • Buff -Buff Laced
  • Columbian
  • Silver Laced
  • Golden Laced
  • White
  • Partridge
  • Silver Pencilled
  • Mille Fleur
  • Buff Columbian
  • Red

*Not all colours found or recognised in Australia


History:

The Silver-laced version was the first Wyandotte to be produced (in New York State), by crossing a Sebright rooster with the offspring from a Silver-spangled Hamburgh male – Cochin female combination. More cross-breeding followed, involving both Light and Dark Brahma females and a Silver-pencilled Hamburgh male. Silver-laced Polands may have also been bred as a source of lacing. This breeding program lasted around 15-20 years when, finally in 1883, the result was standardised in America as the Wyandotte – named after a tribe of Native North Americans.


Personality:

They Wyandotte’s character is well suited to the domestic environment. They are generally calm, friendly birds, which are equally happy foraging outside or living the relative confinement.


Care:

Looking after Wyandottes should be a straightforward business. It is a hardy breed, which is robust and will take temperature extremes in its stride. The hens make good mothers, but be careful not to overfeed the Wyandotte and they can become quite fat!

Other:

Bantam versions also available

Wyandotte Assoication of Australia: http://members.ozemail.com.au/~whitewyandottes/

Silkies

Pros:

Unique Looks ~ Great Family Pet ~ Excellent Broody


Country of Origin:

Unknown, possibly China, Southeast Asia, India or Java


Approximate Weight (Hen):

1.4kg


Eggs:

Approximately 100-120 small-medium sized eggs per year.



Colour Variations:

  • Black
  • Blue
  • Blue-Red
  • Gold
  • Grey
  • Partridge
  • White

*Many more colours available but not officially recognised by the Silkie Club of Australia.



History:

The Silkie is really a breed unlike any other. Firstly, you'll notice its strange, fur-like feathers which will always make it stand out from a crowd. These feathers aren't limited to its body, however, having heavily feathered legs and feet, plus a "pom pom" sitting on top of its head. In addition you might also come across some bearded versions, having even more strange feathers around its face (ear muffs) as well as beards.

But wait, there's more. It is one of the few breeds available today which has 5 toes (instead of the normal 4), plus it's skin, combs and wattles are dark purple or black. Should you decide to serve one of these birds up for dinner, be prepared for an unusual looking -black- chicken on your plate. Your surprise will continue as you start your meal, only to find their bones, too, are almost black.

Like many old poultry breeds, it is uncertain where the Silkie originated. Marco Polo documented a "furry chicken" during his travels through China in the late 13th century. Records in Netherlands have documented birds being sold as the produce of crossing a chicken with a rabbit.

A common misconception, however, is calling our Silkie a Bantam. It is classified as a "large fowl" however is often incorrectly called a Bantam due to its diminutive size. The genuine bantam version, which was standardized in Britain finally in 1993, is in fact, about two-thirds as small again.

Personality:

The Silkie is more of a Pet than your regular backyard chicken. It will tolerate being handled and patted far more than most other breeds. It is calm and gentle in nature and good with small children.



Care:

Another advantage of the Silkie is that it doesn't fly. It can also tolerate reasonable confinement however will enjoy being free ranged whenever possible.

Before purchasing your new Silkie, you need to be aware that their unique feathers may require more care than other breeds. It doesn't do well in muddy conditions due to their feathered feet. Keep an eye out for Scaley Leg Mite as their feathered legs unfortunately make good homes for mites. These are easily treated if caught early.



Other:

Silkie Club of Australia: https://www.freewebs.com/silkieclubofaustralia/

Light Sussex

Coming Soon