Recognized as America’s first poultry breed, barred chickens with rose combs – the Dominique – were recorded as early as 1750 in the US. The breed’s early names include Blue Spotted Hen, Old Grey Hen, Dominico, Dominic, and Dominicker. The Livestock Conservancy lists the Dominique heritage breed as a “Watch” priority. Estimated global population is less than 10,000.

Characteristics: Calm, gentle temperament. Good forager when free-range. Their barred plumage makes them less visible to predators.

Eggs: Medium-sized, Brown. Average 230-275 annually. Hens produce eggs at about 20 weeks of age. They are unlikely to go broody.

Meat: A dual-purpose heavy breed for both eggs and meat, the males average 7 lbs. mature weight and females 5 lbs.

Cold Tolerance: Thick plumage, combined with the low-profile rose comb that is resistant to frostbite, makes this breed cold-weather hardy.




The Dominique Club of America provides a summary of the lengthy history of the heritage breed:

In the Mid-1800s the Dominique was the most popular chicken breed in the US. The importation of Asiatic and some of the fancier ornamental breeds led to a decrease in interest in breeding Dominiques, as they became considered ordinary barnyard fowl. In 1874, the Dominique was admitted to the American Poultry Association’s Standard of Perfection. As with many of the heritage breeds, the popularity of the Dominique declined once more chickens began to be raised commercially and less on family farms. These days the Dominique is gaining popularity once again, as many hobby farmers have grown to love all the wonderful things that the Dominique has to offer as a productive egg layer and wonderful family pet with a friendly disposition.

Dominique history written in 1945 by Mr. Ed Uber, a distinguished Dominique breeder.

An article about the breed’s near extinction, and rescue by a handful of dedicated breeders.

Mark Fields writes about some of the earliest historical references to the Dominique.