A Silver Gray Dorking hen sits in a nest of bushes while her baby chicks gather around her.

Dorkings are a very special -- and very endangered -- breed. They're one of the oldest known breeds of chicken domesticated for human use (reportedly having been developed during the Roman empire), as evidenced by their 5 toes instead of the usual 4. They're also the only breed with a red earlobe to lay a white egg! Compared to other breeds of chicken, Dorkings also have unusually short legs. Dorkings are exceptionally sweet birds and they need the support of small backyard flock owners to ensure their continued existence.


Class: English
Type: Large Fowl
Size: Heavy (7-8 lbs)
Rarity: Rare
Purpose: Dual
Recognized Varieties: White (Rose Comb); Silver-Gray, Colored and Red (Single Comb)

Egg Facts:

Egg Laying: Good (3/wk)
Egg Color: Cream or Tinted
Egg Size: Medium

Fancy Features:

Comb Type: Depends on Variety
Crested: No
Feathered Legs: No
Number of Toes: 5

Suitability to Backyard Life:

Cold Hardiness: Hardy in winter
Heat Tolerance: Not especially heat hardy
Bears Confinement: Bears confinement well
Especially Docile: Yes
Setter/Broody: Yes
Personality: Gentle and shy