Dominique chickens typically start laying eggs around 22-24 weeks of age (about 6 months). This is pretty much the ‘average’ age for a pullet to start laying. They’ll start out laying smaller eggs, but will be laying medium-large eggs before long.
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How Many Eggs Do Dominique Chickens Lay?
One of the largest online hatcheries, Cackle Hatchery states that Dominique Chickens lay between 180-260 eggs per year.
This works out at roughly 4-5 eggs per week, which makes the Dominique a good layer. When you take into account that it takes 24-26 hours to create and lay an egg, they aren’t taking a lot of time off!
Still, there are more prolific layers if you’re strictly looking for an egg-laying breed. I recommend checking out the Rhode Island Red or California White, both of which are capable of laying around 300 a year.
Do keep in mind that the number of eggs an individual chicken lays can vary a great deal. Don’t be too surprised - or concerned - if you have a Dominique laying a good % more or less than the estimated average.
What Color Eggs Do Dominique Lay?
Dominiques lay light brown colored eggs. Nothing special or usual, very similar to the brown eggs you expect to see for sale in stores and supermarkets.
That said, it’s unlikely the eggs you see in the store were from a Dominique. Commercially produced eggs come from much more prolific layers like ISA Browns as it’s more cost-effective.
How Long Do Dominique Lay Eggs?
Dominique chickens are known for being a hardy breed with a life expectancy of around 6-8 years. This is a little longer than your average backyard breed, so you can expect them to lay a little longer, too.
Like most breeds, a Dominique chicken will lay its best eggs in the first two years. Production will drop off at least 10%+ per year from then on, and by the time they’re five years old, they will have pretty much ‘retired’ from egg-laying duties.
Some History and Facts About Dominique Chickens
Dominique chickens have an interesting history. It’s believed that they were one of - if not the - oldest American breeds of chicken with records of these chickens dating back to the 1700s.
They also have a distinctive appearance with a rose comb and a dark and light grey striped coat. In fact, they look very similar to Barred Rocks, and both breeds are often confused for one another.
There are some key differences, however. Such as their combs being different, and Barred Rocks having crisp parallel barrings, compared to the staggered striping Dominiques have.
Personality-wise, they’re very calm, docile, and enjoy human interaction. As you’d expect for such an old dual-purpose breed, they’re very self-sufficient, robust chickens.
If you want to learn more about this breed, here are some quick facts:
- Hens weigh around 5 lbs, and roosters are around 7 lbs.
- Dominiques are great outdoor birds, they are hardy and love foraging.
- Hens are known for being broody and have a high success rate of raising chicks.
- The New York Poultry Society separates Dominiques from Plymouth Rocks by their combs; Dominiques have rose combs, Plymouth Rocks have single combs.
- Wikipedia points out that the roosters can be very aggressive at times.
Where To Buy Dominique Chickens, Chicks, and Hatching Eggs
If you want to know how much Dominique chickens or hatching eggs cost, I recommend checking out Cackle Hatchery.
Cackle Hatchery is one of the largest online hatcheries. They stock literally hundreds of breeds and varieties of chickens, and it’s where I get all my poultry from.
I took a look at their Dominiques at the time of publishing and could see that prices started as low as $2.20/ea. This depends on how many you buy and some other factors, but it’s certainly not an expensive bird.
They also had some Dominique Bantams if you want a much smaller version. Along with some other varieties that are worth checking out.
Are Dominique Chickens a Good Choice for a Backyard Breed?
I’m not biased, well OK maybe I am a little, but you can ask anyone who has raised Dominique chickens and I’d be surprised if they had a bad word to say.
Whether you live on a homestead, in an urban area, or have acres of land, they’re a great choice as a backyard breed.
Being hardy and not known to have any health issues or special requirements, Dominiques are a great first-time breed.
As long as you’re providing good feed, fresh drinking water, and some adequate space, they’re going to provide you with plenty of entertainment and a good supply of eggs.
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