Delving further Into Distinct Chicken Breeds: Dorking, Dutch, Faverolles, Frizzle, Hamburg, and Houdan is a continuation of A List of Chicken Breeds which is part one of this 9-part series looking at the 53 breeds covered by the American Poultry Association.
In the intriguing realm of poultry, the vast variety of chicken breeds astounds both enthusiasts and casual observers. Let’s first take a look at the Dorking.
Dorking: The Time-Honored Breed
By 3268zauber – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6620835
When someone mentions chickens, I think most people imagine either the Leghorns thanks to old Foghorn Leghorn, or the Rhode Island Red. These two breeds are pretty typical-looking with four toes, a comb, and wattles, but not all chickens are created equal.
Dorkings are known for their excellent meat quality, often considered superior to other breeds.
Originating from the Roman era, Dorkings are a breed steeped in history. Their distinguishing feature is their fifth toe, a trait shared by only a few other breeds. Dorkings are peaceful, making them an excellent addition to any backyard flock. The hens lay approximately 140-180 medium to large-sized, white to cream-colored eggs each year.
The breed comes in several color variations, including Silver Gray, Colored, Red, White, and Cuckoo.
Dutch: The Feathered Miniature
By Laura Haggarty – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8045547
Dutch Bantams are known for being true bantams, meaning there is no large fowl counterpart of this breed.
Small but noteworthy, the Dutch Bantam has a striking presence despite its diminutive size. These chickens are vivacious and active, and show a rainbow of colors in their plumage.
They are excellent flyers, which can make containment a challenge.
Despite their small size, Dutch hens are prolific layers, offering around 200 small, white eggs annually.
Faverolles: The French Beauty
Faverolles chicken. (2023, January 26). In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faverolles_chicken
Renowned for their beauty and sociable demeanor, Faverolles originated in France. With their feathered feet, beard, and muff, they stand out in any flock.
Typically a salmon color, the plumage of females is mainly brown and creamy white. The males are darker, with black, brown, and straw-colored feathers.
They are well-adapted to both free range and confinement and are generally quiet and docile.
Like the Dorking, Faverolles have five toes instead of the usual four.
Faverolles are also commendable layers, producing approximately 180-200 medium to large, tinted to light brown eggs per year.
Frizzle: The Feathered Phenomenon
By Yardsman – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=93525606
Frizzle isn’t a breed, but a unique feather trait that can occur in many breeds. The feathers curl outward instead of lying flat, giving the bird a fluffy, “frizzled” appearance.
This trait adds an eye-catching element to any breed, and egg production varies greatly depending on the specific breed of the Frizzle chicken.
In the United States frizzled chickens are not considered a breed. Although strikingly different in appearance, at shows, they are judged by the standards of the breed they belong to.
Hamburg: The Prolific Layer
By Ospr3yy at en.wikipedia – Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons by User:Quadell using CommonsHelper., FAL, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=16622015
The Hamburg breed, originally from Germany, is appreciated for its egg-laying prowess. Sporting a variety of colors and patterns, they are also known for their active and flighty nature.
Hamburgs mature quickly and are prolific layers, with an impressive output of 200-250 small to medium, white eggs annually.
Houdan: The French Classic
By karen johns – https://www.flickr.com/photos/54516384@N02/42587561200/, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=82814531
Houdan chickens are another historic breed from France, known for their unique “V”-shaped comb and a crest of feathers. Despite their somewhat exotic appearance, they are quite docile.
Houdans lay approximately 150-180 medium-sized, white eggs per year.
Like the Dorking and the Favorelle, the Houdan also has five toes instead of four.
With their decent egg-laying capabilities and their large size, Houdans are a nice dual-purpose chicken.
In conclusion, these six breeds exhibit the diverse characteristics found in the world of chickens. From the ancient Dorking to the unique Frizzle, each has its charm, history, and egg-laying capabilities. Whether you’re a seasoned poultry keeper or a beginner, these breeds offer a delightful array of choices for your flock.
As always, thanks for reading. If you have any interesting facts you’d like me to share about these breeds, let me know below. Take care!