Top left: The stage, top right and bottom left, seramas.
Bottom right: the Farm's very own Princess!
An into to chicken genetics
Black and barred in relation to sexlinked barring. for sexlinked barring a barred bir is essentially a black bird which possesses a dominant sexlinked gene called Barring (B). a bird which is heterozygous for the B gene will be barred and a bird which is homozygous (pure) for the B gene which is will always be barred, however the homogyzous bird will have wider white bands because of the gene dosage effect (i.e. two copies of the B gene will increase size of white banding on the black bird). Now the tricky thing to remember is males can possess two copies of the B gene whilst females can only possess one. Because females can only possess one B gene they are called hemizygous and not heterozygous. This is because the B gene is located on the chromosomes which determine the sex of an individual, termed sex chromosomes. the two sex chromosomes in chooks are called Z and W. Females have a Z and a W (ZW) chromosome and males have two Z chromosomes (ZZ) the W chromosome in females in very small (w) and does not carry the same genetic information as the larger Z chromosome(Z). in humans we call our sex chromosomes X and Y and the pairing of these chromosomes is reversed between the sexes. So human females have two X chromosomes (XX) and the males have an X and a Y chromosome (Xy) and the Y choromosome being small and carrying less genetic information. We call the sex possessing two copies of the same sex choromosome the homogametic sex and the sex possessing one of each type of sex chromosome the heterogametic sex. Not all sex linked barred birds have the same barring pattern. Many combination of genes can go into making a barred bird differ in its appearance. for example, the barring on an exhibition quality Plymouth Rock is clean and regular whilst the barring on a cuckoo bird is generally indistinct and irregular. the variability is caused by differences in the expression of the same genetic mutation on different genetic backgrounds. to simplify the terminology i will refer to homozygous Barred males as twice Barred males. Heterogyzous Barred males as Single Barred males and hemigyzous Barred females as Barred females. The expected outcomes from mating these colors together are listed as follows; Black X Black= 100% black males and females Black male X Barred female= 100% single barred males and 100% black females Single barred male X Black females = 50% single Barred males and Barred females as well as 50% Black males and females Single Barred male X Barred female= 25% Single Barred males, 25% twice Barred males, 25% Barred females and 25% Black females Twice Barred male X Black female= 100% twice Barred Males and 100% Barred females.
The Catalana chicken was developed in the district of Catalonia, Spain, near Barcelona. It takes its name from Catalonia, and is sometimes referred to as the “Prat”, in recognition of a farming area of El Prat de Llobregat (more commonly known as “El Prat”) which is located southwest of Barcelona. The breed was developed over a long period of time using the landrace fowls of the area, probably Castilian chickens, with an admixture of Asian stock during the second half of the nineteenth century. It is unclear if the Asian stock were Cochin chickens or Cochin China chickens; the later being the common dual-purpose landrace chickens found around oriental seaports during this time period. Spain, being a sailing nation, certainly had access to either. The breed was introduced to the rest of the world at the 1902 World’s Fair held in Madrid, Spain. It was favorably received, and, by 1949, had been admitted to the standard in America as a recognized breed. The Catalana chicken attracted a limited following in the U.S. and Canada, but was popular in Latin American countries. During the 1920s the breed was very successfully used in the commercial industry in Argentina. In fact, in 1998 an Argentine gentleman brought hatching eggs to the 10,000-bird show held in Columbus, Ohio. His family was still using the Catalana chicken commercially and he made available the eggs to help spread the breed. Several poultry fanciers secured a start in this breed from this importation. A hardy dual-purpose breed, the Catalana chicken has the style, alertness, activity, and foraging ability typical of Mediterranean chickens. They lay large white eggs in plenty and seldom become broody. The cockerels and cull layers are noted for having very good carcasses and succulent meat. Cockerels are also used in the production of quality capon in Spain. In color they are a rich buff with black tails – the males having an iridescent green sheen on their sickles and a reddish buff color in their hackles, back, and saddle feathers. The chicks are hardy and are a buffish color, sometimes having very faint chipmunk pattern along their backs. In Spain a white variety of Catalana is recognized in addition to the buff. The breed is noted for excellent heat tolerance. Catalana chickens should have white ear lobes; large red combs, which lop over in the females; reddish bay eyes; bluish slate shanks and toes; pinkish white skin; and light horn colored beaks. Males weigh 8 lbs and females 6 lbs.
Uses: Attractive, economical utility birds. Origin: Hamburg, Germany. Eggs: 160 – 190 cream / tinted. Weight: Cock: 4-5lbs Hen: 3-4lbs Bantam Cock: 910 g. Hen: 680 g. Colour: Black head, hackles and tail. Buff body and wings. Useful to Know: Vorwerks are alert and active and generally docile, suitable for novices. They can fly reasonably well. Quick to mature and economical with food if allowed to forage, spare males can be used as a more ‘traditional’ table bird. Vorwerk chickens were developed in Hamburg, Germany by Oskar Vorwerk. In 1902 he set out to create a fowl that was more useful than the Lakenvelder, replacing the white with buff so it would not show the dirt and creating a bird for smallholders for utility: a bird that would provide a good number of eggs with a good feed to egg ratio as well as meat for the table when required. The breeds used to develop the Vorwerk are thought to be the Lakenvelder, Utility Buff Orpington, Hittfeldern (now called Buff Ramelslohers in Germany), and the Andalusian. Oscar Vorwerk first exhibited his birds as new varieties in 1912 and by 1919 or a little earlier, they were well established and accepted by most breeders as an independent breed. Vorwerk chickens first appeared in the UK as Buff Lakenvelders in 1935 where they were exhibited but it wasn’t until the 1970’s that they made a re-appearance.
The Nigerian Dwarf goat is a miniature dairy goat breed of West African ancestry. The original animals were transported from Africa on ships as food for captured carnivores being brought to zoos; the survivors were then maintained in herds at those zoos. Nigerian Dwarf goats are popular as pets and family milkers due to their easy maintenance and small stature. However, because of their high butterfat, they are also used by some dairies to make cheese. They are registered by the American Dairy Goat Association, the American Goat Society, and the Nigerian Dwarf Goat Association. Country of origin : Niger and Nigeria Height : Male: 19–23.5 inches (48–60 cm) Female: 17–22.5 inches (43–57 cm There are two different height standards for the Nigerian Dwarf goat. The height standard maintained by the American Goat Society and the American Dairy Goat Association requires does to be less than 22.5 inches (57 cm) at the withers, and bucks to be less than 23.5 inches (60 cm) at the withers. The Nigerian Dwarf Goat Association states does should ideally be 17–19 inches (43–48 cm) in height, with a maximum allowed height of 21 inches (53 cm), and bucks should ideally be 19–21 inches (48–53 cm), with a maximum allowed height of 23 inches (58 cm). They come in many colors: white, black, gold, red, cream and patterns such as buckskin (brown with a black cape over the head and neck along with other black markings) and chamoisee (similar to an Oberhasli goat), with or without white spots. Some have white "frosting" on the ears. Both the Nigerian Dwarf Goat Association and the American Goat Society websites feature pages that include color descriptions, disqualifying features and conformation. Although most are naturally horned, generally breeders disbud them at a young age (usually less than 2 weeks of age) for safety to the goat, its herd mates, and human caregiver Some Nigerian Dwarf goats have blue eyes, which is a dominant trait in goats. Nigerian Dwarf does give a surprising quantity of milk for their size. Their production ranges from 1 to 8 pounds of milk per day (one quart of milk weighs roughly 2 pounds), with an average doe producing about 2.5 pounds of milk per day. Production depends upon genetics, how many times the doe has freshened (given birth), quality and type of feed, and general good management. Since Nigerians breed year-round, it is easy to stagger freshening in a herd for year-round production of milk. Thus, they are ideal milk goats for most families. Their milk has a higher butterfat content than milk from full-sized dairy goats, averaging 6.5% according to the American Dairy Goat Association. Later in lactation, butterfat can go up to 10% or even higher. This makes Nigerian Dwarf goat milk excellent for cheese, soap and cream making. Nigerian Dwarf goats are gentle and easily trainable. This, along with their small size and colorful appearance, makes them popular as pets. Some breeders bottle-feed kids, which makes them more bonded with humans. Others prefer to let their mothers raise them naturally, finding bottle-fed kids to be overly clingy. With either method, they can be very friendly and can easily be trained to walk on a leash and some enjoy coming into the house with their owners. Adult goats should not live in the house. As ruminants, they need to spend a large part of the day eating hay, pasture or browse Nigerian dwarf goats' small size also makes them excellent "visitor" animals for nursing homes and hospitals. Some goat supply houses even sell small harnesses and tiny wagons that fit Nigerian dwarf goats. Nigerian dwarf goats are also used in Goat Yoga classes, a form of Animal-Assisted Therapy. As with all goats, does or castrated males (wethers) make the best pets, as bucks can have an objectionable odor. Nigerian Dwarfs, especially does and wethers, do well with children. Nigerian dwarfs also are easy birthers with very few birthing problems
At the end of the nineteenth century people in the Liège region tried to make the Bruges game an even better fighter. To achieve this goal it was crossed with Asian gamefowl, probably Malays and this resulted in a new Belgian breed, the Liège game. Compare to other game fowl, the hens of the Liège game are very good layers. They produce about 150 cream-shelled eggs per year. In older hens the eggs may even weigh as much as 70 grams. Brooding occurs rarely. Besides an impressive number of eggs, the Liège also produces a large quantity of very fine and tasteful meat. The Liège is a striking bird because of its large and powerful appearance. An adult rooster weighs about 5 to 5,5 kg and an adult hen about 4 kilos. The main difference between the Liège and the Bruges game is that the Liège has a very sloping back. In general the Liège is also somewhat longer and thinner and its legs are a bit longer. This makes the Liège game one of the giants amongst gamefowl breeds. The thighs are very muscular and the slate-blue shanks are very powerful, thick and rather long. In contradiction to most other breeds, spurs are desired in the hens. The head is very powerful and shows very prominent eyebrows. The face and the comb are heavily pigmented and purplish red till almost black in color. The comb is triple and preferred as small as possible. The Liège game comes in several varieties but mostly in birchen and yellow birchen. Other recognized varieties are black, white, black-red, silver duckwing, golden duckwing, blue golden duckwing, blue birchen and blue yellow birchen. These birds are considered extremely rare, even though it is the most popular of all three large Belgian gamefowl breeds. For the moment it is also gaining some popularity in Germany
This bird right here the Emu is a scary damn bird O.o these things will eat you (most likely not but they will kick and peck) The Emu is Australia's tallest native bird, reaching between 5.2 feet and 6.2 feet when standing erect(ahahha Erect get it?) Adult Emus are covered with shaggy grey-brown feathers except for the neck and head, which are largely naked and bluish-black. The wings are greatly reduced, but the legs are long and powerful. Each foot has three forward-facing toes and no hind toe. Most people see Emus along roadsides, near fences or other barriers, giving the impression of close association. However, Emus are not really social, except for young birds, which stay with their father. The Emu (30 - 45 kg) is lighter than its closest living relative, the Southern Cassowary Casuarius casuarius, but is taller and less heavy set in appearance. It is also much more widely distributed throughout Australia. The Emu is found only in Australia. It lives throughout most of the continent, ranging from coastal regions to high in the Snowy Mountains. Emus were once found in Tasmania, but were exterminated soon after Europeans arrived. Two dwarf species of emus that lived on Kangaroo Island and King Island also became extinct. This doesn't include Emus that are kept as pets or livestock. Emus move within their range according to climatic conditions. If sufficient food and water are present, birds will reside in one area. Where these resources are more variable, Emus move as needed to find suitable conditions. They are known to move 60-70 miles sometimes at rates of 9.3 miles to 15 miles per day. Emus eat fruits, seeds, growing shoots of plants, insects, other small animals, and animal droppings. Nesting takes place in winter. The male and female remain together for about five months, which includes courtship, nest building and egg-laying. The nest consists of a platform of grass on the ground, about 10 cm thick and 1 m - 2 m in diameter. The large eggs (130 mm x 90 mm) are laid at intervals of two to four days. These are dark bluish-green when fresh, becoming lighter with exposure to the sun. The shells are thick, with paler green and white layers under the dark outer layer. The female dominates the male during pair formation but once incubation begins, the male becomes aggressive to other Emus, including his mate. The female wanders away and leaves the male to perform all the incubation. Sometimes she will find another mate and breed again. The male incubates the eggs without drinking, feeding, defecating or leaving the nest. During this time, eggs often roll out of the nest and are pulled back in by the male. Newly hatched chicks are cream-coloured with dark brown stripes. They leave the nest when they are able to feed themselves. Young birds stay close together and remain with the male for four months. They finally leave at about six months. During this period, the stripes fade and the downy plumage is replaced by dull brown feathers. Emus are nearly fully grown at one year, and may breed at 20 months. Sometimes eggs that have not hatched remain in the nest after the male and young have left and become sun-bleached. Bleaching takes about three months. The first specimen collected in 1788 by Europeans was from what is now an inner suburb of Sydney: Redfern. Today, Emus are absent from heavily populated regions, especially along the east coast. Despite this loss in some areas, Emu numbers may have increased since European settlement. The provision of water for domestic stock, together with the Emu's ability to reproduce rapidly, has favoured its survival. Emu farming has been tried for several decades but recently interest has been growing in this industry. A pair of Emus may produce ten eggs a year under good captive conditions, which yield on average 5.5 chicks. At the end of 15 months, these would yield 43 sq foot of leather, 330lbs of meat, 12.1 lbs of feathers, and 91.2 oz of oil. Eggshells of infertile eggs have been used for carving as well.
The swan goose (Anser cygnoides) is a rare large goose with a natural breeding range in inland Mongolia, northernmost China, and southeastern Russia. It is migratory and winters mainly in central and eastern China. Vagrant birds are encountered in Japan and Korea (where it used to winter in numbers when it was more common), and more rarely in Kazakhstan, Laos, coastal Siberia, Taiwan, Thailand and Uzbekistan. While uncommon in the wild, this species has been domesticated. Introduced and feral populations of its domestic breeds occur in many places outside its natural range. The wild form is also kept in collections, and escapes are not unusual amongst feral flocks of other Anser and Branta geese. The swan goose is large and long-necked for its genus, wild birds being 81–94 cm (32–37 in) long (the longest Anser goose) and weighing 2.8–3.5 kg (6.2–7.7 lb) or more (the second-heaviest Anser, after the greylag goose, A. anser). The sexes are similar, although the male is larger, with a proportionally longer bill and neck; in fact the largest females are barely as large as the smallest males. Typical measurements of the wing are 45–46 cm (18–18 in) in males, 37.5–44 cm (14.8–17.3 in) in females; the bill is about 8.7–9.8 cm (3.4–3.9 in) long in males and 7.5–8.5 cm (3.0–3.3 in) in females. The tarsus of males measures around 8.1 cm (3.2 in). The wingspan of adult geese is 160–185 cm (63–73 in). The upperparts are greyish-brown, with thin light fringes to the larger feathers and a maroon hindneck and cap (reaching just below the eye). The remiges are blackish, as are the entire underwing and the white-tipped rectrices, while the upper- and undertail coverts are white. A thin white stripe surrounds the bill base. Apart from darker streaks on the belly and flanks, the underside is pale buff, being especially light on the lower head and foreneck which are sharply delimited against the maroon. In flight, the wings appear dark, with no conspicuous pattern. Uniquely among its genus, the long, heavy bill is completely black; the legs and feet, on the other hand, are orange as in most of its relatives. The eyes' irides are maroon. Juveniles are duller than adult birds, and lack the white bill base and dark streaks on the underside. The voice is a loud drawn-out and ascending honking aang. As a warning call, a similar but more barking honk is given two or three times in short succession. Though the majority of domestic geese are descended from the greylag goose (A. anser), two breeds are direct descendants of the swan goose: the Chinese goose and the African goose. These breeds have been domesticated since at least the mid-18th century – perhaps even (in China) since around 1000 BC. They vary considerably from their wild parent in appearance, temperament, and ability to produce meat and eggs; the most conspicuous feature is the prominent bill knob. Charles Darwin studied goose breeds as part of his work on the theory of evolution. He noted that the external differences between Chinese geese and breeds descended from the Greylag goose belied a rather close relationship
Chicken show from the life of a chicken shower.
Some people who show were lucky enough to start in 4H and have an easy introduction via fairs whereas others start directly with big shows, I was one who was lucky enough to start with 4H. I showed for two years and learned alot, this year in january I started in adult shows and quickly learned how different they were and how much prep went into these shows. From months beforehand of training your birds to a week before the show washing and prepping birds to night before show cleaning birds there is alot that goes into these shows. The recent show I went to in Brownsville CA was a fairly small show only having Serama being shown but even still there was around 200+ birds. None of my birds personally won but there was alot that did. Chicken shows can be emotional as well. As well as me there were other people that got mad or even cried when winning was pulled away from them, I should’ve taken second and it was stripped from me due to judge bias and as I walked off that stage I could feel myself break and I tried to hold it together and not cry but I ended up crying nonetheless. At that point its hard to not get mad at your birds for not performing as they should but at the end of the day you have to realize those birds have no experience and they did the best they could. I had people cheering for me and for the birds and even though I didn’t win I still had so much fun and learned alot. While you may not win shows they are fun to go to and make friends or learn more things you never knew. It is hard though because you start putting what you want in your head and start pumping yourself up, you put your all into these birds and all that happens is you realize you didn’t get it. You didn’t get that win or that second place you got a taste of it.
After the shows are said and done you may end up sore about the out comes but you go home and start working with your birds again for the next show, you always need to strive for better to get that win one day, there will always be bias as well from different judges as well. Some may like your birds better than others. The thing with serama shows is they are different from normal chicken shows. Serama are shown “tabletop” meaning they are put on a table and are given 60-90 seconds to strut their stuff and show off the best bird then advances to the next “tier” which there are three of the third being your champions, I set a goal of getting to tier two and I accomplished that but then I wanted more. But as you do these shows you cant touch the bird the focus is all on the bird not you its on how he or she acts. They should strut around be proud but new birds tend to freeze up and not do anything birds with more experience will tend to do better. Normal chicken shows the birds are kept in a cage and the judges will take them out and compare them to the standard of perfection which is a bird of standards set for each breed of chicken as to what they should look like, sound like, stand like, etc. The best bird that fits this description goes to the next level then competes with other winners to eventually give you a standard (large fowl) champion and a bantam (small fowl) champion as well as turkey, goose, guinea and duck champion. For more information on chicken shows in california specifically you can look on: https://www.poultryshowcentral.com/California.html or just google “poultry shows in california” if you are wanting to show serama you can google serama shows or get more information on the SCNA (Serama council of north america) website at: http://www.seramacouncilofnorthamerica.com/
Cornish (not cornish X) The Cornish, first known as the Indian Game chicken, was developed around 1820 by Sir Walter Raleigh Gilbert of England. General Gilbert claimed to have produced the breed from a cross of Red Aseel over a Black Breasted Red Game of the Lord Derby type. The original purpose was to combine the power of the Aseel Game with the speed of the English Game. Later writers also report that by 1886 any cross of an English Game (aka Old English Game) and Malay chicken were referred to as “Indian Game”. The breed was developed to produce a superior fighting chicken and in that it was a failure – losing much of the “Game” character of the parent breeds. But the cross did produce a unique fowl. About Devonshire and Cornwall, England, the “Indian Game” found supporters and continued to be bred. In appearance, Indian Games are very close feathered, with little or no down apparent. The feathers are short and often quite narrow. Their size is deceptive; the close feathers cause one to expect them to be much lighter than they really are. Males weigh 10.5 lbs, and females weigh 8 lbs. The body of the Indian Game is muscular and strong in appearance. No other breed of poultry more closely represents the ideal of an “Atlas” or “Hercules” poultry equivalent. They have very wide skulls, only medium length necks, thick, short shanks, and their legs are set wide apart. Their bodies, when viewed from above, are heart shaped – the broad part of the heart being the front of the bird and the tail corresponding to the tip of the heart. Unique to the breed is the fact that the type of the male and female are identical. Like so many breeds, the Indian Game was promoted during the 1800’s as the ultimate all around chicken breed. But in this they were not only misrepresented, but it was said that they “…are nearly if not quite the worst domestic fowls for ordinary use.” The heart shaped body type of the breed reduces room for egg production and the breed is only a poor to fair layer of tinted eggs. The Indian Game chickens were found in America to be neither hardy, nor prolific, nor fast growing. The close feathering of the breed prevented them from standing exposure to the elements well and rendering them inappropriate for northern climates. They have very large appetites, and grow fairly slowly. The breed was accepted to the American Poultry Association’s (APA) Standard of Perfection in 1893 as Indian Games. In 1905 the APA change the name to Cornish Indian Game and White Indian Game (a white variety being developed and recognized in 1898). But early supporters of the breed in America felt that term “Game”, being associated with cock fighting, was not only inappropriate in describing the breed’s character, but was holding back its popularity. So in 1910 the APA renamed the breed “Cornish” and moved it from the Oriental class to the English class of fowls. Cornish is a much more appropriate name as the breed was created in and around Cornwall, England, and is not from India. The Cornish chicken was first recognized as an APA standard breed in 1893 in the Dark variety. Other varieties were later recognized in: White, 1898; White-Laced Red, 1909; Buff, 1938; Black, not recognized. The extreme-width of the breast of the Cornish chicken, and overall large portions of meat, has intrigued many breeders for decades. As breeders faced the challenge of bringing Cornish to market successfully, and profitably, two niches were found in which the Cornish excel. Due to the muscular nature of the breed, young birds could be harvested early to produce a small, tender, flavorful, and meaty one-pound bird – the now well-know “Cornish Game Hens.” The second way in which Cornish could be marketed to advantage changed the meat poultry industry indelibly. It seems that Cornish were ideal to crossbreed with American breeds to produce extremely fast growing market poultry. Today the backbone of the commercial poultry industry is the Corn/Rock broiler, a cross of White Cornish and White Plymouth Rock chickens, which can be harvested in only six weeks.
A lovely dark Cornish hen
Sumatras (also frequently referred to as Black Sumatras, although other colors--chiefly white and blue--are available, particularly in bantam size) are a highly decorative fowl hailing from the Indonesian island that is its namesake. They are one of the very old breeds, admitted into the American Standard of Perfection in 1883, although having been originally imported in 1847. There is a lot of speculation as to the origin of the Sumatra; some believe that this breed may have originally been another race of jungle fowl, before being interbred with other fowls, and some think it may be the result of a cross with Gallus varius, the Green Junglefowl, or even that it may be from some other pheasant cross. The Sumatra may be an ancestor or relative of the Silkie, and possibly the forebearer of muffed and tasseled OE Games; it has certainly been used a fighting fowl and as a cross for other Game breeds, although it is now exclusively an exhibition bird.The Sumatra today is a nice layer of white or tinted eggs; if one fancies small, pheasant-type birds, it can even be used as a meat fowl, although the dark pigment might be a detracting point. What is the breed's chief strong point is its beautiful, lustrous black plumage, shining with a really intense beetle green sheen. The head has an intelligent, wild-bird appearance; a small pea comb, tiny or no wattles, a large chocolate brown eye, and facial skin the color of a ripe black plum. The legs are glossy black, and the cocks frequently have a cluster of several spurs on each leg (a breed peculiarity). Both sexes have a long tail carried low, but the male has a particularly impressive heavy sweep of long, brilliant, curving, sharply pointed tail feathers. This bird has also been used in the creation of several lines of cockfighting birds including blueface and sid taylor lines, it is thought that todays sumatra are direct descendents of the original sumatran birds. They can be known to be aggressive at times. There is also a bantam variety offered of this breed but only in black
The Dorking chicken is an ancient breed first developed as a landrace in the area of Kent, Sussex, and Surrey counties in England. This area was famous for producing poultry of the highest quality for the table; the five-toed Dorking having been the most sought after of these chickens. It is the town of Dorking, once called Darking, for which the breed was named.The origin of Dorking chickens is a bit of a mystery. The Roman author, Columella wrote of five-toed fowls in Rome whose description fits Dorkings fairly well. Popular history is that the Romans brought five-toed fowls with them when they invaded in 43 A.D. Curious is the fact that these five-toed fowls were so respected by the Romans for their fine table qualities, but none are to be found in Italy. One could speculate that the Romans may have brought the five-toed Ardennes chickens from Belgium and that these formed the basis for the Dorking breed. We also know that prior to the Roman arrival in Britain, Phoenician traders were known to visit from the Mediterranean and exchange poultry for tin in Great Britain. Dorking chickens are to be found in several colors, the most ancient of these being the White, the Colored (or Coloured), and the Silver Gray. Much old literature speculates that the White Dorking chicken is the original variety. We know that the Colored Dorking is the largest of the Dorking chicken varieties and that the Silver Gray Dorking was derived from it. Other colors of Dorking chickens include Cuckoo, Black, Red, and Speckled. As a table fowl, the Dorking chicken has few peers and no superlatives. The flesh is tender and delicate. The chickens are well fleshed in the choicest sections: breast, merrythought (wishbone area), and wings. Early Dorking chicken breeders so valued the breed that it was only with great difficulty that any live chickens could be obtained at any price. At one time it was rumored that the town of Dorking had a law against selling the chickens alive. Though easily fattened for the pot, Dorking hens are excellent winter layers, and could be said to be very good layers except for their propensity to sit after laying 35-50 eggs. They are exemplary sitters and mothers; often staying with the chicks far longer than hens of other breeds. Dorking hens also tend to welcome chicks of other hens. Dorking pullets are slow to come into lay, but will be found to lay all through the winter – a time when eggs are harder to come by. The breed is not much inclined to wander far from home, though they are good foragers. They like to roost in trees when given a chance – something unexpected of a large chicken with short legs. Exactly when Dorking chickens arrived in America is a bit of a mystery. We do know they were well distributed here before 1840, and were even shown at the first poultry show in America in 1849. By 1904 they were the most popular breed in their native England. The Dorking chicken is recognized by the American Poultry Association in three varieties: White (1874), Silver-Gray (1874), and Colored (1874). Males weigh 9 lbs and females weigh 7 lbs.