Dorking Bantam Chickens
Dorking Bantam Chicken’s are ancient believed to have been introduced to England by Romans — based primarily on a description by a Roman writer of a chicken with five toes.
Characteristics: The Dorking Bantam Chicken has a rectangular body set on very short legs. It is five toed and has a relatively large comb, thus requiring protection in extremely cold weather. Dorkings are good layers and are one of the few instances where a bird with red earlobes lays a white shelled egg. Most Dorking hens will go broody, make good mothers and are quite docile. Because of their white skin, Dorkings are not as popular in the U.S. as in Europe. Adaptable to confinement or free range. Calm & docile and more easily handled.
- Standard Weights: Cock-36 oz; Hen-32 oz; Cockerel-32 oz; Pullet-28 oz.
- Varieties: Silver Gray, White, Colored
- Skin Color: Yellow
- Egg Shell Color: White
- Use: Exhibition
- Origin: Italy but developed further in England
Bantams are suitable for smaller backyards as they do not need as much space as other breeds. Bantam hens are also used as laying hens, with some breeds laying up to 150 eggs per year. However, Bantam eggs are only about one-half to one-third the size of a regular hen egg. The Bantam chicken eats the same foods as a normal chicken. In commercial situations they are fed grain-based foods because this is convenient and efficient for the producer. Chickens in the wild eat more insects and vegetation than grains.
In contrast, the Bantam rooster is famous in rural areas throughout the United Kingdom and the United States for its aggressive, “puffed-up” disposition that can be comedic in stature. It is often called a “Banty” in the rural United States.
Many bantam hens are renowned for hatching and brooding. They are very protective mothers and will attack anything that gets near their young.
Bantams do have a higher mortality rate when they are kept as backyard pets. They are easy targets for hawks, cats, foxes, or any other small predator.