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Old 05-26-2012, 07:54 AM   #1
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Default Silver Grey Dorking

Hereís some info on a breed of chick I ordered this year, http://www.feathersite.com/Poultry/C.../BRKDorks.html. Itís a heritage breed thatís been around for a whileÖ. itís not rareÖ. itís just not all that common. Theyíre meat birds that are extremely docile. That page gives some info on how to sex day old dorking chicks. The photos were good. I didnít realize there was a way to tell the difference without vent checking or waiting it out for this breed as you would sexing ameraucanas so Iíve been on cloud 9 because Iíll be able to separate out the males from the females. We will be keeping 5 females. Iíll move the females into a corner of the chicken coop where we will easily be able to start handling them. This breed is said to ďtame upĒ easily. The males will be moved into a separate ďbachelorĒ pen where they will be transitioned to a meat bird feed. Hereís another site that has photos on sexing day olds, Silver Grey Dorkings - A Beautiful Calm Heritage Chicken Breed. That site gave a little bit of the background and history of the Dorking breed too which was nice. They also described the temperament of the breed, ďThese are a quiet, gentle, peaceful breed. They make a quiet squeaking, peeping noise when foraging and content that I have heard from no other breed. They are mild mannered and can be shy but are easy to tame. Just handling them once or twice can be enough to tame them up. I have had shy Dorkings trail around after me like pets after being caught once and having a plastic leg band put on.Ē I havenít heard the peeping noise yet. Maybe Iíll hear it when theyíre a little older and louder.
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Here's a photo of a Silver Grey Dorking dozing off in my hand and another photo of a chick that had a nap and was alert.
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Silver Grey Dorking-img_8808.jpg   Silver Grey Dorking-img_8822.jpg  
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Old 05-26-2012, 07:57 AM   #2
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The 1st photo is of 2 female chicks at several days of age. Notice the dark coloration and shape of the markings. The 2nd photo... taken the same day... is of 2 male chicks.
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Silver Grey Dorking-img_8823.jpg   Silver Grey Dorking-img_8826.jpg  
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Old 05-26-2012, 08:01 AM   #3
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A photo from above of 4.5 week old dorking chicks.
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Old 05-26-2012, 08:05 AM   #4
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Round about the time they hit their gangly "tween" phase of 4-5 weeks, it's hard sexing them from the markings on their heads. Their wing feathers for sure help us tell which chicks are female and which are male. The 1st 2 photos are little pullets and the last 2 photos are little cockerels.
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Silver Grey Dorking-img_8993.jpg   Silver Grey Dorking-img_8997.jpg   Silver Grey Dorking-img_9001.jpg   Silver Grey Dorking-img_9002.jpg  
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Old 05-26-2012, 08:08 AM   #5
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Here's a photo of little pullets enjoying a treat of organic flax seed.
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Old 05-26-2012, 08:10 AM   #6
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An even easier way to tell the difference between the males and the females is to get down on your knees and look at their chests. The photo on the left is of 2 female dorkings and the photo on the right is of 2 male dorkings.
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Old 05-26-2012, 08:25 AM   #7
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These were some fun photos of their 1st day out in the sunshine in the chicken tractor. I pretty much stick a few in a cat carrier then walk em out to the tractor and put them in 1 by 1. They've never "experienced" grass before so when I set them down.... they "stay put". They remain motionless for what seems to be a very long time. It takes a strange sound to get them moving and once they do, they take off for a corner. By their 3rd day out in the chicken tractor, their little legs are moving before you set them on the ground. They're raring to go because they like being outside. So much so.... it's hard grabbing em to bring em back inside for the night. The last photo has 1 chick that's not a dorking. It was my "bonus" chick. He stands out from the rest easily these days. He's much lankier and considerably taller than the dorkings. I'm pretty sure I pegged his ID as a White Faced Black Spanish. I'm not happy with the temperament of that bird. It's an elegant looking bird but.... my guess based on the aggressiveness of the chick I have is that this isn't a docile breed, http://www.feathersite.com/Poultry/C...h/BRKWFBS.html.
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Silver Grey Dorking-img_8950.jpg   Silver Grey Dorking-img_8952.jpg   Silver Grey Dorking-img_8947.jpg  
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Old 05-26-2012, 08:33 AM   #8
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Another distinctive trait of this breed would be that they have 5 toes, Rare Breeds Trust of Australia: the Silver-Grey Dorking, "Being what is termed a heavy breed the Dorking is a friendly and tractable breed, easily tamed and popular with the children that visit even though they are a large breed of fowl. They have proven immensely popular at my sons pre-school! For a large breed they can fly well and this has surprised a few people so be forewarned. It can be best to raise them separately from other more aggressive breeds as this docile nature allows them to be bullied and to let them reach full size they need the feed. Raised on their own, the pullets with an old cock and the cockerels separate they will reach maturity more quickly. One bonus is they can be culled early as on or two always hatch with four toes and these should never be kept to use in the breed pens although welcome as pets."
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Old 05-26-2012, 02:26 PM   #9
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very nice !!! I love the look, so pretty. also if that is a white faced black spanish I want it!!!!!!!!!!!! I love the look . but I believe the reason its not very tame is that this one of yours looks like a rooster, Im studying up on it now. very pretty bird. I loved the look of the spanish, and I love the white egg.
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Old 05-26-2012, 03:58 PM   #10
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You have become quite the chicken expert!

I feel sorry for those poor chickens, always being called a dork. . . . Very nice than you can tell the girls from the boys early on.
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