We decided to get started with our chicken project this summer instead of waiting until next spring. So, we have our chicken breed all picked out…
This is a Silver Grey Dorking chicken. The Dorkings are a very old chicken breed – lore says they were being raised during Roman times, and were brought by Roman soldiers to the UK, where for centuries they were considered to be some of the finest-tasting poultry one could put on the table. Apparently the breed was so jealously guarded that it was illegal for a long time to sell a live Dorking chicken, lest someone start their own flock and compete! They are now a heritage breed, and somewhat rare. Dorkings are a multipurpose chicken, being good producers of both eggs and meat. They also have a tendency to lay well over the dark winter months, in contrast to most modern breeds. They are also supposed to be very tame. We plan to start off with a rooster and three hens and then let them sit on their own eggs to provide us with more hens and some meat cockerels.
Here is the coop we will probably be getting.
We originally planned to build our own, but we have so many projects going on this summer and fall that it would be impractical. And this one is priced very reasonably, probably only just a bit more than it would cost us to make it ourselves. So we made an executive decision to just buy one and concentrate our efforts on other projects, like the garden and orchard, instead.