Chicken from Ro­man times

Your Chickens - - Ask Our Experts -

QA friend told me that the Dork­ing is one of the UKs oldest breeds of chicken. Was he right?

AAndy Cawthray says: In a sense, yes he was. The Dork­ing is a very an­cient Bri­tish breed be­lieved to have its ances­try rooted back in Ro­man Bri­tain where five-toed Dork­ing like breeds were de­scribed in texts from AD47. It is a very heavy breed but there is no ev­i­dence as yet to sug­gest that, as in the case of other gi­ant chick­ens, it is in any way re­lated to the huge breeds originating from Asia. Well es­tab­lished in the early 19th cen­tury it made a sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tion to the de­vel­op­ment of other ta­ble breeds.

Dork­ing chicken

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