Everyday Acres has a breeding flock of Red Dorkings. The name Dorking comes from the village in England where the breed was developed as the chicken we know today. Our Dorkings came from a breeding flock in North Carolina. Dorkings are an ancient heritage breed and we selectively breed them to meet the following standards:
- The breed standard for color, weight, and other attributes as described in the American Poultry Association’s Standard of Perfection
- As good egg layers of at least 150 eggs per year, including a proclivity to lay well throughout the winter
- Excellent meat flavor (Dorkings are known for their outstanding taste) and decreasing the amount of time it takes to grow them to appropriate weight for processing for the dinner table.
We also have some Jersey Giants and Ameraucanas to supplement our egg-layers and add a little bit of color to your cream-colored Dorking eggs – Jersey Giants lay brown eggs and Ameraucanas lay lovely blue eggs. Our stock came from locally purchased hatching eggs whose parents came from Sand Hill Preservation, a breed preservation facility in Iowa.
A Day in the Life
I open the barn doors every morning to allow the chickens to have access to the pasture all day. They go through phases throughout the day – running around, flapping their wings, and scratching in the morning, retiring to the barn or outdoor shady spots to preen and rest in the afternoon, and a final run around the pasture before dark. The chickens can choose to dust bathe outside or in a kiddie pool in the barn filled with a mixture of sand, diatomaceous earth, and wood ash. I close the barn doors at dark after most have perched on the roosts for the night to protect them from predators. We also have two Great Pyrenees that serve as livestock guardian dogs – they mostly snooze during the day and guard the property at night. Every creature has it’s place and we would rather deter raccoons, coyotes, and other predators with the dogs than set traps or hunt them.
All the chickens have constant access to fresh water sourced from our well and food. Our poultry feed comes from Berry Family Farms, about 25 minutes southeast of our farm. Mr. Berry uses his own crops in his feed mixes and grows without the use of GMO crops or Roundup. Fertrell mineral mixes are used in his feed and give our birds a well balanced diet from a local and naturally farmed source.