Dominique Chickens

The staff at Colonial Michilimackinac is very excited to be welcoming a new flock of Dominique chickens this season. They may be small now, but soon they will be pecking at bugs, eating garden greens and scratching away just like they were doing 250 years ago.
Chickens like these were somewhat common in North America as early as the mid-1700s. Early accounts of the fort at Michilimackinac mention that there were somewhere around 60 chickens roaming about the fur trading village. While none of those travelers mention exactly what type of chickens they were seeing, we looked at many popular breeds form the time and settled on the sweet-tempered and scrappy Dominique. The exact origin of this variety is a little hazy to pin down, but some say that they are America’s first unique breed, likely descending from European varieties. Early names of these fowl include Blue Spotted Hen, Old Grey Hen, Dominico, Dominic, and Dominicker. They would have largely been kept by individuals for their medium-sized brown eggs rather than their meat, although they are a good dual-purpose bird. The staff is excited to bring the Dominiques on board. However, we need names for them! Head over to our Facebook page to add your name suggestion to the post. Winners will be given two tickets to Colonial Michilimackinac to visit the chickens this summer, as well as an official ‘naming’ certificate. Members of the Mackinac State Historic Parks staff will select the winning names from the entries on Facebook. We hope you visit this summer!  

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