Aside from their odd name, Dorkings are a handsome breed of chickens with their beautiful red combs, bright plumage and interesting history. If was for this reason AND their listing as critical that made them an attractive choice for Firefly Farms.
The Dorking chicken is an ancient breed first developed as a landrace in the area of Kent, Sussex, and Surrey counties in England. This area was famous for producing poultry of the highest quality for the table; the five-toed Dorking having been the most sought after of these chickens. It is the town of Dorking, once called Darking, for which the breed was named.
Popular history is that the Romans brought five-toed fowls with them when they invaded England in 43 A.D. Curious is the fact that these five-toed fowls were so respected by the Romans for their fine table qualities, but none are to be found in Italy. Dorking chickens are to be found in several colors, the most ancient of these being the White, the Colored (or Coloured), and the Silver Gray. Much old literature speculates that the White Dorking chicken is the original variety. Exactly when Dorking chickens arrived in America is a bit of a mystery. We do know they were well distributed here before 1840, and were even shown at the first poultry show in America in 1849. By 1904 they were the most popular breed in their native England.