Friday, April 20, 2007

Dorking Book

Dorkings are a beautiful and ancient breed, the old Five-Toed Fowl on Britain. Jan Irving of Australia compiled new interviews and historic documentation into a book published in 2005. It is available from Cafe Press through her site at, $30.

The illustrations alone make it worth the price. It's difficult to find good pictures of these birds and she includes drawings from the mid-19th century and the early 20th century as well as photos of contemporary birds.

SPPA has some distinguished Dorking breeders among its members, including SPPA president Craig Russell, who is interviewed in Ms. Irving's book. Former Dorking Club president and poultry judge Phil Bartz was featured in a West Central Illinois Public Television program, "Illinois Lives," broadcast in January 2007. I joined him as a representative of SPPA on the program.

His explanations of several rare breeds are excellent. He holds each one up and shows you exactly what he is talking about. As a judge and breeder of many years standing, he knows every feather and characteristic.

The video is available from WSEC at for $24.95.