Monday, April 23, 2007

Historic Breeds are Living History

We are spending a few days in the Twin Cities, Minneapolis-St. Paul. A living history farm north of the urban center features two historic chicken breeds, Dominiques and Silver Gray Dorkings.

Oliver H. Kelley Farm in Elk River, Minnesota,, is open for general visitors May through October. During the other months, schools are welcome to plan field trips and private groups can hold conferences and meetings there. The farm, operated by the state Historic Society, also holds frequent events, listed on its calendar.

The Dominiques and Silver Gray Dorkings were chosen as historically accurate breeds with the assistance of Glenn Drowns of Sand Hill Preservation Center in Calamus, Iowa, Mr. Drowns served as secretary/treasurer of the Society for Preservation of Poultry Antiquities for many years.

The oldest variety of Dorkings is the Red. This shy but pretty Red Dorking hen lives at Plimouth Plantation in Massachusetts, My husband took this picture when we visited the site last September.

The Silver Dorking variety was developed in America in the 19th century, making them an excellent choice for this farm, which was operated by Mr. Kelley and his family members at various times from 1850 to 1885.

No comments: