The Dorking breed of chicken is believed to have originated in Italy during the Roman Empire. Columella, an agricultural writer during the reign of Julius Caesar, mentioned it in his treatise titled, "Of Husbandry in Twelve Books". In the first century B.C. Caesar introduced the breed to Britain where most of the breed’s development took place.
Considered as the oldest English breed of chicken, its first appearance was in an 1845 poultry show, and later used to produce the Faverolles and the Sussex breeds. Its name is derived from the market town of Dorking in Surrey, England.
This particular breed is in possession of a couple of distinct characteristics such as having five toes as opposed to the typical four toes – the fifth toe is located in the back of the foot; and has a huge six-pointed single comb, although some varieties have a rose comb. There are five standard plumages recognized by the American Poultry Association's Standard of Perfection - Silver White, Dark Red, Grey, and Cuckoo. Although red is the oldest color variety, it wasn't accepted until 1995.
A standard Dorking cock weighs 9 pounds, while the hen weighs 7 pounds.