Last year I managed to find a trio of Red Dorking hens and a cockerel. As you do, I had opened a book and set my heart on this dual-purpose breed. They are placid, moderate layers and go broody relatively easily. They are also perfectly suited to a woodland environment and being a larger bird, thrive with a little more space than your typical bedsit. The Dorks, as they have become known to us, come in 5 varieties. Silver Grey, Red, Dark, White, and Cuckoo. They are in very limited numbers so I was lucky to find some, let alone less than 20 miles from home. I do love it when a plan just comes together like that.

Fast forward to spring 2018 and the girls are settled and are producing fertile eggs so I have popped a few in a borrowed incubator to see how we get on. We also have a few ex-commercial girls in the flock so I have collected their eggs too in the hope we might get a few more hybrids to lay over winter.

I have candled the eggs and have had my nose pressed up against the incubator window practically on the hour, every hour for the past couple of weeks! Research is done, box is set up. They are now on lockdown. T minus 3 days to launch. Wish us luck!

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