Can You Identify This Mystery Chicken Breed?

One of the oldest breeds of domesticated poultry, this rare breed has a long body, short legs and a fifth toe! Can you identify this mystery breed?

by Chickens Magazine HQ
PHOTO: 3268zauber/CC BY-SA 3.0

Chickens and other poultry members come in all sizes, shapes, colors and personalities. Nearly 400 recognized breeds and varieties of poultry exist, including large fowl and bantam chickensducksgeeseturkeys and guinea fowl. Using our illustration and a few selected hints, can you guess which mystery chicken breed we have depicted here?

Find out the answer below.  


  • This breed is one of the oldest breeds of domesticated poultry, originally brought to Great Britain by the Romans with Julius Caesar. 
  • This unique, very rare breed of chicken has a long body on short legs and a fifth toe. 
  • Although they’re known for meat production, they’re a dual-purpose breed. Females lay between 150 to 180 medium-sized cream eggs per year and are somewhat likely to set.
  • Their “nerdy” name comes from a market town in Surrey in South East England.
  • Murray McMurray carries the Silver Gray variety. Males are a combination of silvery white and black. Females are an ashy gray and white.

Mystery Breed Answer

The breed depicted above is the Dorking.

The Dorking is an ancient, dual-purpose chicken breed that comes in an array of colors not recognized by the American Poultry Association, including Black, Cuckoo and Speckled. 

Standard Dorking cocks weigh about 9 pounds and hens weigh 7 pounds. Single-combed bantam cocks weigh 36 ounces and hens weigh 32 ounces, while the rose-combed bantams weigh about 6 to 8 ounces less.

Roosters of the single-comb variety have large combs that stand upright. Hens’ medium-sized combs fall jauntily to one side. Rose-combed varieties have large rose combs that are square in the front and liberally dotted with spikes and small rounded points.

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Dorkings are sweet, gentle chickens that bear confinement well, but they’re also outstanding foragers.

Learn more about Dorkings here. To purchase blue- and green-egg laying chicken breeds, visit Murray McMurray Hatchery online.

This mystery chicken breed feature originally appeared in the Nov./Dec. 2023 issue of Chickens magazine. Brought to you by Murray McMurray Hatchery, which provides the highest quality poultry and auxiliary products to its customers and has been a trusted, knowledgeable industry resource for more than 100 years. Whether you are an experienced or novice enthusiast, Murray McMurray is sure you’ll enjoy its wide selection of breeds and supplies to assist you with raising your flock! 

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