About our Norfolk Grey Chickens
Uses: Dual Purpose Utility / Rare Breed.
Origin: Norwich, UK. Eggs: 150 - 220 Tinted.
Weight: Cock: 3.2 - 3.6 Kg. Hen: 2.25 - 2.7Kg.
Bantam Cock: 900g Hen: 680g.
Colours: Black with Silver White hackles (Standardised UK).
Useful to Know: An active forager and good egg layer. Cockerels have the ability to produce a good carcass size if a table bird is required. Hens are not excessively broody.
The Norfolk Grey was created by Mr Fred W. Myhill of Norwich, Norfolk. The first birds were given the name Black Marias (the nick name of a First World War German military shell but also a type of plane) and were showed for the first time at the 1920 Dairy Show. The name was not popular with fanciers and around 1925 their name was changed to the Norfolk Grey.
The original birds are thought to be the result of crossing Silver Birchen Game and Duckwing Leghorns. The Norfolk Grey Club was closed down during the Second World War. The breed never really recovered in numbers after the War and was thought to be extinct by the 1960's.
It wasn't until 1974 that Reverend Andrew Bowden and his wife visited a farm near Banbury where they came across a trio of Norfolk Greys, the farmer had kept the breed going for many years and agreed to sell these birds and from the efforts of the Reverend and his wife. The Norfolk Grey is classified as a rare breed. There are both Large Fowl and Bantam versions that are standardised in one plumage colour not surprisingly, the small number of breeders that keep them are found in and around the County of Norfolk.
Plumage is beautifully marked, the male having the most noticable silver hackles striped with black.