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Scots Grey - Chicken
Scots Grey Details
UsesModerate egg layer, small table bird.
ClassLarge Fowl, light, soft feather
CombSingle, 5/6 points.
Weight, cock3.2 kg
Weight, hen2.3 kg
Scots Grey Club
Scots Grey Description
There is little published information on the history of the Scots Grey. Meaning it is hard to determine the origins and parentage of the breed. Their exact region of origin is unknown but they were commonly used by cottagers all over Scotland and are likely to have been in existence since the 18th century or earlier. The Scots Grey can be highly recommended for its hardy nature, suitability for free range rearing and reliable, steady egg laying ability. The breast meat is limited but of good flavour. Scots Greys are a very energetic and sometimes aggressive and flighty breed. Chicks are surprisingly vigorous despite the breeds rarity and level of inbreeding. The Scots Grey is also an auto sexing breed meaning the gender of day old chicks can be determined by the down colour. Male chicks are pale grey/black in colour with a prominent white spot on the head and females are a deep black with less defined markings. Although they are auto-sexable it is not 100% reliable.
The breed has reasonably tight feathering, long legs and a general gamey appearance that would suggest some Old English Game ancestry. Whether OEG would have been in the breed’s original make up or introduced late in the 19th century for the desired exhibition type is unknown.
Scots Greys have an erect habit with the back sloping down from the neck hackle. Close feathering and little sign of a cushion help give the breed a long backed appearance. The breast is well rounded and of solid constitution.
Body, thigh and wing feathers have a steel-grey ground colour. The black barring has a metallic lustre, bars run straight across on body, wing and thigh feathers and are slightly angled or ‘V’ shaped on neck hackle, saddle and tail feathers. Females have equally precise but broader barring. The bars alternate along each feather and should be of equal width and are proportionate to the size of the feather. Wing flights have broader bars than body feathers but they should fade to grey across the feather. Face and earlobes are red and the single comb is medium sized with well-defined serrations. Eyes are amber and the beak is white, sometimes with black streaking. Shanks and thighs are long. Legs are white but black leg markings as shown in the accompanying photo are a desirable feature but more commonly seen on bantams than large fowl. Birds that have squirrel tails, white in the tail, black flights, totally black body feathers, red or yellow feathers or feathers with black running into white should be avoided. However some of these undesirable characteristics may occur with age.
Scots Grey bantams are nearer a miniature size and are one of the smallest of all bantam breeds. Males should weigh in at 620-680g and females 510-570g. Some have become larger than these weights but are preferred by some breeders. The bantam is indeed very scarce, more so than the large-fowl and would seem to be mainly in the hands of dedicated exhibitors.