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What is Norfolk Grey chicken

The Norfolk Grey is a rare breed of chicken developed in the city of Norwich, in Norfolk, England, around 1910. They were created by Fred Myhill, before World War I, as dual-purpose birds under the name of “Black Maria ”. The name was eventually changed to Norfolk. It is a rare breed that is currently considered at risk by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust.

Norfolk Grey characteristics

The Norfolk Grey is a heavy breed, weighing on average between 2.5 and 3 kg, but they are not particularly large. Individual crest, red earlobes, and slate or black legs. The plumage of the rooster is black with beautiful silver buckles and saddle feathers. Whereas, the plumage of the hen is completely black, except for the neck, which has a silver cord.

Norfolk Grey breed temperament

Norfolk Greys are excellent foragers and do well in free-range. It is a hardy breed and is able to cope with adverse climates without too much trouble. This breed is suitable for both meat and egg production. It is a friendly and docile bird by nature. They can fly, but not very high. So you don’t need to have tall fences to raise this breed of chicken.

Norfolk Grey egg production

Chickens produce a good number of colored eggs (about 150-220 medium eggs per year). But they rarely hatch their eggs. They make excellent table birds if allowed to mature slowly.

Roosters reach 3.2 to 3.6 kg (7.1 to 7.9 lb) while hens reach 2.25 to 2.7 kg (5.0 to 6.0 lb).

Norfolk Grey history

This bird, originally known as the Black Maria, was developed by Fred Myhill as a dual-purpose breed prior to World War I. (The original name was considered too dark (related to black magic), so it was quickly dropped and the breed was renamed, Norfolk Gray) in 1925. It is believed that the “Birchen Old English Games” and Wyandottes partridge.

In 1926 a society, The Norfolk Club, was formed, but the breed’s popularity slowly declined (partly due to the dark brown color of its eggs) and the absurd belief of that time that white eggs were claimed to be more nutritious. The Norfolk Grey Club was closed during World War II. The breed never really recovered in numbers after the war and was thought to be extinct in the 1960s, but in 1974 a small private farm was found to have 3 hens and a rooster of this rare breed, and a breeding program was implemented. reproduction to resurrect the breed.

Norfolk Grey breed is in recovery

Norfolk gray chickens were believed to have become extinct in the 1960s and it has been a very slow process to resurrect the breed. With very few existing bloodlines, there are now few breeders in the UK, especially in Norfolk. The breed is more popular with small private farm owners than for commercial use, but interest in this beautiful heritage breed is still low, so gray Norfolk could be threatened in the long run.

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