Origin, diffusion and economic characteristics
Origin: United Kingdom
It is a rare breed that originated in Norwich in the early twentieth century and then spread throughout the United Kingdom. The breed was originally created by Frederick W Myhill of Hethel, Wymondham with the name of Black Maria. It is a breed bred for eggs and meat and is the result of the cross between the Silver Birchen Game and the Duckwing Leghorn. The Norfolk Gray Club association was formed in 1926, but the breed's popularity slowly decreased (in part due to the dark brown color of the eggs) and the association was closed during the Second World War. In 1960 the breed was defined as extinct, but in 1974 a private breeder was found who still owned 3 hens and a rooster from which a recovery program started. Today only a few breeders, mainly in the south of England, try to protect the breed.
The head is red and the eyes are black, while the legs are black or slate colored.
- Roosters 3.2-3.6 kg
- Hens 2.25-2.7 kg
Norfolk gray rooster (photo https://norfolkgreychickens.com/)
Gray Norfolk Hen (By Ekaterina Gerasimova (KittyKat (talk)) - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=33957577)