The Scots Grey Chicken, Once Known as the Scotch Grey, is not Grey

BREED NAME: Scots Grey

BRIEF DESCRIPTION: The Scots Grey Chicken, once known as the Scotch Grey, is not grey at all, but black and white striped with metallic iridescence also called Cuckoo or Barred in the poultry world.

To differentiate the Scots Grey from similar looking breeds like the Cuckoo Marans and Barred Plymouth Rock, a subtle steel grey base can be seen in the black barring.

The barring is meant to be alternating on each feather and horizontal, is darker with wider stripes in females, but has a distinctive “v” shape in the saddle, tail, neck and hackle feathers of the roosters. Wing flights should have the broadest barring that gently fades to grey. Skin is white.

History proves the existence of the Scots Grey Chicken developed for Scottish dual purpose farm life, by at least the 16th Century. This upright breed is hardy and active and has been known to develop damaging flock habits if confined.

The breed has similar foundations to the Scots Dumpy, but leg length is an easily spotted difference. Malays and Dorkings are highly suspected in the development of the Scots Grey. There is a bantam variety.

The Facts: Scots Grey Chicken

Class: Large, light, soft feather

Size: Standard Male: 9-11 Ibs. / Standard Female: 7-9 Ibs. / Bantam Male: 1-2lb. / Bantam Female: 1-1.5lb.

Comb, wattles lobes: Red, medium straight 6-7 point comb.

Color: Barred Cuckoo B & W, amber eyes, white beak with some black streaking allowed. Shanks are white but some black mixed in is acceptable and more common in the bantam variety.

Place of Origin: Scotland

Conservation Status: Endangered

Special Qualities: The Scots Grey is considered auto-sexable, though traits aren’t always 100%. Male hatchlings are usually pale grey with a white spot on the head, pullet chicks are black.

In spite of limited stock and inbreeding, chicks are generally healthy and thrive. Eggs are medium sized and white. The influence of Old English Game is suspected due to the Scots Grey’s gamey stature. They are upright and long legged. Their slender and athletic build makes them easy to fly and they may prefer roosting in trees if allowed.

Feather color and crispness of barring is a defining factor. Black or grey bleeding into white areas, and off color feathers, like red or gold, solid white or solid black in body, flights or tails should be avoided.

Some of these undesirable traits may show up later in the life of some Scots Greys and should be considered in selecting the best breeding stock.

The Scots Grey Bantam is one of the smallest of all bantams and is very limited and in the care of a few exhibitors. It should be a precise miniature of the standard variety.

The standard variety is considered endangered and the bantam is scarce. Keeping the bantams under 2 lbs is difficult but important, though some breeders prefer them larger.

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