Norfolk Grey Chicken Characteristics, Temperament & Uses

Norfolk Grey chicken is a dual purpose breed which is very rare now. The breed originates from the town of Norwich, in Norfolk, England in around 1910. Frederick W Myhill of Hethel created Norfolk Grey chicken as utility birds under the name Black Maria.

Orginally the breed was created before 1914, possibly as early as 1908. And the name ‘Norfolk Grey chicken’ was unfortunately reminiscent of funerals and was quickly dropped and the breed took the name Norfolk Grey instead. They are heavy chicken breed, but not too large.

These chickens were said to have been developed by crossing the Birchen English Game with Partridge Wyandottes or possibly Birchen English Game with Duckwing Leghorns. There is a bantam version of this chicken breed.

Characteristics of Norfolk Grey Chicken

These chickens have single comb and a red face with black eyes. Their legs are slate or black. Plumage of Norfolk Grey chicken is attractively marked and the roosters have a beautiful silver hackle striped with black as is the neck, saddle, back and wing feathers.

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And the rest of the plumage is black. The hen’s hackle is similar to the roosters, but the hens have an otherwise rich black feathering all over apart from the throat which is silver laced. It is is a medium-heavy breed.

On an average, standard Norfolk Grey roosters weight about 3.2 kg and hens about 2.7 kg. Photo from Wikipedia.


These chickens are great foragers and very economic breed. They do very well when free ranging. It is a hardy breed and is capable of dealing with inclement weather without too much trouble. This breed is suitable for both meat and eggs production.

These chickens can produce a good-sized carcass for meat production if they are allowed to mature slowly. And the hens produce good number of medium sized tinted colored eggs. And the hens are pretty good winter layers too.

It is a friendly breed and docile in nature. They can fly, but are not among the good fliers. So you don’t need to have high fencing for raising this chicken breed. Norfolk Grey chicken is not known as good sitter. The hens occasionally go broody.

In a word, the Norfolk Grey is a great choice for the small farmers. Review full breed profile of this chicken breed below.

Breed NameNorfolk Grey
Other NameNone
Breed PurposeDual Purpose (Meat & Eggs)
Breed TemperamentActive, Calm, Friendly, Quiet, Easily Handled
Breed SizeLarge
Climate ToleranceAll Climates
Egg ColorTinted
Egg SizeMedium
Egg ProductivityMedium
Feathered LegsNo
Country of OriginUnited Kingdom

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