Scots Grey

Scots Grey cock

Key Characteristics

Known primarily as a cottager’s fowl, the Scots Grey is revered for its hardiness and its adaptability to thrive in any climatic conditions and is classed as a dual purpose breed. It lays a medium egg for the size of the bird and the chicks grow well and mature quickly, a distinct advantage in the short northern summers.

Only very occasionally will a Scots Grey hen go broody; if allowed to sit they make very good protective mothers. They are alert, active and prefer a free-range, foraging life. The Scots Grey male can be noisy so ensure they are not near to your neighbours!

They can be rather excitable when disturbed.  Males tend to have a feisty attitude during the breeding season, so it is not a breed to have with young children present, although some breeders have no problems with children running around.


  • Often described as the traditional old breed of Scotland there is not much detailed documentation about them.
  • This very old breed can be traced back to the 16th century.
  • The club was formed in 1885 and the main period of popularity was from this year until 1940.


  • It is a tall upright bird with long legs.
  • The breed has white skin, a single comb and red earlobes.
  • The legs are strong, long, widely spaced and are light coloured and featherless.
  • The very full tail is essential for the standard of perfection.
  • There is only one colour, barred.
  • There is a bantam version but the large fowl is far more popular



Depending on the strain egg yield could be around 150-180 per year.

Did you know?

With birds kept outdoors there is a tendency for the sun to make the feathers on the cockerel go brassy on their neck and saddle. Running birds in shade or woodland gets over the problem if exhibiting is the goal. 

The Rare Breeds Survival Trust is the leading national charity working to conserve and protect the United Kingdom's rare native breeds of farm animals from extinction. We rely on the support of our members, grants and donations from the public to raise the £700,000 a year needed to maintain our conservation work with rare UK native breeds of farm animals. Visit to see how you can help.

Breed Societies

Scots Grey Club

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