Key Characteristics

The breed offers a generally friendly and docile character. While they can fly, they are not known as ‘fliers’ so high fencing is not necessary. The limited numbers mean that in-breeding can be an issue with a knock-on effect on fertility in some cases. The Norfolk Grey is not known as a sitter, it is only very occasionally that a hen turns broody. The docile character means mixing with other breeds isn’t usually a problem. The breed’s hardiness means that it isn’t particularly susceptible to any of the common poultry complaints.


  • The breed was developed as by Fred Myhill of Norwich between 1910 and 1912 under the name Black Marias.
  • He went off to fight in the First World War and came back to find all his work undone. He started again and took them to the 1920 Dairy Show. In about 1925 he changed the name to the more appealing Norfolk Grey.
  • They were mainly the result of a cross breed between Silver Birchen Game and Duckwing Leghorns.
  • Unfortunately this bird, which was developed as a hardy utility breed, never caught on and in the 1970s stocks reportedly dwindled to just 4 birds which were acquired by Andrew and Sue Bowden.


  • The Norfolk Grey is a medium-heavy breed.
  • Birds should be fairly upright with dark grey or black legs.
  • There is only one colour variety, black and silver-white. The male is the more striking with silver-white feathering on the neck. 


Subject to the strain, they should lay around 230 medium- sized light brown/tinted eggs in a year. If hatched around April time they lay through the winter.

Breed Societies

Rare Poultry Society