Key Characteristics

The breed, though popular in the bantam form is not often seen in large fowl. The bantams can be confined but they prefer free range although they can be noisy. They are a hardy breed, although they can be susceptible to external parasites such as fleas or mite, so need to be checked regularly.


  • The Scots Dumpy is a very old poultry breed of purely Scottish extraction.
  • In the early twentieth century it was known by many different names,‘Creepies’ ’Crawlers’ and ‘Bakies’. 
  • Similar birds with Dumpy characteristics have been shown to exist in Saxon times as early as A.D. 900.
  • Legend has it that when the Roman Army moved north of the border, the Picts carried a type of poultry similar to today’s Dumpies as guards to warn off strangers approaching the camp.
  • The Scots Dumpy almost disappeared in the middle of the last century, when the breed went into severe decline. Had it not been for a dedicated band of breeders in Scotland during the 1970s it could have died out completely.


  • Legs should not be more than one and a half inches long, hence the bird waddles from side to side.
  • It has a broad flat body, single comb, red eyes and earlobes.
  • There are both large and bantam varieties, with the main colours being black and cuckoo, although blues and whites are sometimes seen. There are more large Dumpies than bantams and the number of cuckoo bantams is very low.


Depending on the strain the egg yield is up to 180 white to tinted eggs per year.

Did you know?

The Scots Dumpy is known to its unique short legs. These are due to a dwarfing gene similar to the one found in the Dexter cattle. If two short legged birds are mated, 50% will result in short legs, 25% will hatch with longer legs and 25% will fail to develop as viable embryos, or will die upon hatching. Breeders tend to breed a long legged bird and a short legged bird resulting usually in 50% birds being long legged and the other half short legged. The long legged Dumpies are not affected by the gene.

Breed Societies

Scots Dumpy Club