At present Norfolk Grey's do not have their own breed club and are classified as a rare breed by the Poultry Club of Great Britain
and the Rare Breeds Survival Trust
The following extracts has been taken from 'The Feathered World Yearbook' of 1927 from an article written by Mr Thomas Leyson a well respected breeder and exhibitor of the Norfolk Grey in the early years of the breeds creation.
I feel that a more able pen than mine is needed to do justice to this fine breed, yet I am delighted at the chance of doing what I can to help and only hope that these notes will be of interest to both old hands and new and cause at least a few to give the variety a trial.
The colouring of the bird is black and silver, one of the most striking combinations in the world, and few breeds can equal them in beauty and plumage. Add to this the graceful and alert carriage, glorious, full, dark and bold eyes and sterling utility qualities, and you have the reasons - good reasons too for their fast growing popularity.
I have kept most of the known breeds of poultry and find the Norfolks equal to any. For the small fancier they are ideal, as competition is very open and new breeders coming in now stand an excellent chance of going quickly to the top of the tree.
These days there seems to be a craze in the fancy and in utility circles too - foreign breeds. But I am glad to say that the Norfolk Grey is British throughout and I would urge all breeders in these times of financial stress to keep their money at home or in the words of a famous British motor-car manufacturer:
"Buy British and be proud of it!"
Quote from Poultry Club Year Book 1927 by Mr Fred Myhill the breeds originator :
'Here's a hint to all those that I love,
And a hint to all those that love me,
And a hint to all those that love those that I love,
And to those that love those that love me.
'Try Norfolk Greys'
Introduction to the Rare Breed Norfolk Grey
This year (2015) proactive Norfolk Grey Breeders are celebrating 90 years since the breed was registered with the Poultry Club under its current name of The Norfolk Grey . Although, the breed was created around 1910 it was firstly given the name of The Black Maria later changed to The Black Marea. Neither name seemed to attract other breeders to take up the birds so, Mr Fred Myhill the breeds creator, changed it once more to the present day name of The Norfolk Grey.
Over the past few years there has been a revival of the breed probably due to the increased promotion of these stunning birds via social media, published articles and this website. Norfolk Grey breeders now have 2 Facebook Groups where we discuss and post photographs of our birds. Several photograph and a caption competition have been staged to encourage keepers to show off their birds online.
This website has attracted alot of new keepers and interest in the breed from all over the world. The Breeders List on this site has also enabled newcomers and those looking to improve their bloodlines to source hatching eggs and youngstock more easily.
This year we are celebrating 90 years of the Norfolk Grey at the PCGB National Championships to be held at the Telford International Centre on 21/22 November 2015. If you keep or breed Norfolk Grey's then please don't miss this opportunity to celebrate with us. There are classes for both male and female Norfolk Greys and every cage will be presented with a commerative rosette in celebration of the 90 years sponsored by Norfolk Grey Poultry. After the National Championship Judging - Between us we will be having our own fun judging competitions, where each breeder will have a chance to judge the other birds for fun competitions such as: 'bird with the darkest eyes, male with the best comb, bird nearest the standard weight, prettiest female' etc., Hopefully we will have a knowlegable judge to walk us through the judging procedure giving us pointers on what the judge is looking for in the exhibition Norfolk Grey. There will hints and tips on selecting your breeding pen and a question and answer session. All making for an enjoyable weekend shared with our common interest - The Norfolk Grey.
During the past 3 years we have experienced some exciting developments as Norfolk Greys were hatched and are now being bred in Croatia, France, Ireland, Italy, Turkey and in the United States of America, these exciting developments can only bode well for the breed's survival in the future.
In the USA 4 chicks managed to hatch out of eggs imported from England in 2014. The birds developed well and were put into their breeding pens. In January the first Norfolk Grey chicks 'made' in the USA were born and hopefully there will be many more in the months and years to come.
At the 2012 National Championships sadly there was only 1 cock and 2 pullets shown by 2 breeders. However, at the 2014 National Championships prove of their rise in popularity was seen by 6 Males and 5 females being exhibited by 6 breeders.
In 2014 Norfolk Greys were exhibited for the first time at the Welsh National Championships when a cockerel and pullet were shown. At the 2015 Welsh National Championships 5 Norfolk Greys were exhibited in 4 separate AOV (any other variety) classes, all the Norfolk Greys on show were duly carded in the top 3 class results.
Already in 2015 more history has been made for the breed, when the 1st Norfolk Grey to be shown in Ireland, was placed 3rd in the AOV large rare breed class at the Irish National Championships. Also, a Norfolk Grey Pair was shown and awarded 1st place at the 2015 Irish Poultry Keepers Show 2015. Several other breeders have now received and are hatching eggs in Ireland so we hope to add their contact details to the website Breeders List within the near future.
At The 2015 Vale of Glamorgan Show the first standard bred Norfolk Grey Bantam was shown for the first time. In the Rare Breeds class 24 bantams and 17 large fowl exhibits were presented for exhibition with the Norfolk Grey bantam pullet firstly winning her Any Variety Bantam class then she secured Best Rare Breed to take her place on Championship Row. The little pullet was then selected by the judges as the Supreme Show Champion over 300 other exhibits. Possibly this was a small recorded moment in the history for the Norfolk Grey. Also worth noting there was 7 large fowl and 2 bantam Norfolk Greys on show. Both a large male and a large female their Large Rare classes. Triple success for the breed!