Identifying faults

I want to try to focus on the identification of obvious faults when breeding or buying Norfolk Greys and I’ve tried to include photos where they are available to act as a visual guide.

Males should have a clean breast with no silver flecks or lacing as shown on the photo. The breast should be full and rounded indicating good table qualities. Some silver lacing is acceptable on the females.

A male with a laced or shafty breast as shown here, should only be mated with a female with very poor hackle colouring, otherwise leave him out of the breeding pen.

Select females with reasonably long and flat backs (the carriage should be almost horizontal) and fairly tight feathering around the body.

The feathering on this hen is far too soft especially round the thighs and cushion (base of tail and back). The feathering should be harder giving a definite shape to the body.

The brown speckling on this young growers feathers is called Mossing.   When the juvenile feathers moulted-out they were replaced by solid black feathers that had an amazing beetle green sheen to them. Mossing on  adult birds feathers is classified as a fault.

A good male comb should be straight and have around 5 serrations. A dark eye is another important requirement as are red ear lobes.

This male has a flyaway comb and a crease in his wattle.  Both of these defects are faults but can be corrected in the breeding pen mating him with a hen that has a good close comb and smooth round wattles.

The soles of the feet should be white, black pigment on the soles is fine as long as there is white skin also showing. Any sign of yellow is a fault and a sign of poor breeding, recent cross breeding can justifiably be suspected.

The Eyes should be as dark brown as possible. Light or orange eyes are a fault.  They can be corrected in the breeding pen by mating with a dark eyed  mate, then selecting progency that have the darkest coloured eyes

Light eye colour

Ideal eye colour (care should be when breeding 2 dark eyed Norfolk Greys together; sometimes the offspring might have a gypsy face).   

The height or angle of the male’s tail is not explicitly mentioned in the breed standard, but Dr Joseph Batty suggest in his book that the tail should be between 40-45 degrees. Historical photographic evidence from 1927 suggests that the carriage should be almost horizontal with a long and flat back with fairly tight feathering around the body.

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