Scots Dumpys are
one of the traditional fowl of Scotland and are now one of the rarest breeds
in the UK. It seems that the birds outside of the Highlands and Islands of
Scotland are descended from a couple of birds hatched out of a Dorking hen
in the 1970's when the breed was supposedly extinct. It is said that the some
breeding stock came from eggs imported from flocks out in Zimbabwe.
The breed is possibly one of the most ancient in the United Kingdom - with
reports going back before Roman times - the Picts are meant to have carried
them to battle camps where they were used to warn of approaching strangers.
Tradition has it that they were brought to Scotland by the Phoenician traders
[333.B.C.]. From piecing together some of the German history it seems possible
that the Viking traders; raiders and residents of the Hebrides may have taken
them back to Northern Europe during their many many years of interaction.
OR it may be the other way around - Similar birds with dumpy characteristics
are known about dating back to AD900 - in Saxon Times. Certainly in more modern
times they have been known to be bred - a Mr Cluny MacPherson wrote in the
Feathered World of 1919 that he had kept them for forty years - his mother
for forty before that and she had got hers from her mother. The first Dumpy
shown was in 1852 in London. There are a number of names that have been used
to describe the breed : Creepies ; Bakies; Daidies and Hoodies.
The most distinctive feature of the Scots Dumpy is its shape. The type of
bird that is aimed for is as follows:
The body should be massive - boat shaped with a long back and a low, heavy
appearance; eyes and ear lobes red, beak, legs and feet : Black or slate in
blacks : Mottled in cuckoos : otherwise white. Their gait should be a waddle
from side to side - like "sailing across the ground".
It is a four toed breed and has a single comb. A wide variety of colours have
been known in Dumpy's for a long time; these days cuckoo and black are the
most common but white; red/orange; buff and other sports are accepted by most.
Eggs are commonly white although other colours have been reported. Once upon
a time they were good layers laying up to 180 eggs a year.
short legs should be no longer than 1.5 inches long - and generally these
are thicker than the long legged. More commonly these days there is a lee
way up to 2 inches long. Long legs should not be encouraged.
have a lethal gene related to the short leggedness (the Creeper gene) which
when short legged are bred to shortlegged the embryos carrying the lethal
factor will die between the fourth and the fifth day after incubation started,
this accounts for around 25% of chicks.