Scots Dumpy Club

Breed and Standards

The Standards :

For British Poultry Standards 7th Edition


Origin: Great Britain
Classification: Light: Soft Feather
Egg Colour: White/cream

This breed has been bred in Scotland for more than a hundred years, and the birds used to be known as Bakies, Crawlers and Creepers. Fowls having identical dumpy characteristics have been shown to exist as early as 900AD.

The bird is considered an ideal broody, being an excellent sitter and mother.

General characteristics

Large Black Male Carriage: Heavy, with a waddling gait, the extreme shortness of its legs giving the bird the appearance of 'swimming on dry land.' Shortness of leg alone should not constitute the breed"s claim to notice. The large, low, heavy body, and other points of excellence must be possessed also.

Type: Body long and broad. Back broad and flat. Breast deep. Wings of medium size and neatly carried. Tail full and flowing, the sickles well arched.

Head: Fine. Beak strong and well curved. Eyes large and clear. Comb single, of medium size, upright and straight, free from side sprigs, and the back following the line of the skull, evenly serrated on top. Face smooth. Ear-lobes small and close to the neck. Wattles of medium size.

Neck: Of fair length, in keeping with the size of the body, and covered with flowing hackle.

Legs and Feet: Large Black Female Legs very short, the shanks not exceeding 3.75cm (1.5 inches.) Toes, four, well spread.


The general characteristics are similar to those of the male, allowing for the natural sexual differences.

MALE and FEMALE plumage.

The colours most widely seen are black, cuckoo and white. Recently introduced colours are brown/red and birchen. Other colours seen should only include standardised colours in other breeds.

Male and female plumage should be glossy black with a green sheen. Eyes dark.

Male and female plumage light blue or grey ground, each feather marked across with bands of dark blue or grey. Eyes red.

Male and female plumage pure white, free from cream tinge, no black feathers. Eyes red.


Male plumage:
Hackle, back and wing bow bright lemon, the neck hackle feathers striped down the centre with green-black.
Remainder green-black, the breast feathers edged with pale lemon as low as the top of the thighs.

Female plumage:
Neck hackle light lemon to the top of the head, the lower feathers being striped with green-black. Remainder green-black, the breast laced as in the male, the shoulders free from ticking and the back free from lacing.

In both sexes:
Beak very dark horn, black preferred.
Legs & feet black or slate.
Eyes dark.
Comb, face and wattles bright red.


Male Plumage:
Hackle, back, saddle, shoulder coverts and wing bows silver-white, the neck hackle with narrow black striping. Remainder rich black, the breast having a narrow silver margin around each feather, giving it a regular laced appearance gradually diminishing to perfect black thighs.

Female Plumage:
Hackle similar to that of the male. Remainder rich black, the breast very delicately laced as in the male.

In both sexes:
Beak dark horn, black preferred.
Eyes dark.
Comb, face and wattles bright red.

In all colours:
Comb, face, wattles and ear-lobes bright red.
Beak, legs and feet white, except in the black variety where they should be black or slate, and in the Cuckoo, mottled.

Bantam Black Male Bantam Black Female BANTAMS:

Scots Dumpy bantams should follow the large fowl standard. Bantam Cuckoo Male Bantam Cuckoo Female Bantam brown/red Birchen Female

Large Fowl:

Male   3.2kg (7lb)
Female   2.7kg (6lb)


Male   800g (1.75lb)
Female   675g (1.5lb)

Serious defects:

White ear lobes.
Yellow or feathered shanks or feet.
Long legs.
Any deformity.


Type:   45
Size:   25
Head:   10
Condition:   10
Colour:   10

The Breed :

Any standardised colour is allowed and as a result, there are a variety of colours seen. The most common are black and cuckoo, while white and blue are Scots Dumpy Logo increasing in popularity.

Many people are put off the idea of keeping Dumpies as the dwarfing gene which produces its unique short legs also produces infertility and chicks "dying in shell". The genetics are complicated, but can be summarised in the following paragraphs.

Perhaps the most unusual feature of the Dumpy is its genetic make-up. Like the Dexter cow and the Japanese bantam, the Dumpy has a semi-lethal "Creeper" gene that shortens its legs in a single dose (heterozygous) or causes the embryo to die during incubation in a double dose (homozygous). However, since the Creeper gene is dominant to the normal leg length, those birds with a single dose appear with short legs. This produces interesting results when breeding!

Progeny Table

From the above table you can see that from the point of view of genetics it does not matter whether you cross two short-legged birds or a short legged and a long-legged bird in terms of the number of short legged progeny.

Instead, there is an increase in the number of birds with long legs at the expense of those dead in shell.

Although there are no actual records to show this, long-legged females seem to lay more eggs than those with short legs, and are often bigger birds overall. This is probably because the Creeper gene stunts growth overall, with the limbs affected more than other parts of the body.

Perhaps the challenge of producing the perfect short-legged "waddling" Scots Dumpy is what attracts many people to the breed.

If you want a few chickens to keep in your back garden then it is well worth considering the Scots Dumpy for a number of reasons. Their short legs mean they won't scratch up your garden.

They are excellent egg producers. They are superb broodies and excellent mothers. They are very beautiful, and they are also docile, but be warned they are an excellent alarm clock and the cocks are more inclined to crow at the first sign of dawn than other breeds. If you have difficulty breeding all short-legged birds, the long legged ones which you will inevitably produce, make an excellent table bird.

Dumpies on grass Black Dumpy hens White Dumpies Best White Dumpy