By Cocking Cousins (1992)
In Britain, there are three well known strains of English Greys. Namely Felix Leach Greys, Colonel Greys, and Hawes Greys. Their may be others but these are the most well known and widespread.
Felix Leach, a racehorse trainer of Newmarket in Southern England, is perhaps the most famous breeder of Grey fowl over here. He took great pride in these fowl during the early and middle part of this century. They were and still are a good fighting bird and are used a lot in English pits. They are around 4 1/2 pounds and are low to medium station, aggressive pressure fighting type fowl, allowing their opponent no room or rest, fighting mainly low to the ground and looking to keep on top their opponent. They need to be dead to be beaten. My knowledge of Colonel Greys is slightly better, having used this strain of Greys myself for a few years. They come slightly bigger than Leach Greys being about 4.10 to 5.4, they are long in body and narrower than most English strains, looking more American in appearance. When right they are very fast, heads high, legs in front type fighters, they are also very aggressive. When "oure" they are prone to man fight, but cross very well for battle. They are light boned birds appearing big for their weight. They perform much better when fought in lean flesh and mature early.
Hawe's Greys are not so widespread in England. They are very much like the Leach Grey, both in size and fighting style, in fact Felix Leach and Hawes were friends and its likely the strains are of very similar blood.
At a recent sale of gamefowl by Sir Mark Prescot in Newmarket, both Hawes and Leach broodstock along with American strains were sold in good numbers. They also made a high price by English standards. It was quite an event for English gamefowl lovers, being the only public sale of gamefowl in England this century.
I've also seen a lot of Black Grey Hennies fought over the years, though the origin of these birds is unknown to me at present, they have been game and always deadly cutters.
Well, thank you for listening, as you can gather we are not done yet on the gamefowl front. I even know of old strains of Creel and Black Toppy that are game and deadly but we will leave it for now.
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