The Grey Junglefowl, or the Sonnerat’s Junglefowl, is a tropical member of the Pheasant family, and one of the wild ancestors of domestic fowls together with the Red Junglefowl. This bird is responsible for the yellow pigment in the legs and different body parts of domestic Chicken species. The Grey Junglefowl has a single comb, a red face, and pinkish legs. While, the female has no comb and yellowish legs instead.
The Grey Junglefowl is endemic to India, where it usually can be found in a variety of habitats, including bamboo forests, abandoned plantations, and a number of other forested areas in foothills or fairly high mountains. The rooster in particular is a splendid specimen who wears what is popularly described as a dark cape beautifully spotted in gold. The female is much smaller than the male, and not nearly as flashy, although she is a beautiful brownish bird, which is marked with attractive black and white streaks on her underparts.
The Grey Junglefowl forages in small mixed groups of both sexes, which feed up mainly on bamboo seeds, grains, termites, insects and berries. The breeding season occurs from February to May, and the hen lays between 4 and 7 pale creamy eggs, which are incubated for 21 days. Roosters will often make dutiful fathers, brooding chicks on or close to the ground during rainy nights. The hen rears the chicks for approximately 9 weeks and then abandons them to the rooster while she incubates a new clutch of fertile eggs.
Although Grey Junglefowls are plentiful, hunting them for meat and the long neck hackle feathers for using it to make fishing lures, decreases their numbers significantly. Habitat loss is also another major threat to these magnificent birds. In general, Grey Junglefowls can be described as shy and secretive birds, that prefer to be in a place where they can hide to feel safe and comfortable.
|Place of origin||India|
|Use||Ornamental and preservation|
Male: 680 – 1130 g
female: 453 – 680 g
|Comb type||Single comb|