Scots Dumpies or Kreupers in Germany translation of an old article from a friend
To see this with the pictures she found click here
" Jill - I've found an old article in the monthly journal "Deutscher
Kleintierzüchter", nr. 22, 23.11.1990. Written by U.Reber, translated by
myself to the best of my ability... (*my comments marked like this*)
The title of the article is "Bergish triad" because it deals with the
three breeds traditionally found in the County of Berg: the "Bergische
Kraeher" ('Bergish Crowers'), the "Schlotterkaemme" ('FlappingCombs')
and the "Krueper" - a shortlegged breed like the Scots Dumpies (which,
as Jill tells me, are also called 'Creepers' - I had always wondered
what this funny name Krueper may have come from, but now of course it's
clear as daylight! BTW, the "ue" in "Krueper" (written with an u- umlaut
ASCII doesn't provide, so I use "ue" instead) is pronounced very much
like the Scots would pronounce the "oo" in "moon". Doesn't it sound just
too similar?) "
"Some of the oldest and also most beautiful German breeds are the
Bergish chickens. They used to be kept only in a comparatively small
region of the old County of Berg in the valley of the river Wupper.
"...The Schlotterkaemme are rarely mentioned in the show catalogues.
But at the 6.th National (*poultry show) in Berlin 1899 4 couples of
black Krueper were shown. In Hamburg 1902 stood three black Krueper
roosters and four black hens. All in all very few old German breeds were
exhibited at the shows at the turn of the century, while the new
"Asians" and Italians were bred with passion..."
Lets talk about the Kruepers now. Everywhere in ancient Europe
shortlegged chickens were known, also in Westphalia. On one hand there
was the old Bergish type, heavy and of box-shaped body. They had a
flopping comb that lay over to the side.
The westphalian type was much more delicate and had a cylindrical body.
The Westphalians also had a smaller single comb, slightly bending
Both types were short legged. Later both were melted into the "Krueper
chicken". Today's Krueper are magnificent layers with short legs, which
is specified with 7-8 cm in roosters. The small single comb has a height
of 4-5 cm and may bend a little bit to the side. Length shouldn't exceed
The neck is short and stout and is carried forward due to the full and
long neck feathers. The head is of middle size, moderately broad and
long. The beak is strong and slightly bent. The Chest is broad and deep,
being well rounded. The stretched, long, rounded trunk shows a
cylindrical form only slightly oval. The belly is broad and big.
Hens have the long, full, beautifully rounded cylindrical shape
carried horizontal, with only 6-7 cm length of legs. With them, the comb
ideally should be standing, but slight bending over is accepted.
In roosters the belly is big and broad. The long and broad back
does not get less broad in the saddle region, which is full feathered.
The large wings are held close to the body. The large tail is fully
developed and held modestly close. It is carried in an obtuse angle and
is richly set with broad sickles, the main sickles should be very long
Hens show a loosely closed tail.
Roosters also show short thighs that should be hidden in the plumage.
Egg production should be 120 - 150 white eggs per year.
Krueper colours are: black, white, cuckoo and dobbeled black-and-white
and dobbeled black-and-yellow.
THE DOBBELED COLOUR PATTERNS
... In the dobbeled colour patterns we find in the middle of the black
feather a silvery white or a golden brown or golden yellow dot. These
are small amounts of pigment substance, which are also called "Dobbeln"
or "Tupfen" (*= dot, spot, stipple). We are dealing here with the
strongest and least regular form of single colour seam.
Now what are the Krueper in terms of their historic background? They
belong to the short-legged types, like Gybertus Longolius mentioned as
"Krielhühner" in 1544. 1596 they are mentioned in a Chinese
encyclopedia, which is referring to very old Chinese documents. Konrad
Gessner in 1550 calls them "Daesehuenle" (*? meaning unknown to me),
"Erdhennle" (*little earth hen) or "Schotthennen" (* most likely meaning
SCOTTISH HENS! Now I'd love to see Jill's face!!!)
Aldrovandi describes an even smaller type in 1600. J.L.Frisch knows the
"Kriech-" and "Krup-Huehner" (*kriechen = to creep), and, in addition to
these, also the even smaller hungarian creepers. Linnè knows the "Gallus
pumilio", a Krueper chicken as well. Buffon, too, describes Krueper,
which alledgetly came from Spain, reaching the Phillipines and Cambodia
from there. In the Bretagne, too, people knew Krueper.
Krueper were kept all over Europe, but also in Asia. Some bigger type of
Creeper was known on the Danish isle of Fuenen; smaller Kruepers could
be found in other places of Denmark.
Scots Dumpies were mentioned by L.Wright. They were said to
exist mostly in Scotland and had different names, like Go Laighs or
Bakies. These birds would have only have max. 7 cm long legs, but would
resemble the Dorkings in body shape. Yet they would only have four toes.
Moreover they would lay excellent big eggs are were good mothers.
Emil Geupel imported black Scottish Creepers in 1871. They came
from a London market and were said to have come there from Scotland.
Later a friend from Glasgow helped Geupel to get also white and coloured
The "Courtes pattes" of Bretagne have also been black, white and
black-and-white in former times. There were also white ones with black
signs in their neck and tail feathers. Geupel got Courtes pattes from
Paris and Bordeaux. The French shortlegs were mostly black and had very
short, stout legs. The rooster's comb was fleshy, thick, upright and
single, as E. Lemoine wrote.
Duerigen's opinion was, that German, Scottish and French types
were just one and the same chicken.
THERE USED TO BE TWO DIFFERENT TYPES
In old reports we can find that there used to be two types of Kruepers
in Germany. First there was a smaller variety. This one, according to
Duerigen, was kept mostly in the middle and lower Rhein region. This
"Dachshuhn" (*=badger chicken) had the size of country chickens and
stood on its slate blue legs only 5-6cm high. In body shape it resembled
the old German country chickens and it had a single comb in most cases,
but double combed ones also could be found. It also had the colours of
the old German country chicken. Some types had been thouroughly bred in
some places, above all black and cuckoo coloured ones.
The old Bergish Krueper, however, showed the body shape and form
of the Schlotterkaemme (*= FlappingCombs). The difference only was in
their short legs, but they were bigger than the "German" Dachshuehner.
They also stood higher than the Scots Creepers. Later these Scots seem
to have been crossed with the Bergish Kruepers.
These Bergish Kruepers were proud, cheeky chickens, and trustful
and lively at the same time. Their gait was " a bit clumsy and
tottering". Now while the more graceful little "Kriechhuehner"
disappeared slowly with the German country chickens' type, the Bergish -
Westphalian Krueper became more fashionable. Some westphalian breeders,
though, still kept the slender German Krueper for some time, especially
around the city of Guetersloh. Roosters would have legs 7- 10 cm long,
like old Heinrich Brinkmann from Guetersloh narrated. Hens only had 4.5
cm legs. They had single combs, which occasionally bent sideward also.
There were rose combs as well. Roosters had a small single or small rose
These were the ideal chickens for the cottage owner, as they couldn't
run far away from the small farms.
Duerigen thought, that the Bergish Kruepers were nothing else
than the "strangely pressed down" old Schlotterkaemme, which would be
the "Basic type of the Bergish - Maerkish Chickens", and he thought the
Kraehers would be nothing but the "immensly upright" form of them. (*in
which he, as we know now, was wrong, the Crowers and the FloppingCombs
not being relatives)
He said Bergish and later also Westphalian breeders had crossed
the old Krueper chicken with Schlotterkaemme and Minorka, in the 1880ies
even also with Italians. This way the Krueperhuhn developed, as we can
see it in pictures from the beginning of the century.
Characteristic for this type was the long, stretched,
cylindrical trunk, broad and only slightly upright at the front. Several
colours were known: black, white, black-white-coloured, silvernecks,
goldnecks, "Sperber" (*= 'sparrow-hawk' = cuckoo colour), blue,
yellow-penciled or yellow-drizzled. Later there also were yellow ones.
But the black always have been the most popular and thoroughbred.
THE OLD DESCRIPTIONS
In the old breed descriptions this can still be seen. The one from the
year 1913 knows black, partridge, cuckoo, yellow, white, pencilled and
maybe some more. Their origin is said to be Westphalia, the Rhein region
and Hannover. The birds were standing very low, should have a well
developed, long stretched and cylindric body, carry it horizontally and
have a deep chest. The comb was single.
The 1927 description assumed the same origin. It mentions the
following concerning the colours: "More common are only the black ones.
Only very rarely white, black-and-white-piebald, cuckoo, partridge or
yellow ones are shown."
Very short legs were wanted. The body should be long,
cylindrical, chest deep. Important was also a very rich feathering, long
and broad. The legs were only 4 cm and slender. Another remark was:
"Bergish Kruepers are called the heavier birds with bigger combs, which
always falls over in hens."
1943's description wanted an overall impression of a light
country chicken with a horizontal, stretched body and very short legs.
It only mentions black with a fine green shimmer as a colour. Leg lenght
is very short, the bird should stand 4 cm above the ground in a normal
These Krueper were supposed to show a cylindrical, rounded,
long, stretched body. The comb should have a lenght up to 10 cm and a
height of 4-5cm. The neck short, stout, bent forward, the back long and
broad, not diminishing in the saddle. Chest was wanted to be deep and
rounded, the tail fully developed. It had to be carried in an obtuse
angle to the back. Thighs were wanted to be short.
This walk through the Krueper's history shows, that it has been
the old Bergish type in the end, that has been preserved, although the
present type shows differences to the former Bergish type of course.
-----end of quote.---
The article also shows a pair of each Bergish Breed in black and white,
which I want to scan and put on my webserver for you. I'll send a post
as soon as you can see them there.
Genetics show a close relationship of today's Kruepers to the
Schlotterkaemme. Whether both were developed independently or whether
the Bergish type was achieved in crossing the Westphalian Krueper and
the Schlotterkaemme, is still unknown. But as long-legged birds
regularly appear in the breeding of the Krueper, there has always been
an exchange of these two breeds so similar in other features.
from Jill - PLEASE BEAR IN MIND THIS IS A TRANSLATION - If you know more - different - or wish to correct anything we are all keen to learn. If you have some good pictures of your dumpies we would love to see them
BOOK SHOP; posters; cards