Faith Valley Waterfowl
What to look for in a Grey Call
What to look for in a grey call, that is really a terrific question. The first thing to
look for would be that perfect body type. Once you have that, then working on the
color is step two.  Many folks get that order switched - wanting to work on the
color first and the type second.  My thoughts have always been that it is better to
build the barn before you start out to paint it.

The saying that "pictures say a thousand words" is really true, and I believe that it
is much easier to learn a new concept by seeing what is said in addition to
hearing or reading the spoken word.  There is no perfect bird out there to
photograph. And to be honest, where would the fun be if we did actually find that
perfect bird?  Half of the fun is striving to create the perfect bird.  

With that thought in mind, I went out to the grey pens and snapped photos of the
worse and best features of my breeders to present you with a illustrated chat on
what look for and what to try to breed away from in the grey call color.
The grey call was
admitted into the
Standard of
Perfection in 1874.
Gray Calls
This female is showing a touch of
a white neck ring and also is very
light in the throat area. You
would want to breed away from
these two characteristics.
This hen has a much better
color in the throat area. This
is the color that you are
trying to breed for.
This hen is way too dark on her
back.  A grey call hen should
have nice penciled feathers along
the back.  You really can't make
out any penciling here.
This hen's back is much better.  
You are able to see the penciling on
the individual feathers. Her
penciling could still be a touch
cleaner, but she is much better than
the first hen.
This hen is showing white under
her tail.  You will want to breed
away from that trait.  
This hen has much better color
under her tail. It is desired for the
color on the breast to carry
through the underline all of the
way to the tail tip.
This hen is showing a weak
speculum.  You would want to
mate her to a male with a strong
speculum color.
This hen's speculum is much
better. It would be nice to add
color to those first two
secondary feathers also.  Again
she would be best mated to a
male with strong speculum color.
This hen has a very weak upper
tail color, it is just too light.
This hen's tail color is much better.
You are wanting to breed toward a
nice medium color in the tail.
This male's bib is very weak. It
does not have a clear distinct
line at the breast, and it does
not have a full rich claret
coloring.  It looks very splotchy
in color.
This male's breast is much
better, it has a more even
coloring and it extends well down
onto the breast.
This male is showing a lot of
white under the tail. He will need
to be mated with a hen with a
darker body color.
This male is showing the correct
under tail color.  The desire is to
have a distinct black triangle
under the tail.
To the left is a photo of a grey
call male in eclipse plumage.