The Groninger Meeuw

Cordial welcome on the Internet site of Groninger Meeuw

Silver pencilled
large since 1919
small since 1968
Gold pencilled
large since 1950
small since 1968
Lemon pencilled
large since 2008
small since 1995

The Groninger Meeuw

…an noticeable,
hence rare
Dutch poultry breed
seeking your support!


At the end of the 18th century, the Groninger Meeuw was originated on the Northern grounds of the province of Groningen from brown eyed pencilled poultry and the German Ostfriesische Möwe.

The Groninger Meeuw, in its silver pencilled presence, is firstly described in 1888 by R. Houwink. At the livestock market in the city of Groningen, he came across significant taller hens than the also Northern Dutch breeds of the Fries hoen (Frisian Poultry) and Drents hoen (Drenthe poultry).

The breed, locally known as ‘Maifies’, were almost suppressed by modern laying poultry breeds such as the leghorn. In 1913, the first advertising on Groninger meeuw or Fries hoen eggs is reported. Some years later, both the Groninger Meeuw and Fries Hoen are invited on a show as a mutual class. On the contrarily, Van Gink writes down in 1918 that all said about the Groninger Meeuw also counts for the silver and gold pencilled Ostfriesische Möwe.

Nonetheless, its admittance in 1919 in the official poultry standard, the Groninger Meeuw remains a rare breed. The gold pencilled variety as originated in the late 1950’s from Ostfriesische Möwe, alas, even in two colour varieties, the Groninger meeuw remains a rare breed. In 1969, J.L. Meijer expresses his concern on this Northern costal breed. The silver and gold bantams enter the poultry standard in 1968, the lemon pencilled variety in 1995, followed by the large breed in 2008.

Breed Characteristics

The silver, gold and lemon pencilled Groninger Meeuw is a lively and free range breed. At the age of 5 months, you can expect the first white eggs of these early laying hens which they continue the second year with an even larger egg. The hens seldom hatch, but when the occasion occurs, they proof to be excellent mothers for their black and yellow spotted chicks. The characteristic pencilled feathers of the hen, preferably three pairs on each feather, the brown eyes, the slightly falling comb end and the wing band of the cockerel are important identifying characteristics.

Join the GMC

If you are interested in conserving the GM in its three colour varieties, both large en bantam, please do become a member of the Groninger Meeuwen Club by applying with the enclosed form. In appreciation you will receive an extensive information package (Dutch) on the GM and the GMC.


More actual information on the Groninger Meeuw, the club activities, show results as well as a market place can be found on our website

Rare poultry breed

In 1978, two years after its founding, the Dutch rare breed society reported only 30 animals left. Today 35 active breeders keep the GM alive for future generations. To ensure long term conservation, the Groninger Meeuw deserves at least 72 active breeders. 12 for every colour variety both large and bantam.


The Groninger Meeuwen Club was founded in 1980 to secure the conservation and breed quality of the Groninger Meeuw and its bantam as described in the official poultry standard of the Dutch Poultry Federation KLN. Through the years the G.M.C. is supported by an average of 170 members and supporters. They receive three times per annum our magazine by mail or e-mail and are invited to participate in the youngster show and club show with about 100 animals on show. In 1993, the first book on the Groninger Meeuw was published covering various interesting topics. Valuing the egg laying capacity, a group of members participate in an egg contest. As a result, we can inform you on an average yield of 150 eggs of 55 gr per hen and 90 eggs of 33 gr for the bantam.

Information on the Groninger Meeuw and Groninger Meeuwen Club can be requested at the secretary: