The Serama or Malaysian Serama is one of the smallest chicken breeds in existence. This results in quite small eggs and not a whole lot of meat. In fact, most people tend to keep the Serama as an oriental or pet chicken. We’re going to take a look at a few different aspects of this bantam breed, including their qualities, appearance and history. They make a great addition to any backyard flock as long as you aren’t trying to keep them for large eggs or meat.
The Serama breed can be tracked all the way back to the 1600s, but the current strain of the bird comes from around the 1970s from Wee Yean Een. They come from the Malaysian province of Kelantan. Wee Yean Een gave them the name Serama as praise to one of the Thai kings of the time, King Rama. A man by the name of Jerry Schexnayder was the first one to import the breed to the United States, which happened in 2000. Unfortunately, the Asian Flu almost wiped out the entire breed, but they were able to survive.
A few years later, Schexnayder formed the Serama Council of North America, which created the standards and guidelines for the breed. They weren’t imported into the UK until around 2004 and they were a mix of Asian and North American Seramas. The way the breed was born was by cross breeding various Japanese bantams with the bantams that were local to Malaysia. This results in the birds having attributes of both types of bantams, so they don’t have one specific color or pattern.
The Serama Bantam chicken has quite a few great qualities. Not only are they extremely friendly and loving, but they make very good pets. Since they are a cross-breed, there’s not a specific color or style they have. This means you might have multiple birds that all look different. They lay very small eggs and usually lay around 5 eggs a week. To help you visualize how small the eggs are, it would take 5 Serama eggs to equal the a normal sized egg.
They aren’t great for meat because they are so small. They also have quite a bit of muscle that makes them have tougher meat. While there are specific class standards, the breed is considered a true bantam. This means there aren’t any standard versions and you never know what style or color you might get. They were accepted into the American Poultry Association’s Standard of Perfection for the first time in 2011.
The great thing about the Serama breed is that they are very friendly and loving. They love following their owners around and might even jump up into your lap for love. They can be quite assertive but are relatively easy to handle because they are calm and have great personalities. As a result, many people choose to keep them as an inside house pet. One thing to remember is that the roosters can be quite aggressive, so you shouldn’t keep more than one housed together. This is especially true if they are fighting over the attention of the females.
Females can become quite broody and are known to be fantastic mothers. Keep in mind that you don’t want to let them sit on more than 4-6 eggs because their small size makes it hard for them to cover them the way they need. Overall, the Serama has a huge personality and shows a lot of love for their humans and flock-mates alike.
The Serama breed is a very tiny bird. In fact, they usually have a height between a little under 6 inches to just below 10 inches. In terms of weight, they usually don’t get any bigger than around 19 ounces. They look like an upright V and their tails also stand straight up. As a result, they look like they are always on guard or alert, so they’ve been given the nicknames toy soldiers or fearless warriors. Both the comb and wattles are single and red. In hens, they tend to be a lot smaller than the roosters. The eyes are a bay red color.
They are muscular and their wings almost touch the ground. They have a full breast, medium to long yellow legs and 4 toes that have feathers covering them. They come in many different color options and they have 4 standard sizes: micro, class A, class B, and class C. Each class has different sized birds, but the smallest are in micro and the largest is in class C.
- Micro: Males-up to 13 ounces; Females-up to 8 ounces
- Class A: Males-under 13 ounces; Females-under 12 ounces
- Class B: Males-under 16 ounces; Females-under 15 ounces
- Class C: Males-under 19 ounces; Females-under 19 ounces
These little bantam chickens are extremely easy to take care of. For starters, they don’t have a whole lot of health issues you need to watch out for. The biggest issue results from a gene from the Japanese bantam. If the bird has the gene, about 1/4 of their chicks won’t hatch because they have shorter legs that don’t allow them to get into the hatching position.
You need a very small area for the birds because they are tiny birds. While they do great in confinement, they do enjoy foraging and scratching the ground for food. Remember, whole pellets are too large for them to eat, so they need to be crushed or fed crumbles. Another thing to remember is that they have a lot of issues staying warm during colder weather. While they should be kept in warmer climates, they can do fine in colder areas as long as you make sure the coop is warm and well-insulated.
Serama Chickens for Sale
You may want to rush out and buy some cute Serama chickens to add to your flock. They are quite expensive and hard to find. You can buy chicks locally quite often, but we’ve also heard that Feather Lover Farms has them for sale. They have great reviews and many people have bought Serama chickens from them.