Serama chicken breed are the smallest known breed of chicken on the planet. These tiny chooks are very friendly and qualify as good pets and show birds.
Due to their small nature, they cannot offer much meat hence seramas are not good meat chickens. So, do you want to know more about this chicken breed?
History of serama chicken
The serama chickens are a bantam chicken breed that traces its ancestral origin in Malaysia in the province of Kelantan. Sources say that these chickens were first developed in the 1600s.
To develop this chicken breed, Japanese bantams were crossed with Malaysian bantams and the resulting offspring was the serama chickens.
These fancy chickens were not known as serama until in 1970s when Wee Yean Een gave them the name serama naming them after one of the Thai kings.
In 2001, one American chicken enthusiast imported this chicken breed to the United States. It was not long before their importation was stopped in the US because there was Asian bird flu across Asia and it was feared new coming birds would introduce this disease.
Several breeding efforts began and the number of Serama chickens in the US began to rise. In 2004, the first serama chickens were introduced in the UK and a few years later became recognized by the Poultry Club of Britain.
Although these chickens are very rare and expensive, the American Poultry Association and the American Bantam Association has officially recognized them.
Features of serama chicken
Serama chickens are small birds standing less than 10 inches in height. They have a small head that tends to fall back because it is pushed back by the popping out breast.
The comb is red and large with five peaks on it. Wattles are red while the earlobes are white in color. You would think that these tiny chooks have earrings put on their ears.
Serama chicken hens will have small combs and wattles than those of roosters but with a red color.
They have a short back because there is little space between the head and the long tail feathers that shoot up towards the sky.
Their legs are long, yellow and muscular to support the body. There are four toes on each leg that are well spaced and featherless.
The wings are perpendicular and loose and seem heavy for these birds. In some strains the wings are dragged on the ground
They have an upright posture and were described as warriors because of standing like human beings. Serama chickens have tight feathers that are held tight against the body like those of game birds.
In some, the feathers are upright as a result of breeding with other birds and are known as frizzle serama chicken.
Their eyes are reddish bay but the color may vary depending on the strain. Serama chicken colors that are recognized by the APA are Chocolate, Blue, Black, Gray and Wheaten.
Temperament and Hardiness
Serama chicken breed are cool and calm birds. They are very friendly and will follow you around as you do your chores to give you company.
These birds are very cuddly and will appreciate much if sat on the lap. They are the type that you can trust with your kids because they will not harm them at all.
Serama chicken roosters can be at times turn wild and aggressive especially when integrated with roosters of other chicken breeds.
These chickens are hardy but will not do well in cold climates like the Swedish flower hen because they originate in the tropics. They are pretty tolerant to most common diseases unlike other chicken breeds.
They love to free range a lot because out in the backyard there are tasty grubs insects and small plants that are part of their diet.
Because they are small in size, they are easily preyed on by other animals like possums, wolves and birds of prey for food.
Egg laying and uses
Even though the serama chickens are small they are faithful egg layers. These birds will lay 150 to 200 whitish to dark brown eggs in a year.
Serama chicken eggs are small compared to those of other chickens. If you want to have these tiny eggs for breakfast, it will take you about 5 eggs put together to have a normal standard egg.
These birds are very broody and hatch making good and royal mothers just like Cochin bantams. Their eggs hatch early with baby chicks arriving from day 17 to 19 days after the hens set. No need of an egg incubator with these birds.
However, their hatch rate is low and chick mortality very high because serama chicken chicks have very tiny legs that are unable to support their bodies.
Since these chickens are very small, expect them to weigh less for birds raised for meat. Mature serama chicken roosters and hens weigh the same that is between 0.55 and 1 to 1.1lbs.
This kind of weight tells you the amount of meat they can offer is barely enough for a family. For this reason, these chickens are used as pets and showing rather than utility.
Serama chicken lifespan
Serama chicken breed are members of the jungle fowl family an Asiatic subspecies that have a lifespan of between 5 to 8 years.
These chickens can live even longer than ten years if given the right care. The only critical stage for these chickens is when they are young because the chick mortality is high and the hatch rate low.
Since Serama bantams are raised as pets and show birds, they can live longer because they are not meant for meat unlike other breeds like the Lavender Orpington chickens.
These chickens will require a well-balanced diet, a draft free coop with dry beddings and a friendly environment.
These birds do not have major health issues and will fairly do well. They like warm climates because they originate from the tropics.
Cold weather will be unfavorable if temperatures drop below 40 degrees F. Common chicken lice and mites area serious threat because they will hide in the tight feathers.
Using small amounts of diatomaceous earth in their dust bathing sand will help control these notorious parasites. This powder can also be dusted gently under the feathers.
Diatomaceous earth powder works by dehydrating body oils and moisture from these parasites to death.
Internal parasites like worms are another serious threat. These hosts rely on the chicken’s body for food and shelter where they feed and reproduce.
The best way to control internal parasites is by use of drugs that are recommended by a qualified vet. Most of these drugs are orally administered.
Since serama chickens are very short and small, they will not do well in muddy coops and wet soils. Ensure their living areas are always dry. Dampness and cold will make them chill.
Why are serama chickens the best breed for you?
Serama chicken breed is a calm and gentle chicken breed. They are docile in nature and are even used as therapy birds.
They make good pets and will give you company and free love. Keeping them out to range, these chickens will ensure your backyard is free from insects and slugs that damage your vegetables.
These birds are good for showing because of their unique appearance. They make excellent mommas and will take good care of their young.
If you would love serama chicks, you’d better look them from reputable hatcheries though I am sure they are expensive because of their rarity status.
These chickens will occupy small spaces and can do well when raised in closed aviaries mixed with other bantam chickens.
Serama bantam chickens are good when raised as pets or exhibition rather than utility. These chickens are very docile, calm and are extremely quiet.
They are the kind of birds that can be raised in an urban setting because they will not disturb your peace loving neighbors.
Serama roosters will rarely crow and when they open their mouths their crow is soft and very different perhaps because of the small size.