Serama Chicken – Everything You Need to Know

Serama chicken, also known as Malaysian Serama and Ayam Serama, is an ornamental bantam breed of chicken that originates in the Federation of Malaysia within the last five decades. It is also known to be the smallest and the lightest breed of chicken in the world.


Serama Chicken Profile

Breed Purpose Ornamental
Egg Color Light Brown
Egg Size Medium
Egg Productivity (per year) 72
Origin Malaysia
Comb Type Single
Breed Size Medium
Breed Color Multiple colours

History of Serama Chicken

The chicken originates in Kelantan, a state of Malaysia, through the crossing of Malaysian and Japanese bantams. Other stories abut this breed of chickens are derived from some small chickens that the King of Thailand gave to a local sultan as a gift in ancient times. Small breed of chickens have been popular pets in that region, and they are usually called pretty chickens (ayam cantik) and pygmy chickens (yam katik).

The modern breed is credited to Wee Yean Een efforts, who is from Kelantan. He named the breed of chicken Serama after Rama, which is the Kings of Thailand title. The breed was first presented in the year 1990. There aren’t any written standards for Serama chickens in its native country. But, nowadays they have a general guide on judging and scoring for competitions in Malaysia.

Most breeders have a type or style that they often breed, but usually, breeders keep several styles. The styles are names that the breeders give their chickens to describe a champion bloodline (for instance, Mat Awang and Husin). Also, they can be more general characteristics, shape or behaviour (for example dragon, submarine and slim). Therefore, in Malaysia, there’s quite lots of diversity, but an overall small brave chicken theme that has a persona of a toy soldier or fearless warrior.

Characteristics of Serema Chicken

The breed is characterised by its upright posture, vertical tail feathers that are held upright plus tight up to its body, full breast and vertical wings that are held down almost touching the ground. Malaysians describe Serema chickens as archangel chickens and brave warriors because of their upright, regal appearance.

Their body is well muscled and short with their breast full, carried high and forward. Serema chickens have fairly large wings that are proportional to the size of their body. The shoulders of these birds are set high; their tails are full and carried high and point upwards, held close to their body. There is no space or there’s little space between Serema’s tail and body. Also, their head is tiny and carried well back.

They have a single comb that’s red in colour. Serema chickens have a red-white mix or just red earlobes and their wattles are red. They have medium to long length legs, which are straight and also set wide apart: this allows for a full, muscular body. They can appear in nearly any colour. Serama chickens aren’t colour bred in Malaysia, hence there’s no standard for that.

Serema Chickens are the world’s smallest breed of chicken, weighing under 500 grams. However, there are even smaller birds (under 250 grams) bred in Malaysia. But size alone doesn’t define a Serama. Typically, small chickens that don’t have the Serama “type” aren’t Serama chickens: they are just small bantam chickens.

Egg Laying and Broodiness

Seremas produce 5 to 7 eggs in one month, but this depends on the food that the birds eat. The peak season when fertility and egg production takes place often occurs during the months of January, February, November and December. The colour of their eggs varies from pure white to deep brown, with lots of shades in between; the eggs weigh approximately 20 grams.

After laying eggs, it takes about nineteen days for the Serema chicks to fully develop and hatch. Compared to other breeds, the chicks are known to be more susceptible when it comes to cold temperatures because of their relatively small size. After they have hatched, it takes around 16 to 18 weeks for the Serama chicks to fully mature and reach a stage at which they can start laying eggs.


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