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The beautiful Black Java chicken was once a farm/homestead favorite in America. But today it is on the critical conservancy list as their numbers are dangerously low.
The Java is said to be one of the oldest American breeds next to the Dominique chicken and is in need of breeders to help bring the numbers back up.
This chicken with its mild friendly nature and dual purpose is a bird that will benefit any flock. It lays a good amount of large brown eggs; its tasty yellow skin and tender meat make is a great roaster too.
These lovely chickens also make great pets too as they are calm, friendly, docile and do not mind being around humans making them easy to handle.
|Country of Origin:||America|
|American Poultry Association:||Recognized as a breed of chicken in the United States|
|Chicken Category:||Large Breed|
|Bantam Variety Available?||Yes – Single Comb Clean Legged Bantam Classification|
|Related||TOP 10 BANTAM CHICKEN BREEDS FOR BEGINNERS|
|Good Starter Chicken?||In general, they are a low maintenance chicken with a nature that makes them perfect as a starter chicken. They are, however, on the critically endangered list so may require some special instructions.|
|Related||10 BEST STARTER CHICKENS FOR THE FIRST TIME POULTRY KEEPER|
Eggs: They are good egg layers.
They lay large brown eggs from 180 – 240 per year
They will lay consistently throughout winter and summer (although eggs production may drop off during summer)
They start to lay eggs from around 16 to 20 weeks old.
Meat: They have yellow skin and tender tasty meat making them an excellent table bird
Breeding: They can be bred and they hens do get broody they are also excellent mothers and brood hens.
They are a conservancy listed bird so there may be extra breeding requirements, so Java breeding may not be suited for first-time breeders.
If you are breeding the Java for show choosing the correct hens and rooster bloodline is crucial.
Foraging: Scratching and foraging are what they love to do and are really good at. They do not mind being confined but prefer to free-range.
Show Bird: Their beautiful plumage and stance make them excellent show birds.
Pets: They make excellent pets and have a lovely nature
Other: These lovely ladies will lead the flock around the garden enjoying the day as they peck about at the pests.
|Flyers?||They can and will fly if necessary.|
|Noisy Birds?||They can be noisy but in general, prefers a nice quiet day|
|Interaction with other chickens:||They get along well with other breeds. As with any flock if you are introducing new birds it is best to slowly socialize them with the flock.|
|Good with kids?||They are good around supervised children|
|Related||10 ROOSTER BREEDS THAT DO NOT MIND CHILDREN|
Said to be one of the oldest American breeds after the Dominique chicken it has been known to have been around since before the 1800’s. The first documented of the breed mentioned in 1835 and were well known for the meat production. The Black Java was a table bird of choice in the chicken markets due to its black feathers. Their black feathers made it easy to tell if the carcass had been plucked properly as it would leave behind pinfeathers if it had not. This was one of the drawbacks to using the Java chickens by the commercial industry as it was seen as a disadvantage to be able to see any left-over pinfeathers on the carcass. Industry preferred the birds with white feathers that any left-over pinfeathers were harder to detect on the chicken meat.
The Java breed enjoyed great success as a meat bird in America between 1850 and 1890 when poultry farming started to be more industrialized.
They were admitted to the Standard of Perfection by the American Poultry Association in 1883.
Appearance/Body: They have bright red wattles, earlobes and comb. Their legs are clean and a light grey almost white. They have heart-shaped bodies and slick soft feathers with a soft full tail.
Color(s) Black and Mottled (the White variety is not recognized by the APA it was removed in
Comb: They have a single comb
Ave. Weight: Pullet/Hen 6.5 – 7.5 lbs.
Cockerel/Rooster 7.5 – 9.5 lbs.
|Life Expectancy:||The average lifespan is 8 – 12 years|
|Health:||They have no known health issues and are quite a hardy bird|
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|Temperament:||Gentle calm, docile and friendly chickens|
|Socialize Behavior?||They get along well with all other animals|
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|Known predators:||Most domestic animals leave them alone, but it is always best to keep an eye on dogs and cats.
If hawks and or foxes are in your area it is always best to take precautions. Although they are not an easy target for most feathery predators.
Check with local animal shelters, zoos, vets, animal control and or pet stores about common predators in your area.
|Conservation Status:||These birds conservation status is recorded as “watch/critical”. It is best to check on any special license or instructions that may be set up for owning these birds. This can be checked with your local or national conservation centers.|
|Garden Size:||They adapt well to most sized gardens and take confinement well. They do like to free range and forage about as they love to eat their fresh garden catch.|
|Ideal Climate:||They are very hardy birds that handle the cold very well and as long as there is a lot of shady spots and nice cool water in summer as they do not handle extreme heat too well.|
|Ideal Coop:||The rule of thumb for any coop is 50 cm x 50 cm per hen/rooster in the coop.
Ensure there is a good space for the nesting boxes and nightly roosting rails at least 1.5 inches wide.
Good ventilation for air but not too drafty especially in winter.
It is always a good idea to raise the coop off the ground to give the birds a dry place to roost and lay especially in wet weather.
|Ideal Coop Run:||These chickens can and will fly if necessary. It is best to fully cover the coop run in order to give the birds a safe secure environment.|
|Ideal Flock Size:||They are quite happy in any size flock as long as they have one companion to wander the gardens with.|
|Special Instructions:||No special instructions|
|Accessories:||The following accessories are ideal for your coop:
Straw for the boxes and roosting area
Animal carrier for transport purposes
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WHERE TO FIND THESE BIRDS TO ADD TO YOUR FLOCK
As the Java is quite a rare chicken in the USA these days it is unlikely that they will be found at most live poultry outlets and farms. it is best to check with your local conservation centers and the American Poultry Association for a list of breeders. You may also find registered breeders on the Java Breeders of America website along with a host of valuable information. They will also be able to help with any special requirements, attention or care they may need. Another good source of information on the Java chicken and the re-establishment of the breed is Garfield Farms. If you plan on breeding your chickens, you will want to make sure that they are from a good bloodline.
CARING FOR THE BIRD(S)
Please click here for our full guide to “Taking care of chickens”. This is a comprehensive guide to owning chickens. It covers where to start from choosing your ideal flock, the coop that would best suit your garden, your bird and you to buying and bringing your bird(s) home.
They are excellent forages enjoying their fresh garden pickings which make them easy to maintain and feed.
Java chickens do love their dust bath and will love some added herbal essences mixed into the loose sand to help with pests and excess feather oils. As they do not mind the attention and are easy to handle they will have no objection to a regular examination for mites, lice and various other parasites. Checking for these pests in their feathers should be done at least once a week to your chickens healthy. Always get your birds de-wormed on a regular basis especially if they are around other animals or interacting with kids.
DIET AND NUTRITION
Give your Java a balanced diet of chicken pellets, grains, chicken mash or grain mix from 8 weeks old and older. This should be fed to them first thing in the morning before they are let out to roam about to ensure they are getting all their nutrients. They will not take as much feed as most other chickens as they will get most of their daily food from what they forage during the day.
For baby chickens, the best is always Chick Starter when they are under 8 weeks old.
Laying hens should get extra protein and calcium in their diets to ensure the quality of their eggs and to keep them in tip-top health.
Getting table scraps in the form of vegetables and fruit is a great treat for any chicken. They find these scraps even better if they are served as ice-cubes on very hot days.
Feeding your chickens correctly will give your organic garden a lot of nutritious fertilizer to make your vegetables or flowers grow.
Please see our comprehensive guide to “Feeding your chickens” for more information of the different types of chicken feed for chicks, hens, laying hens, roosters, etc. and where to buy the feed and approximate cost of the feed.
SOCIALIZING THE BIRD(S)
Java is not overly aggressive and is generally a calm bird that does not make a fuss around other breeds or newcomers.
Always check on how well a breed will get on with your current flock before buying them as you do not want to upset your coop or stress your current flock.
If you want to introduce another breed with your Java try a breed that has a similar nature that will match theirs.
As with any newcomer to the roost, you will have to quarantine the bird for 7 – 31 days to ensure it does not have any unwanted critters or disease that could spread to your current flock.
All flocks have an established pecking order, so it is advisable to socialize newcomers slowly and determine when it is right to allow them to become a permanent part of the flock.
NOTES / SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS
As they are registered as a “watch/critical” conservation status they may need an extra license to own or keep in your garden. For advice on what the bird’s conservation status and orders are please check with your local conservation department.
For breeders, it is imperative that you always check your bird’s bloodlines and ensure you are buying your birds from a reputed breeder/farm. In order to sell birds of such stature, they have to be recorded and documented, always check with local animal breeding organizations for these records.
These legitimate documents are also required should you wish to show your bird(s) in various poultry shows/competition showings.
For information and advice on adopting rescued animals, you can visit or contact your local animal welfare center.
- Caring for your Chicken
- Socializing your Chicken
- Breeding Chicken
- Raising Chickens A-Z
- Hatching Eggs
- What is Molting
- Animal Shelter (ASPCA)
- American Veterinary Medical Association
- American Poultry Association
- American Animal Welfare Society
- American Animal Control
- American Animal Husbandry Society