Table of Contents
The Malay is the tallest of all the chicken breeds and gets up to 2.5 foot tall. There have been stories of these birds being able to eat feed from the top of a barrel.
They were once bred for their meat, but it is not to everyone’s taste as some found it to be grainy and coarse other loved how meaty it was. They are not the best egg layers and are more for show or ornamental purpose.
This large game bird has played a major part in the regeneration of some Oriental fowl lines by being crossbred with other breeds.
They may look mean and scary but they are actually really quite tame to their human family having the tendency to be dog like.
|Country of Origin:||Southeast Asia|
|American Poultry Association:||Yes – They are recognized as a breed of chicken in the United States
The Black Breasted Red variety was admitted to the Standard of Perfection in 1883. The Bantam variety in 1904 and five other colors was admitted for both the normal and Bantam sizes in 1981
|Chicken Category:||All Other Standard Breed|
|Bantam Variety Available?||Yes – All Other Comb Clean Legged Bantam Classification|
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Appearance: They have long yellow legs and muscular thighs. Thick skulls with almost evil looking slanting eyes and yellow beaks. Small red walnut comb, wattles and earlobes.
They have tight-knit hard feathers that are compact on their bodies with a long downward-pointing tail. They are tall and look very much like a mini raptor in the way that they carry themselves.
Color(s): Black, White, Red, Wheaton, Red Pyle, Black Breasted Red and Spangled
Comb:They have a walnut comb
Ave. Weight: Pullet: 6 lbs.
Hens: 7 lbs.
Cockerel: 7 lbs.
Rooster: 9 lbs.
|Life Expectancy:||The average lifespan is 8 years|
|Good Starter Chicken?||No these are not the chickens for the starter flock|
Eggs: They are terrible egg layers.
They lay medium sized light brown eggs
They lay 70 – 120 eggs per year
They will lay throughout the year
They start to lay eggs from around 26 weeks old.
Meat: They have yellow skin
They have large portions of meat that has mixed opinions on its taste but is said to be very poor and grainy
Breeding: Not for the novice
The hens do not get broody
They do not make good brood hens
They will not sit on their eggs
They are not very good mothers
If these chickens are going to be bred, you will need an incubator to hatch the chicks
Show Bird: Not a popular show bird they are a bit too aggressive
Pets: Although they can be really nasty and look scary they are actually quite friendly to their humans. They can also become quite protective of them.
Other: If you are looking for a chicken with a different look to enhance your flock the Malay will most certainly do that. They are, however, not a bird for first-time chicken owners as they require a lot of attention, work and are aggressive towards other chickens/breeds.
|Health:||They do have quite a bit of health issues especially in the USA.|
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|Temperament:||Aggressive, flighty and bit on the wild side|
|Flyers?||They can fly|
|Noisy Birds?||They are not overly noisy, and the rooster is quite hoarse with a crow more like a roar|
|Interaction with other chickens:||As they are a large breed other breeds will avoid them as they are also quite aggressive towards other chickens/breeds. They are not the friendliest birds.|
|Good with kids?||Not a chicken to have around children|
|Socialize Behavior?||Due to their size, most domestic animals tend to leave them well enough alone and they will attack another animal if they feel threatened.|
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|Known predators:||Always keep an eye on domestic pets such as dogs and cats.
If hawks and or foxes are in your area it is always best to take precautions (although they are a bit too big for hawks they may still, try).
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 “critical”|
Garden Size: Malay is too big to have in confinement.
They need a larger garden and lots of place to free-range and forage about
Ideal Climate: They tolerate heat well but are very susceptible to various ailments during the colder months and require special attention to keep them warm.
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.
As they are very tall the coop with have to fit to accommodate their height.
Ideal Coop Run: They will fly if they have to, so the coop run should be completely covered. It will also need to tall enough to accommodate their height and have enough space for them to wander around in.
Ideal Flock Size: These independent birds only need one friend but are sure to get used to any size flock.
Special Instructions: Malay require a lot of special attention and this includes specialized heated coops, larger pen and run sizes as well as their specialized nutritional issues.
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 BUY THEM
|Live Poultry Outlets:||They are quite rare these days and are not normally found at just any poultry outlet. Most of the Malay chickens you will find are not true Malay but have been bred to resemble the Malay from a combination of hardy Game Fowl more designed for the US.|
|Internet Poultry Websites:||There are not a lot of internet sites that will sell them.|
|Organizations:||American Poultry Association and American Livestock Conservancy are the best places to find information on the breed and any registered breeders/hatcheries.|
|Breeders Clubs:||As the Malay is one of the breeds used to develop the Brahma the American Brahma Club may have information on the breed and or any clubs in the USA.|
|Other:||The organizations and or breeders listed above may also have a host of valuable information about your chickens.
They will also be able to provide you with any special instructions, problems, etc. about your chickens.
The Malay is an ancient breed of chicken with images of a breed that looks just like it pictured in
Painting dating back to the 1400’s.
It was one the first giant chickens that were exported to the Western world it was also one of the first breeds to have been Bantamised. This is where they make a dwarf version of the standard version of a fowl.
The first Malay chickens were shown in England in 1845 at the first British Poultry show. By the mid-1800’s they had made their way to America where they were accepted into the Standard of Perfection by the American Poultry Association in 1883.
In the 1830’s it was fashionable in England to keep very large/giant game chickens they were particularly popular and mostly found in Cornwall and Devon.
During that time period, Malay were also very popular and in large numbers throughout Ireland.
This ancient breed of chicken is through to have been descended from the great Malay and Kulm fowls of India.
As with the Aseel they are said to date back some 3500 years and there is uncertainty as to which breed is the oldest out of the two.
The Malay originally caught the attention of poultry industry due to its size and portions of meat. It was soon found lacking as a utility fowl.
Its ancient genetic structure makes this breed unique and therefore useful to cross breed with other fowls and has been helpful in the regeneration of some Oriental game and longtail fowls.
NOTES / SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS
As they are registered as a “watch” 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