Table of Contents
A fairly new Bantam breed that originated in the Malaysian state of Kelantan. This little chicken looks like it is always standing to attention with its V-Shaped posture and head that is held far back almost touching its tail. Its chest is raised and puffed out with its wings held low as if held stiffly at their sides. They are one of the smallest and lightest of chickens that do need to be kept confined in a covered sheltered run.
|Country of Origin:||Malaysia|
|American Poultry Association:||Recognized as a breed of chicken in the United States|
|Chicken Category:||Bantam Breed|
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|Chicken Class:||Single Comb Clean Legged|
|Bantam Variety Available?||There is only a Bantam Breed|
|Good Starter Chicken?||They require a little more attention and care than normal chickens, so they may not make the best starter chicken.|
Eggs: They are very good egg layers
They lay small/tiny Bantam sized cream or tinted eggs from 180 per year
They will lay consistently throughout winter and summer
They start to lay eggs from around 22 weeks old.
Meat: They are too small to be table birds
Breeding: They can be bred and they hens do get broody they are also excellent mothers. They are quite difficult to breed as they do not breed true.
If you are breeding the Serama for show choosing the correct hens and rooster bloodline is crucial.
Foraging: They are small and do not forage in free-range conditions.
Show Bird: Their gorgeous colors, unique looks and posturing make them great show birds.
Pets: Their sweet docile calm natures make them excellent little pets
Other: Need to be protected from predators so they will need a closed area to roam and forage in. Ideally, they should be kept in a barn with a run that has shade and sun.
|Flyers?||They can fly|
|Noisy Birds?||They can be noisy if there are enough of them together in a coop|
|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?||Their gentle calm nature makes them a great pet to have around supervised children.|
The Serama is the result of the cross-breeding between Malaysian and Japanese Bantams. The Serama originated in the State of Kelantan in Malaysia and the modern breed is contributed to the efforts of Wee Yean Een of Kelantan. Wee Yean Een had a fascination for chickens and in particular Bantams since from an early age. After getting some Ayam Kapans he was at first going to breed them with Silkies in the hopes of producing Kapans the size of silkies. Instead, he introduced the Japanese Bantam in the hopes of producing a Bantam that had a regal, chesty and confident carriage.
He named the breed Serama which was named after the title of the Kings of Thailand which is Rama.
Wee Yean Een first showed the birds at an exhibition in 1990.
But in 2004 the breed got badly affected by the Asian bird flu epidemic wherein many birds had to be culled.
The Serama was promoted in the United States by different organizations, some that were formed purely to promote this little chicken. One such organization was The Serama Council of North America.
They showed the Serama in various Poultry shows across America.
In 2011 the White Serama variety was accepted into the Standard of Perfection by the American Poultry Association.
There are other colors that are accepted by various poultry clubs across America.
Appearance/Body: These tiny little chickens look like chicken soldiers standing to attention. Their breasts are pushed out, their tails stand straight up, and their heads are back nearly up against their tail. Serama breeders call their body shape a V. Their wings are held tight against their small bodies pointing down and almost touching the ground.
Color(s) They come in many colors with white being the APA standard color
Comb: They have a single comb
Ave. Weight: Pullet/Hen up to 500g
Cockerel/Rooster up to 500g
|Life Expectancy:||The average lifespan is 6 years|
|Health:||They have no known health issues but as with all bantams they need their feet and weeks kept dry. They are not suited to wet muddy conditions.|
|Temperament:||Gentle calm, docile and friendly little chickens|
|Socialize Behavior?||They get along well with all other animals|
|Known predators:||They are small birds and as such must be kept away from other domestic animals such as dogs and cats.
If hawks and or foxes are in your area it is always best to take precautions. They are easy prey for most predators.
Check with local animal shelters, zoos, vets, animal control and or pet stores about common predators in your area.
|Conservation Status:||Not recorded on the conservation lists. This can be checked with your local or national conservation centers.|
|Garden Size:||They adapt well to most sized gardens and take confinement well. As they are small they are best kept in a safe environment such as a barn or shed.|
|Ideal Climate:||They are heat and cold hardy but are small chickens so do need a bit of extra care.|
|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:||They are the smallest of the chicken breeds and as such are susceptible to prey. Their coop runs should be fully covered and secure from predators.|
|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:||Their feet, legs and feathers need to be kept dry|
|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
These Bantams can be found at some live poultry outlets and farms and poultry retail websites. To ensure you are getting prime stock it is better to find registered breeders. You can find registered breeders on the Serama Council of North America website, American Serama Association Website and the American Bantam Association websites. These sites also offer a host of valuable information and will be able to help with any special requirements, attention or care they may need. 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.
These delightful tiny chickens make a great addition to any flock. Their proud chest stance is sure to be a talking point for your guests. They also come in an array of different colors to brighten up the coop.
Their feathers, legs/feet need to be taken care of. Especially their feet and legs if there is a lot of damp or mud about. If possible, they should have a tractor type coop/coop run that can be moved around the garden giving the last place it was positioned in time to dry out and or recover. Ideally, they need nice dry grassy patches to walk around on.
These 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. They do not mind the attention and 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 Serama 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.
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.
Serama does love getting table scraps in the form of vegetables and fruit. 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)
Serama is not a difficult bird to socialize but as they are a tiny chicken it is best to keep them with smaller breeds or Bantam breeds.
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 Serama, try a breed like the Silkie or Japanese Bantam as they are of a smaller size and have similar natures to 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.
Even though small chickens, they still have a 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
They are not registered with the American Livestock conservation and have no conservations status but 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