Sumatra Chicken Characteristics

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The Sumatra chicken breed is a native of the island of Sumatra in Indonesia. It is a rare and beautiful Asian longtail chicken with rich lustrous beetle green plumage. Sumatra is a distinctive fowl that look less like domestic poultry than other chickens. The breed developed through living wild and being shaped by its environment.  It originally was imported from Sumatra for cockfighting but is now exclusively an ornamental fowl. 

The breed comes in blue and white varieties, but the majority of them are black Sumatra chicken. Black is the only color admitted into the standard but other colors are available.

Sumatra Chicken Characteristics

  • Sumatra breeds are typically known to be small in size. The standard weight of the roosters is 5 lbs, Hen 4 lbs, Cockerel 4 lbs, and Pullet 3.5 lbs.
  • Black Sumatras are a consistent, dark, greenish color and their plumage is lustrous and stunning.
  • Blue, Black, White are breed colors, but the majority are black.
  • Black Sumatras have black skin, while their comb, face, wattles, beak, and earlobes are a dark purple to black.color.
  • Like the Silkie, they also have black skin and black bones.
  • Males are known for their lustrous long flowing tail feathers of beetle-green black that can grow up to 4 feet in length. The females tail is shorter and less colorful than the male.
  • Multiple spurs are usually found on males and are to be desired for the show.
  • Black Sumatras are very distinguished, long-legged chicken.
  • Excellent flying and jumping capabilities.
  • Fertility Percentage is around 40-55%
  • Black Sumatras lay around 100 medium-sized eggs per year with white or light tint egg. They are good layers during winter. They start to lay eggs from around 20 weeks old.
  • Toes and shanks are black to dark willow and the bottom of their feet are yellow.
  • Robust birds can withstand any type of weather. 
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Sumatra Chicken Temperament

  • Black Sumatra roosters(male) can be aggressive but only to those of its own breed and mainly during the breeding season. Fighting will subside after the season is over.
  • The seasonal aspect of the Sumatra chicken is still very much a part of the breed today, and one can expect fertility and broodiness to arrive late in the spring.
  • The male chicken will always fight for dominance but they will not fight other breeds to death.
  • Their personality toward humans is much calmer and docile year-round.
  • Sumatra chickens are excellent foragers, and active.
  • They are great jumpers and they cannot tolerate confinement. 
  • Another unusual aspect of Sumatra chicken is that they tend to breed seasonally.
  • Most of the time, males can live harmoniously together, but during breeding season become aggressive. Hens are generally only broody during breeding season as well.
  • Sumatras are active and watchful birds. The fact that they retain enough “wild” characteristics.
  • Sumatra chicken lives more in tune with the seasons, breeding and fighting for dominance in the early spring, just like birds in the wild do.
  • Hens go broody readily and are known to be good mothers. They go brooding for long periods just like silkieshamo, Ancona chickens,Iowa blue chicken.
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Why breed Sumatra Chicken

1. Critical category

There are fewer than 500 breeding birds in the US. Conservancy efforts need to be taken up, for the breed improvement else they will face endangerment.

2. Hardy and Robust

They are adaptable to any temperature. They have strong genes that are derived from wild games. These genes enable them to survive in both cold and warm climates.

3. Ornamental Purposes

The birds are kept for ornamental purposes alone but you can still eat the meat produced by them. The birds come in different colors and varieties. Those feathers can be used to design ornaments.

4. Attractive

The chickens occur in different varieties and each variety has unique coloring. The white, black, splash and blue coloring make them stunning and attractive. The plumage arrangement and patterns make them outstanding.

5. Easy to Raise

Both adults and chicks are hardy and easy to raise. They are excellent flyers, predators will have a hard time. They can take care of themselves during an attack from predators, good at launching themselves vertically to escape dangers. They will give your garden a lot of nutritious fertilizer to ensure great blooms and tasty vegetables.

6. Low Maintenance and no health issues

There is no health complication associated with the breed of chicken as they are hardy and wild foul. They have a low maintenance cost and care as they are a great forager.

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Sumatra Chicken History

The Sumatra breed is a native of the island of Sumatra in Indonesia. They were originally imported from Sumatra in 1847 to the U.S. and Europe for the purpose of cockfighting, but today the breed is primarily kept for exhibition.  They were accepted by the American Poultry Association standards in 1883. The island residents captured the males at the beginning of the breeding season and used them to fight, releasing them after the season was over. 

Sumatras are listed in the Critical category. This means that there are fewer than 500 breeding birds in the US. Conservancy efforts to be taken up, for the breed improvement.

Brief characteristics of Sumatra Chicken

Breed NameSumatra chicken
Other NameSumatran Pheasants, Javan Pheasant Game Birds
Country/Place of OriginIndonesian islands
Breed PurposeOrnamental
Breed Sizesmall
Weight
Rooster(Male)
2.2 kg
Hen(Female)1.8 kg
Eggs100 per year
Dispositioncalm and docile with humans, Wild/restless generally, aggressive seasonally
Climate ToleranceAll Climates

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