The Serama bantam is still a relatively new breed of chicken with the development being due to the determination and perseverance of the Malay, Wee Yean Een. His early fascination with chickens encouraged him to pursue his dream and was able to source a bird similar to the Modern Game bantam called Ayam Kapans. From this bantam, he wanted to create a bird with compact bone and body structure, an upright tail and full chest. In order to achieve this, he incorporated many different breeds into his programme in order to select the qualities he was looking for.
The Serama bantam is constantly being improved; perfecting size, temperament, posture and type. All of which are imperative to this enchanting and unique bird.
One of the most commonly asked questions concerns their housing requirements. Having originated from tropical Malaysia, Serama do require relatively warm conditions in order to thrive. They are a fairly delicate breed; however, with the right care, they cope well with our climate. It is important to buy your birds from a reputable breeder. This will ensure they are full of vitality and have good, strong lines, providing an excellent starting base for breeding further quality specimens.
Breeding and rearing chicks is one of the most rewarding aspects of keeping any poultry, but when that task is complicated by tiny, vulnerable eggs, you are likely to become even more determined to succeed. Of course, the most reliable and successful brooder is the hen itself. Serama bantam hens do make great mothers although they cannot cover a large number of eggs.
The overall vigour and condition of the bird is enhanced by feeding techniques. There are a large variety of feeds available, but not all are suitable for the Serama bantam due to the size of the pellets and ingredients used. Some of the growers’ pellets, for example, contain growth promoters that are more suited for large fowl and can be disastrous for bantams.
The compact size of the Serama is what differentiates them from any other bantam. Each bird must conform as closely as possible to your specific area’s Breed Standard. The improvement and development of the breed is still ongoing but the standard assists the breeder in creating the ‘perfect’ bird. It also provides a template for the ultimate bird, allowing the judge to award points for each characteristic. The Serama is yet to breed true, and so variations in the offspring are very likely.
Because of the Serama’s confident and showy nature, they lend themselves to the exhibition world where they seem to relish the attention. Being small makes them far easier to handle when it comes to washing and show preparation. This may start many months before a show to achieve their optimum condition. Again the bird’s diet all helps towards producing good feather structure and condition.
As with all poultry, problems and illnesses can occur – some more serious than others. It is vitally important to recognise the signs early, so that relevant treatment and care can be sought.
If you are looking for a fancy, small, quiet chicken suitable for urban dwelling then the Serama bantam may just be for you. What they lack in egg production, they certainly make up in personality and beauty.