Malaysian Serama

Malaysian Serama Information

The Serama (MalayAyam Serama), also called the Malaysian Serama, is a bantam breed of chicken originating in Malaysia within the last 50 years.

Serama originate in the Malaysian state of Kelantan, apparently through the crossing of Japanese and Malaysian bantams. Other stories of the birds derived from a gift of some small chickens by the King of Thailand to a local sultan in ancient times. Small chickens have always been popular pets in this area and are often referred to as "ayam katik" (pygmy chickens) and "ayam cantik" (pretty chickens).

The modern breed is attributed to the efforts of Wee Yean Een from Kelantan, who named the breed "Serama" after Rama, the title of the Kings of Thailand. The breed was first exhibited in 1990. The breed was hit hard by the Asian bird flu epidemic in 2004 when many birds were culled amid government concerns.


There are no written standards for the breed in its native country. However, they do now have an overall guide on scoring and judging for competitions in Malaysia. Many breeders have a style or type that they breed to, but often breeders keep several "styles". These styles are often names given by breeders to describe a blood line of a champion (e.g. Husin, Mat Awang), but may also be more general shape, characteristics or behaviour (e.g. slim, submarine, and dragon). Hence there is quite a lot of diversity in Malaysia, but an overall theme of a small brave chicken with a persona of fearless warrior or toy soldier. The shape, behaviour, temperament and size of the bird are the most important characteristics. They compete against each other in open table top competitions (often described as "beauty contests") and scored by several judges. The prize for the winning birds can be a considerable sum of money.

United States


Serama rooster in the United States


The Serama is promoted by several organizations in the US; one such organization is the Serama Council of North America.[1] This council helped to introduce the Serama to North America in various National Poultry shows. In the spring of 2004, a Serama-only show, known as the Cajun Classic, was held in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The American Serama as put forth by the Serama Council of North America has now gained acceptance by the American Poultry Association and the American Bantam Association as of April 2011, with the White color variety being the first to be accepted.

In early 2012, another group was formed to help gain APA and ABA acceptance of more varieties of serama. This group is known as the American Serama Association.[2]


Seramas were initially imported into the UK in 2004. Birds were imported from both America and directly from Malaysia. The foundation Serama flock in the UK consisted of only a few dozen birds. In 2005, a small group of Serama owners and enthusiast decided to form the Serama Club of Great Britain, the first Serama club in the UK. They established the standard for the Serama breed for the UK. Eventually in 2008, the club was officially recognised as the affiliated breed club of the Poultry Club of Great Britain.

Seramas are still relatively rare and expensive in much of mainland Europe. The Netherlands probably has the largest number of Seramas outside the UK. Most of the stock in the Netherlands are descended from birds/eggs imported from America and from the UK.

In France and other European countries they are increasing in popularity. They have 4 classes of Seramas.


The Serama are characterized by their upright posture, full breast, vertical tail feathers held upright and tight up to the body and vertical wings held down nearly touching the ground. In Malaysia they are described as brave warriors and archangel chickens, because of their very human like appearance.

They are the smallest breed of chicken in the world. Seramas are typically under 500 g (18 oz), but even smaller birds weighing under 250 g (8.8 oz) have been bred in its native Malaysia. However, size alone does not define a Serama. A small chicken without the Serama "type" is not a Serama, but just another small bantam.



Malaysian Serama Information

Beginner Friendly? Yes, with care
Livespan 7+ years
Weight Under 19oz
Colors Black, White, Orange and more
Egg Production 4-5 per week
Egg Color White, Dark Brown
Broodiness Average
Good with Children Yes
Cost of Chicken $10.00 - $80.00 per chick

Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
Smallest Chicken in the World Requires Supplimental Heat during Cooler months
Extremely Friendly and can be kept indoors Does not fair well in outdoor settings in winter
Very Camera Friendly Can be difficult to hatch due to lethal gene
Good Egg Layers They molt continuously year round
True Bantam Exceptional birds can trade hands for hundreds of dollars