Serama chickens, the world’s smallest chicken breed, have captured the hearts of poultry enthusiasts and pet lovers alike. Their tiny size, friendly nature, and ornamental beauty make them a great addition to any flock.
Whether you’re interested in raising them for companionship, exhibition, or even their small but delightful eggs, Serama chickens offer something special for everyone.
So, if you’re considering becoming a Serama chicken owner or simply curious about this delightful breed, read on as this article offers insights into their origin, care, cost, and much more.
Serama Chicken Overview
|Rooster: 0.8–1.1 lbs (12.8–17.6 oz);
Hen: 0.6–0.9 lbs (9.6–14.4 oz)
|Chocolate, black, white, wheaten, gray, brown, blue-red, brown-red, and more
|Friendly, docile, quiet
|Known for Broodiness:
|200–250 eggs per year
|White, light brown
|$10–$80 per chick
Serama Chicken Origin and History
The Serama originated in the Kelantan province of Malaysia. It is known to have existed as early as the 1600s. However, the modern Serama was created by Wee Yean Een in the 1970s.
It is said that the name “Serama” serves as a homage to King Rama of Thailand, hinting at its royal connection.
It is a fairly new breed that resulted from the meticulous cross-breeding of Japanese bantams with local bantams of Malaysia. It was first showcased to the public in 1990.
In the year 2000, the breed was imported to the US by Jerry Schexnayder. This introduction was significant, especially given the following import ban on chickens caused by the outbreak of bird flu.
The Serama species was almost completely wiped out by this epidemic, but their resilience ensured their survival and the breed’s population rebounded.
Since then, the breed has seen an increase in popularity in many parts of the world. Several organizations throughout the United States promote it, including the Serama Council of North America (SCNA).
Moreover, Serama chickens were brought to the United Kingdom In 2004, marking their first appearance in Europe. Recognizing its growing appeal, the Poultry Club of Great Britain standardized the Serama by the year 2008.
Serama Chicken Appearance and Breed Standard
The Serama, known as the world’s smallest chicken breed, stands out with its unique appearance.
This breed is characterized by its upright posture, short back, full breast, and vertical tail feathers that stand close to the body.
Also, Seramas have a single comb that is red in color, accompanied by matching crimson wattles and eyes. Their muscular legs are free of feathers and yellow in color.
When observed from the side, the Serama creates a vase-like silhouette, showcasing its unique body structure. Their wings, quite large in proportion to their small size, hang vertically, almost touching the ground.
Moreover, the Serama chicken does not breed true and comes in a wide variety of colors, including white and black, both of which are officially recognized by various poultry organizations.
Aside from having different colors, they can also exhibit different feather types. Depending on your location, the Serama is judged according to Malaysian, American, and British standards.
Only chickens with regular feathers that are held tightly to the body are recognized in Malaysia. However, Serama chickens with smooth or frizzled feathers are also accepted in other countries, particularly the United States.
Furthermore, the Serama’s body structure holds significance, especially in Malaysia, where classifications like slim, apple, ball, and dragon are used.
Meanwhile, the American Serama should be a blend of ‘slim’ and ‘apple,’ as accepted by the American Poultry Association (APA).
Serama Chicken Size and Weight
Renowned for its petite stature, the Serama chicken is the smallest chicken in the world.
Their size is a defining feature, making them stand out in the poultry world. Standing between 6 and 10 inches tall, they are one of the true bantam breeds.
Serama bantams are classified based on their weight. There are four accepted weight categories:
|Up to 13 oz
|Up to 8 oz
|Under 13 oz
|Under 12 oz
|Under 16 oz
|Under 15 oz
|Under 19 oz
|Under 17 oz
Any variation above or below the specified weights cannot be classified as Seramas. The classification of their weight ensures that breeders continue to produce chickens that are true to the breed standard.
However, it’s essential to note that while some breeders have achieved sizes even smaller than the Micro category, this can pose challenges.
Small birds often face difficulties during hatching and rearing. Maintaining a high hatch rate is challenging, even for Class A Seramas.
Overall, the Serama chicken’s size and weight make it a unique breed. Their compact size, combined with their lively nature, makes them a favorite among poultry keepers worldwide.
Serama Chicken Temperament and Behavior
The Serama chicken is not just known for its tiny size but also for its distinctive temperament. Despite its small size, it has a big heart and an even bigger personality.
These little chickens are known for their assertive and confident stance. They carry themselves with pride despite their petite stature.
When observed, they exhibit behaviors like shaking their wings, posing readily, and pulling their head back to reveal a large chest. This behavior showcases their brave and bold nature.
Moreover, Serama chickens are very friendly; they thrive on interaction and enjoy human company. These tiny chickens tend to approach their keepers for attention and are known to develop strong bonds with them.
They are easy to handle and show no signs of aggression, making them ideal for families with children. Due to their size, they are a favorite among city dwellers and people with small spaces.
Furthermore, their friendly nature and ability to get along with other chickens make them do well in a mixed flock.
Watch this video if you’re thinking about keeping this chicken as an indoor pet:
Egg Production and Broodiness of Serama Chickens
Though they may be small in appearance, Serama hens are surprisingly reliable egg layers. Serama chickens lay about four eggs a week, producing up to 250 eggs per year.
Interestingly, Seramas continue their egg-laying spree even during the winter months, especially from November through February.
This is quite unusual, as many chicken breeds reduce their egg production during colder seasons.
However, Serama chicken eggs are relatively small, with five Serama eggs equating to the size of regular eggs. These eggs can range in color from white to dark brown, a variation attributed to their genetic history.
When it comes to broodiness, Serama hens are known to exhibit strong maternal instincts. They make excellent mothers, often fiercely protective of their chicks.
Unfortunately, they can only incubate a small clutch of eggs at a time due to their small size. This sometimes results in a lower hatch rate.
Noise Levels of Serama Chickens
Serama chickens have a demeanor that’s as gentle as their size. When it comes to noise, these tiny birds are relatively quiet, making them ideal for urban settings or places with noise restrictions.
When I first started raising Serama chickens, I was pleasantly surprised by their noise levels. Unlike the loud crow of the rooster from other breeds, my Seramas have a gentle, melodic sound.
It’s a soothing noise that adds charm without disturbing the neighbors, making Serama chickens perfect for suburban living.
This quiet nature, combined with their friendly breed characteristics, has made Seramas one of my favorite chicken breeds.
So, if you’re considering raising chickens but are concerned about noise, the Serama might be the perfect fit.
Their gentle vocalizations and charming personalities make them a delightful addition to any backyard or indoor setting.
How to Take Care of Your Serama Chicken
Diving into the world of Serama chicken care can be both exciting and rewarding. For those raising Serama chickens, understanding their unique needs is essential.
This section will walk you through the important aspects of taking care of these charming little birds to make sure they live a healthy and happy life.
Lifespan and Health Issues
Serama chickens have a lifespan of around seven years, although some can live up to 10 years. These chickens are generally healthy, but they do face some unique challenges.
Some Seramas inherit a gene from Japanese bantams that can cause premature death or mobility issues.
If present, around 25% of the chicks might not hatch because of their very short legs, which prevent them from getting into the ideal hatching position. This is more common in Micro and Class A Seramas.
Feeding your Serama is relatively straightforward. Chicks up to 16 weeks old should be fed a 20% protein crumble, preferably mashed, for easy consumption. After this period, you can transition them to a 16% layer feed.
Alongside their regular feed, I provide my Seramas oyster shell grit to support proper eggshell formation. When offering treats, I break them up into smaller pieces, ensuring they fit their tiny beaks.
Furthermore, I provide them with fresh and clean water to promote hydration and overall health.
During hot summer months, considering the addition of vitamin or electrolyte powder to their water can aid in maintaining their well-being, especially as they may be more prone to dehydration.
Coop Setup and Roaming
Due to their high activity levels and love for foraging, Serama chickens require a specific kind of environment.
Although they’re small, each chicken should have around two square feet of space inside the coop. This will prevent them from feeling cramped while giving them freedom of movement.
When setting up perches, allocate about six inches of space per chicken and provide them with a variety of levels on which they can fly and roost. For nesting, one box for every three hens should be enough.
Furthermore, Serama chickens love to roam and forage. However, their small size makes them easy prey for larger predators. If they roam, make sure that it’s within a secured space or under supervision.
They need at least four square feet of outdoor space. Add perches, swings, and scatter seeds around their roaming area to keep them occupied.
Serama chickens are able to tolerate both warm and cold temperatures relatively well. However, they need protection from cold drafts and temperatures below 40°F.
They come from a tropical region, specifically Malaysia, where it is usually warm and humid.
Thus, their tolerance to cold weather is limited, and prolonged exposure to low temperatures can lead to stress, decreased egg production, and even health issues.
Providing a well-insulated coop and implementing measures to prevent drafts during colder seasons is crucial to ensuring the well-being and comfort of these charming birds.
How Much Does a Serama Chicken Cost?
The cost of a Serama chicken can vary based on several factors. Age, size, color, and bloodline play a significant role in determining their price.
Serama chicks can cost anywhere from $10 to $80 on average. However, certain varieties with highly desirable qualities can fetch higher prices, sometimes reaching up to $100 or more.
Another factor to consider is the class or size of the Serama chicken. Micro and Class A Seramas, being the smallest, might be priced higher than their slightly larger counterparts.
Moreover, unique colors or patterns can also influence the cost. Seramas are certainly not cheap birds, but those who are intrigued by their tiny size and lovable personalities may find the investment worthwhile.
Is the Serama Breed Right for You?
If you’re considering adding a new member to your backyard chicken coop, understanding the Serama’s behavior is essential.
Serama chickens are incredibly friendly, often following their owners around, making them great companions.
Moreover, these chickens don’t require much space in their coop and run, making them ideal for those living in tight spaces or urban settings.
Their noise levels are relatively low, even for Serama roosters. This means you can enjoy the company of these chickens inside or in a chicken coop without disturbing your neighbors.
Additionally, Seramas are quite hardy and can tolerate both hot and cold temperatures, though they prefer draft-free areas.
However, there are some things to keep in mind when choosing this breed. Due to their size, Seramas can be vulnerable to predators. Hence, their living space must be secure, especially if kept outdoors.
While they’re generally healthy, they have inherited a lethal gene from the Japanese bantams, which can affect the hatching success rate.
Furthermore, while they are capable of laying up to four eggs per week, these eggs are not exactly a filling breakfast option, given how small they are.
Overall, if you’re seeking a low-maintenance, affectionate pet that doesn’t require much space, the Serama might be the perfect choice.
But be prepared for the unique challenges they bring due to their tiny size and specific breeding concerns.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are Serama Chickens Good For?
Serama chickens make excellent pets. Their friendly temperament and manageable size make them perfect companions, especially for families with children.
Moreover, Serama chicken owners often showcase these birds in poultry shows due to their ornamental beauty and unique appearance. Their variety of colors and patterns make them a favorite among poultry enthusiasts.
Lastly, Seramas are great for those living in urban settings or with limited space. Their small size means they require less space than the average chicken.
Why Are Serama Chickens So Expensive?
There are a number of reasons why Serama chickens can cost more than other breeds. Firstly, their unique status as the smallest breed of chicken adds to their appeal, often driving up demand.
Their small size and unique appearance are maintained by careful breeding, which can be a time-consuming and expensive process.
Moreover, the rarity of certain classes or colors within the Serama breed can further increase their price. Serama chickens, especially those from reputable breeders or with a proven show record, can be more expensive.
Are Serama Chickens Aggressive?
Serama chickens are renowned for their friendly and docile nature. Unlike some larger chicken breeds that might exhibit aggressive behaviors, Seramas are generally calm and get along well with other animals.
Their gentle temperament makes them ideal for families, even those with children. Their calm nature and ease of handling have contributed to their popularity as pets and show birds.
Do you have any experience with Serama chickens or advice for caring for them? Leave a comment below and tell us about your thoughts, stories, and questions about this breed.