Sumatra Chicken Breed

Sumatra Chicken Breed Guide: Characteristics, Temperament, & More

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Last Updated on May 17, 2021 by Pauline G. Carter

Sumatra chicken breed is native to Indonesia, more precisely, the island of Sumatra. This breed of chickens is thought to be a primitive one. The other names in use for this chicken breed are Black Sumatra, and Sumatra Game, Java Pheasant Game Birds, and Sumatran Pheasants.

They used to take part in cockfighting in the regions where this game was legal. So, the locals of this island used to pick these roosters at the start of the breeding season. They made them take part in the fight. Later on, they would release them when their seasonal aggression started declining.

Sumatra Chicken Breed Profile

Sumatra Chicken
Country of origin:Indonesia
Primary use:Ornamental
Weight:Male: Standard: 2.25–2.70 kg; Bantam: 735 g
Female: Standard: 1.80 kg; Bantam: 625 g
Temperament:Flighty, Jumpy
Recognized Varieties:Black, Blue
Egg production (annual):100
Egg color:White
Egg size:Medium
Comb type:Pea

History Of Sumatra Chicken

These chickens were first exported from Sumatra to Europe and the U.S. in 1847. In Europe and the U.S., the primary purpose of their import was entertainment. They imported Sumatra chicken as the fighting cocks. But today, this chicken breed is widely popular for exhibition purposes. In 1847, the Standard of Perfection of the American Poultry Association officially recognized this chicken breed.

Sumatra Chicken Characteristics

As you know, chickens come in a variety of breeds. All of these breeds have some distinguishing features that the rest of the species do not have. A thorough understanding of these characters is helpful and even recommended if you plan to buy chickens. Sumatra chicken has the following outstanding characteristics that make it unique from the rest.


This bread comes in three colors; blue, red, white, and black. Also, the breed comes in unstandardized splash, which is a natural outcome of breeding blue Sumatra chickens. To state clearly, Black Sumatra is the only variety of these chicken breeds recognized by the “American Poultry Association.”


As we have mentioned above, Sumatra chickens now widely make their mark for exhibition purposes. So, their ornamental properties come from their beautifully attractive plumage. Mostly, we see black Sumatra chicken having a green sheen covering the tail and the body.


The weight of the Sumatra chicken breed is not much because of their smaller size. On average, a female Sumatra chicken has about 1.80 kg weight. However, the male Sumatra chicken’s weight ranges from 2.25 kg to 2.70 kg.


Sumatra hens are poor at laying eggs. In total, these hens lay around 100 eggs a year. The color of these eggs is creamy white. The size of these eggs is medium. Also, these hens are good at egg-laying in winter.

Fighting capability

As already mentioned, these chickens were previously famous for fights. The most vital purpose of war among male Sumatra chickens is dominance. But mostly, these males do not fight till their death.


Also, the Sumatra hens are particularly susceptible to sit on a clutch of these eggs for incubating them. So, these chickens have good broodiness. Along with being the best at broodiness, Sumatra hens are the best protective mothers as well.


The wattles of both the female and male Sumatra chicken breed range from very small to nonexistent. Also, every leg of the male Sumatra is mainly spurred.


These chickens have an excellent climate tolerance, so they do well in roughly all types of climates.

Flying ability

Sumatra chickens show up with fantastic flying ability. This character of strong flight ability is missing in most of the novel chicken breeds worldwide. 

Sumatra Chicken Behavior/ Temperament

Sumatra chickens are very alert, active, and fall among the best fliers. Also, they are excellent at jumping too. Both the adults and chicks are very hardy. You can easily handle this chicken breed.

The males are usually not so aggressive to the others. But, these roosters can be aggressive towards their breed members, that too, during active breeding season. These chickens do not go well with close confinement. So, they need ample space to stay joyful and happy.

Sumatra Chicken Commercial Farming

The Sumatra chicken breed consists of hardy and robust birds. So, it will be so easy to start their commercial farming for financial benefits. Sumatra chicken breed farming is beneficial and popular in its area of origin.

Also, in some other parts of the world, it is commonly raised. As the breed is used for exhibition and ornamental purposes, starting commercial farming is profitable. Also, the exhibition birds typically cost relatively high prices; they make a good business choice.

Right below, we will help you gain some needed information about starting and maintaining a highly successful commercial farming of Sumatra chicken. The guide covers all the aspects of this business, from buying these birds to their marketing.

Buy the Sumatra chicken

For the commercial farming of the Sumatra chicken breed, you should first buy healthy and active chickens. Also, make sure that the chicks you are purchasing are hardy and robust as well.

A proper housing system

Then you should arrange a proper housing system for them. It will help the chickens stay healthy and secure. The place must have an appropriate plan of ventilation. Also, it should be easy to clean.

Healthy feed for the chickens

Proper feeding is the next vital consideration in raising Sumatra chickens. Feed them nutritious and healthy food. It will reduce the chances of them catching the diseases.

Breeding of the Sumatra birds

Breeding multiplies the number of chickens, so you should pay heed to this step. One healthy rooster is usually enough for breeding about ten hens.

Taking care of your chickens

You should ensure proper care for these birds. Ensure timely vaccination and keep good touch with a vet for their monitoring.

Do their wise marketing

Lastly, imply good marketing tactics to make the most of your business.

Is Sumatra Chicken The Right Choice For You?

Sumatra chickens are so rare, so people usually do not use them for eating. They raise them mainly for exhibition purposes due to their lovely plumage. So, if you are looking for the most beautiful and easy to raise show birds, Sumatra chickens are the best ones for you.

Also, the birds are usually quiet and do not crow/cluck much. So, if noise is what keeps you away from owning a show bird, go for this breed. This one drawback of these birds is that they do not do well in confinement.

So, they need vast space to stay happy. This reason makes them the wrong choice to keep them in the tight area of your home and backyard. Thanks to their strong flying ability!

So, before going for Sumatra chickens, you should analyze their pros and cons thoroughly. It will help you save your time, energy, and hard-earned money.


The idea of chickens as show birds might sound unfamiliar to you. As you know, chickens are eagerly eaten worldwide and do not make their way as exhibition fowls. But, to your surprise, Sumatra chickens are trendy exhibition fowls due to their:

  • Beautiful appearance
  • Calm behavior
  • Scarcity
  • Good climate tolerance

So, unlike many other chicken breeds, Sumatra chickens make the fanciest show birds. So, all these features make the Sumatra chicken breed stand out from the rest of the standard domesticated chickens.

You can buy these fowls for ornamental purposes. Also, you can raise them to sell as they are highly in demand for their scarcity. So, you can get the aesthetic pleasure or the financial benefits from these birds; the choice lies in your hands!

About Author (Pauline G. Carter)

Pauline G. Carter

Pauline G. Carter is a well-known pet blogger who has written about the world of pets for several years. She is passionate about pets, from cats and dogs to birds, reptiles, and poultry. Her blog, which is updated regularly, is filled with articles and guides on pet care, nutrition, and training. She also shares her experiences and observations on pet ownership, making her blog relatable and informative for pet lovers. She is a true animal advocate and is dedicated to promoting responsible pet ownership. Let’s Go …

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