- Breed Purpose:
- Climate Tolerance:
- Egg Productivity:
- Egg Size:
- Egg Color:
- Light Brown
- Breed Temperament:
- Aggressive, Wild, Flighty
- Breed Colors/Varieties:
- Black, White, Spangled, Red Pyle and Black Breasted Red, Wheaten (female only)NOTE- I am still trying to gather photos, so any help is appreciated!
- Breed Size:
- Large Fowl
The Malay originated in Southeast Asia and is one of the most ancient breeds of chicken. Paintings of chickens resembling a Malay have been seen from the 1400's. They came to England around the 1830's, and were very popular until the Cochin was developed. The Black Breasted Red Malay was admitted as a standard in 1833, and it is still the most common color, although others do exist in small breeding pools.
Malay sold by hatcheries in the US are not Malay, but a combination of Oriental gamefowl bred together in an attempt to create a stronger gene pool for retail sale. True Malays do tend to be somewhat fragile within the US gene pool, and they require a lot of care to properly raise. This includes specialized nutritional issues, heat requirements as they are not cold hardy, and large pen sizes to accommodate their large stature and need for exercise. They are a gentle bird, however, and have extraordinary personalities which usually include being very friendly and dog-like with people, although they can occasionally be disagreeable with other birds. They are, however, the least aggressive of all Oriental gamefowl.
Malay should be tall in stature, with yellow shanks and a cushion (aka walnut) comb. Their wattle should be minimal and their stance extremely upright. Their body profile should be composed of 3 arches when standing at alert - the neck, the body, and the tail should all show an arch. They are very slow maturing, taking 2 years to reach full size in many cases, and the roosters rarely crow until they are a year or more in age.
The meat of the Malay is said to be more dense than that of the typical broiler chicken, and some cultures consider it a delicacy, although it is usually used in soups and such to soften the meat fibers. They are generally poor layers and broodiness is highly variable.
Chicken Breed Info:
Breed Purpose: Ornamental
Climate Tolerance: Heat
General Egg Info:
Egg Productivity: Low
Egg Size: Medium
Egg Color: Light Brown
Aggressive,Wild / restless,Flighty
Breed Colors / Varieties:
Black, White, Spangled, Red Pyle and Black Breasted Red, Wheaten (female only) NOTE- I am still trying to gather photos, so any help is appreciated!
Malays are known for their sinister expression (created by broad skulls, obtruding eyebrows, and upward slanting eyes), their very long legs, and their long life expectancy. Along with that, these gigantic birds (some can be over 3 ft tall!) love to exercise. Their legs have 4 toes and their skin is yellow. The young hens will lay 70-120 eggs annually and the older hens lay 30-55 a year. These birds don't do well in winter or cold climates because of their hard-feathered bodies. The Malay should possess the 3 convex curves: the neck, back, and tail. The cocks should weigh 9 pounds while the hens are at 7 pounds. The roosters are intolerant of other roos and will attack anyone that goes near their hens because of their aggressive and pugnacious nature. Guaranteed any visitors you have (or intruders) will think twice about entering your home with this flock of dinosaur birds lounging around your yard.
Recent User Reviews
"Wonderful birds, but not for beginners or..."
Pros - Unusual; good tempered; excellent as pets and show birds
Cons - Harder to handle due to size; hard to find; eat a lot
I have been searching for Malay for about half a decade now and finally got my first pair. They are more wonderful than I could have imagined. Their size and sturdiness is awe inspiring; they are the most unusual and yet majestic fowls I have come across. If not handled they may be rather flighty, however after handling my pair they have begun to tame down nicely. They can be a little hard to handle if you don't know how to properly hold and move a bird of this size. They do eat tons, and are very picky eaters. I do not see them being useful producers of either eggs or meat at any point. They also require a lot of space. However, if you have the time, space, money, and of course interest in the breed, they can be very rewarding to keep.
"Totally cool birds"
Pros - size, dinosour-like appearance
Cons - eat ALOT
I used to raise and show Wheaten Malay. They are awesome dinosaur-like birds. Your friends will be surprised to see a chicken like this. Mine were out of German stock. The cock was 38" tall (over 3 feet) and weighed as much as some of our turkeys. We had to use a goose legband for him, his legs were massive and long. They have cool personalities, they are not afraid of anything. They eat alot. I had no problems with cockerels because i always would separate them from the girls at 4-6 weeks and put an old cock with them to stop fights from escalating. They can be kept this way until they are about 5 months, then they need their own pen. Once you separate them from their coopmates, do not try to reintroduce them. They need alot of space to range and excercise. they cannot fly. They will lay and breed well if given enough space to excercise. They take two years to mature to full size. It is cool to be sitting on a chair and have a chicken walk up to you and look you in the eye! They have pearl colored eyes and a heavy brow which makes an even more intense looking expression.
Not good for kids because they could accidentally hurt your child. When stressed they go into "fight mode" not "flight" so if they are scared, handle them respectfully.
"Very old breed that is nice to see in the yard..."
Pros - Beautiful and exotic
Cons - Not good chickens if you want eggs. They give roughly 20 per year. Can be grumpy with other Roosters.
Malay is a nice breed for someone who just wants something different and fun. They can be unfriendly to other roosters but usually work it out pretty well. i changed thinking to more utility birds and so they had to go. i do this with plants as well.