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.
- Breed Purpose:
- Climate Tolerance:
- Egg Productivity:
- Egg Size:
- Egg Color:
- Light Brown
- Breed Temperament:
- 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!
- Breed Size:
- Large Fowl
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.