Sumatra

Average User Rating:
4.11538/5,
  • Breed Purpose:
    Ornamental
    Comb:
    Pea
    Broodiness:
    Average
    Climate Tolerance:
    All Climates
    Egg Productivity:
    Low
    Egg Size:
    Medium
    Egg Color:
    White
    Breed Temperament:
    Aggressive,Wild / restless,Flighty
    Breed Colors/Varieties:
    Black is the only color admitted into the standard but other colors are available.
    Breed Size:
    Large Fowl
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    The Sumatra breed is a native of the island of Sumatra in Indonesia. They were originally imported from Sumatra in 1847 to the U.S. and Europe for the purpose of cockfighting, but today the breed is primarily kept for exhibition. Sumatras are primarily an ornamental breed kept for their attractive plumage. Most often they are a lustrous black with a green sheen throughout the body and tail. The breed comes in blue and white varieties, as well as the unstandardised splash - a natural result of breeding blue chickens.

    The Black Sumatra was admitted to the APA Standard in 1883.

    The Black Sumatra is a rare and beautiful Asian long tail chicken with rich lustrous beetle green plumage. It originally was inported from Sumatra for cockfighting, but is now exclusively an ornamental fowl.

    The Sumatra has a personality closer to that of a wild game bird than a domestic chicken. The male has a graceful carriage and lustrous greenish black feathers. The cock should have a long sweeping tail, with an abundance of long sweeping sickles and coverts, carried horizontally (females tail carriage 15 degrees above horizontal).

    Multiple spurs on males are desired as well as practically no wattle development. Comb and wattles are expected to be a gypsy (purplish-black) color, while their skin is yellow. Shanks should be black with the bottom of the feet being yellow.

    They are fair layers of medium size white or light tint egg.

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    Sumatra chicks

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    Sumatra juvenile

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    Sumatra hen

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    Sumatra rooster

    For more on this breed and their owners' and breeders' experiences with them, see our breed discussion here: https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/chicken-breed-focus-sumatra.1143674/
  • 6beecb74_IMG_0609.jpeg 1b56013e_sumatra-20455-347571.jpeg 5b9d7499_sumatra-20455-210106.jpeg 17e0748c_sumatra-20455-221312.jpeg 2d320e27_sumatra-20455-932241.jpeg 40c863f1_sumatra-20455-7197.jpeg 477cd50f_IMG_0616.jpeg 0e6f239f_SDC14205.jpeg 79e6b671_1353882701LL.jpeg b304996c_sumroo2.jpeg 5ac9cf52_raphsid005.jpeg 7fbb6622_11268069_10206401095759679_5531135174986150616_o.jpeg fa048764_11807265_10206400854993660_1943065814950598692_o.jpeg 4eab3f75_11231696_10206400856433696_1005532175834646803_o.jpeg 8ad4d923_11838639_10206401108119988_6762378320146148035_o.jpeg c7278a67_FullSizeRender3.jpeg 8eeea802_IMG_2579.jpeg d8d9c4d5_IMG_2613.jpeg f0548eb9_12034353_10206759537760505_3101585533361551203_o.jpeg ea169655_12000848_10206759537240492_7376506100448362333_o.jpeg b27e9622_12028633_10206759538640527_3885236316879067526_o.jpeg juvie.jpg

  • Chicken Breed Info:
    Breed Purpose:
    Ornamental
    Comb: Pea
    Broodiness: Average
    Climate Tolerance: All Climates

    General Egg Info:
    Egg Productivity:
    Medium
    Egg Size: Medium
    Egg Color: White

    Breed Temperament:
    Aggressive,Wild / restless,Flighty

    Breed Colors / Varieties:
    Black and Blue are the standard colors but other colors are available.
    Breed Details:

    If you are interested in getting into long tail chickens I think the Sumatra is a good choice because they are relatively easy keepers. Sumatras are beautiful chickens with their flowing tails. They have a call that can be almost jungle like. They have a cantankerous personality. The more space you can give your Sumatra the happier he will be. They do not like close confinement. They prefer to roost as high as they can get.
    Four week old chicks will fly 6 feet high. If you do not want to be out in the dark with flashlight and ladder getting your chickens out of a tree please do not free range your Sumatras until they have learned that home is the coop. In my experience hens do not go broody until second year but then were frequent broodies. Both hen and rooster are doting parents and fierce in protecting their young. Following is some information from the American Poultry Association Standard of Perfection:
    Standard Weights:
    • Cock 5 pounds
    • Cockerel 4 pounds
    • Hen 4 pounds
    • Pullet 3 ½ pounds
    According to the standard colors for both males and females:
    • Comb, face, wattles and earlobes: Gypsy color
    • Beak: Black
    • Eyes: Dark Brown
    • Shanks and Toes: Black to dark willow, black preferred. Bottom of feet: yellow
    • Plumage: Very lustrous, greenish black throughout
    • Undercolor of all sections: Dull black
    Disqualifications:
    • White earlobes
    • Some white in feathers (for specifics see APA standard of Perfection)
    • No spurs of any kind on males


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    Rooster
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    Hen
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    Egg
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    Chick
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    Adolescent
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BlackHackle likes this.

Recent User Reviews

  1. speedbird
    3/5,
    "Gorgeous birds, but roosters are aggresive"
    Pros - I never saw a more beautiful chicken in my life
    Cons - The hens do not like to be handled. The one rooster I have will consistently attack you unprovoked. Yet he seems to coexist with other birds.
  2. silkiechickens8
    4/5,
    "Hilarious Personalitys!"
    Pros - Friendly, Beautiful, Funny, Little Rebels
    Cons - None so far!
    I got my 3 Black Sumatra chicks a little more than a week ago and so far I love them! Their personalities can not be beat! They're little balls of energy and are hilarious to watch. Would defiantly recommend them!
    Overall:
    4.5
    BlackHackle likes this.
  3. Alexandra33
    4/5,
    "Friendly, exotic birds"
    Pros - Beautiful, docile, personable, talkative, inquisitive, gentle, and good with other birds.
    Cons - Poor layers.
    Though 10 months have gone by and still no eggs, Bali is more than worth her weight in gold in spite of it. She is extremely friendly, constantly running to check up on you and have a quick 2-minute "chat " before zipping away to be with her flockmates.

    That beetle-green shine is by far the prettiest of all the black chickens in our flock, being slightly more iridescent. Perhaps my favorite quality of hers is a soothing, soft voice that certainly isn't typical, and she's constantly charming us with it.

    Despite Bali's small size, she isn't picked on in the least. From what I gather, she has enough spunk to intimidate girls much larger, while not being a bully herself.
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    -Alex
    Overall:
    4.5
    BlackHackle likes this.

User Comments

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  1. Gramma Chick
    Smarter than the average chicken too
  2. FlyWheel
    Now that's a tail, wow!
  3. Alexandra33
    Thank you, guys!

    -Alex
  4. Ballerina Bird
    Wow, how gorgeous!
  5. TBirdsTheWord33
    I love, love, LOVE Bali! She's delightful in every way.
  6. kwhites634
    She even "looks" friendly
  7. goosiesnougs
    That is one good looking bird!
  8. KristenR
    Haha, well - I hope and think that probably not all Sumatras are like the ones I got. Would need to read the whole collection of posts to get a better sense of the breed. But I thought I would post my personal experience because even though it is limited, it does reflect some of the differences within the breed. A person's previous chicken experiences with other breeds will drastically influence the ratings as well, I am sure. I have extensive "other breed experience" but this is my so far limited experience in this particular breed. And I have had many breeds, most of which I immediately liked much better than the Sumatra. For example - I liked the standard Wyandottes and RIRs I had several years ago, too :)
  9. kaycountry1016
    Kritsen, Mercy Me! I hope I don't go nuts and get any Sumatras LOL. They sound scarey. I think I'll stick with my good GIRLS--RIR, BR, BA SLW, BO. I enjoyd reading your post. 10.13.15
  10. twisted-acres-farm
    ok I was wondering thankyou for explaining I totally get not loosing all you options. Good luck with breeding niceness into them.

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