1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Sumatra

Average User Rating:
4.16/5,
  1. 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
  2. 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.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    -Alex
    Overall:
    4.5
  3. KristenR
    2/5,
    "Beautiful but Challenging"
    Pros - Gorgeous in color (blacks and blues)
    Cons - Hard to keep when space is small, even bantams; love to fly
    I actually bought some bantam Blue Sumatras because they had the best blue color I've seen in any chicken breed. I wanted to transfer their blue lacing to my d'Anvers - I have been breeding d'Anvers for 20 years or so. My pens are presently set up for the docile d'Anvers and I was not prepared for what I was about to take on. The Sumatras, and their half-breed offspring LOVE to fly. They do not fly because they are afraid or startled. They fly for the pure joy of flying. Meaning, when I open their coops to take care of them, sometimes they all jump and blast past my face before I can react so they can fly up to the top of the house with ease (the house is uphill from the coop - so this is quite a feat). Then they are EXTREMELY difficult to catch and put away, even though the females are tame most of the time when in their coops.

    The males are nasty, nasty nasty in the breeding season. Now, d'Anvers males also have a reputation for being aggressive, BUT they are nowhere near as damaging as the Sumatra males. I would call the Sumatra males unpredictable and they hit with heavy blows. I have culled hard against aggression in my d'Anvers and rarely have an issue with it in my strain anymore, but when they are aggressive, the d'Anvers boys always do the classic head bob and wing drag before attacking and usually just go for your ankles. Sumatras will be on the roost one minute and you can be on the other side of the pen - no head bob, no warning and next thing you know they are in your face, which they can easily reach with their adept flight muscles. D'Anvers, by comparison, almost tickle - whereas the Sumatras are quite capable of drawing blood. The Sumatra males might look fine one minute and be raking their claws down your face the next when you are simply leaning in to check for eggs. Also, one of the Sumatra males became abusive to the d'Anvers hens he was with. He had been with them for about a month and then he just turned on them. He pecked off all their comb spikes and was just flogging them, chasing them and ripping their feathers out, for no apparent reason. I had to put him in to mate them once or twice a day and then promptly remove him to a single pen - ugh!!

    I work with ALL my birds as chicks - feeding them mealworms, etc. The Sumatras and their mixes easily out-competed my d'Anvers when going for the worms and would run over the top of them, mostly due to the huge difference in size (bantam Sumatras are HUGE). The Sumatras proved to be smarter faster and better fliers....perfectly happy to be close to me to get treats and extremely food motivated, but not particularly personable, even when raised with the same treatment as my d'Anvers. Now, bear in mind I am used to d'Anvers - who will spoil anybody for personality and will often bond closely with their caretaker. From this information, I would say if you want OUTSIDE birds that can take care of themselves, the Sumatra is for you. If you want friendly, personable birds that withstand confinement well - do not get Sumatras. Also, if you have kids - Sumatras may not be for you.

    Good luck! And go ahead and invest in a net and ladder ahead of time. You might need it to catch them.
    Overall:
    2
  4. kherokee
    3/5,
    "Sweet, trainable, and just beautiful!"
    Pros - Stunning, easy to train (ex; come when called), laying a good sized egg a day
    Cons - Flighty, not cuddly
    My personally owned hen, Kevin, (after the bird from 'Up'), was rescued from a bad situation, so perhaps that made her more flighty, but she is very shy about being held. She will come when called, and loves to follow and stay around people. She lays one egg a day in the same place. Very easy to handle! She comes in at night and is let out to free range the entire day. Very hardy little girl. Others don't mess with her, not even our English Mastiff! Her mother was very broody, but Kevin has never gone broody yet although she's still young (under two years). Hoping she'll become broody but her personality is very independent and may not be very motherly.

    I love my chickens by personality, not so much by breed, so in general for the Sumatra breed, they are stunning, but I would not get more due to the fact that they are flighty. :)
    Overall:
    3.5
    Purchase Date:
    2014-10-31
  5. butterfliesdoku
    5/5,
    "I love my Sumatra!"
    Pros - Hardy, good layer, beautiful.
    Cons - Flighty.
    In the beginning my Black Sumatra was very flighty and would run away at the first sight of me. She would also put up a fight whenever I needed to pick her up to move her. It took about 8 months for her to finally warm up to me. Now she loves neck rubs and will come to sit on my lap and anytime I ignore her she flies up onto my shoulder to grab my attention. Even the kids can pick her up without a problem. She is the leader of my flock but she is very gentle and fair, she is not aggressive at all with her flock mates not even the little guys. She is always first to treats and being the flock leader (and my favorite) she always gets just a little more. Anyone who comes over to visit comments on how pretty she is and she loves the extra attention.
    Overall:
    5
  6. Peep-Chicken
    4/5,
    "Very Stunning"
    Pros - Unique, Conserves food, Big eggs
    Cons - Dislikes confinement, Hard to catch
    I have a Sumatra named Raven I got from Meyer. I think they are cool birds and would defiantly get another. I did hear roosters can't be kept together though.
    Overall:
    4.5
  7. applebutter14
    5/5,
    "Awesome!"
    Pros - Wonderful, beautiful, Docile, and a super friendly!
    Cons - can be jumpy at times
    my sumatra's are wonderfu! i have a rooster and a hen i got in 2-7-2015 as chicks from murray mcmurray hatchery. sumatras are my favorite breed of chicken! i love their personalities, and their very unique sounds they can make when they are calm and are talking to me, my rooster i let my brother name him, and named him shadow, and i named my hen samantha, she started to lay about a week or to ago and she has laid 1 small white egg a day ever sense! and my rooster is sooooo pretty! his feathers shine beetle green in the sun and he looks after my hens and he is so docile, too. they follow me around the yard!





    here is a pic of them when they are chicks:

    [​IMG]

    here are some pics i took a few weeks ago:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG] this is my sumatra and me holding her egg

    [​IMG]
    Overall:
    5
  8. Free Feather
    4/5,
    "Fast!"
    Pros - Fly well, even as a baby. Beautiful.
    Cons - Bad if you do not free range, because they hate confinement. They WILL find a way out.
    I have raised some from chicks a few times. Even as little babies, they could fly all around after flies. They are gorgeous, and the boys definitely act like a rooster.
    Overall:
    4
  9. winteree
    3/5,
    "Sweetest little girl ever!! But i didn't get..."
    Pros - Has the temperment of a sweet lap cat, Her feathers are lovely, very protective of chicks, good forager, holds her own with fill sized birds
    Cons - 32 weeks & still no eggs, flightly if the wind blows the wrong way, Can still jump the fence with cilped wings
    I got watson with as package deal on CL with a horrible rooster that i can't seem to be able to get rid of. She reminds me of a lap cat most of the time she will let me pet her if that **** rooster doesn't go for my face She is completely beautiful in the sunlight her feathers are black but in the light they look like a deep green or blue. She has come to aid of both chicks and other chickens that where getting picked on by hellion more then once.
    Now for the cons

    watson has a perminate home here but i have no idea how to keep her in the yard when i let them out to forage i want her to be able to forage outside with no cages etc with the other birds but i have tried staying in the yard when they forage i have tried clipping one then both of her flight feathers on her wings but i still have to jump the fence every time to get her back in my yard. Her temperament is rare even for most birds in general in the coop but the second that coop door opens she turns into a scared cat if a duck happens to quack in the wrong tone she lets off the "hawk squawk" as my grams would call it sending all the chickens for the coop and her flying over the fence.
    and now my main pet peeve she is around 32 weeks old and no eggs she has been swatting and letting the roosters mount her for almost a month and not one egg.
    Overall:
    3.5
    Purchase Price:
    10.00
    Purchase Date:
    2014-04-12
  10. championsumatra
    5/5,
    "sumatra's"
    Pros - Everything about them!!!!
    Cons - I can't really think of any
    I love everything about Sumatra's.Very easy to tame. Great for the show room as well as in a backyard flock. Rooster can be aggressive just like any another chicken breed. I keep all my 12 sumatra roosters in the same pen I don't have any problems with them fighting. The hens are great mothers two of my sumatra hens go broody every year. Sumatra's have small cream colored eggs. Sumatra's have multiple spurs some times as many as 16 per leg ( very uncommon but it happens). Sumatra's are incurably smart. Large fowl Sumatra roosters are 5 pounds hens are 4, bantam sumatra roosters are 260z hens are 22oz. Sumatra's came from the island of sumatra, The first import to the us was in 1847,and the sumatra was admitted in the american standard of perfection in 1883. Sumatra's are listed as an critically endangered breed.





    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Overall:
    5

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by