Chicken Breed Focus - Sumatra

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by sumi, Dec 1, 2016.

  1. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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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.

    Details:

    Detail Value
    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.


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    Pic by @troyer

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    Pic by @troyer

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    Pic by @robertson

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    Pic by @Sumatra503


    BYC Breed Reviews:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/products/sumatra

    BYC Breed Discussion:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/394129/sumatra-thread/0_30
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/912938/standard-bred-sumatras/0_30


    Do you own Sumatras? Are you a Sumatra breeder? If so, please reply to this thread with the your thoughts and experiences, including:

    · What made you decide to get this breed?
    · Do you own them for fun? Breeding? Some other purpose?
    · What are your favorite characteristics about this breed?
    · Post some pics of your birds; male/female, chicks, eggs, etc!
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. Gray Farms

    Gray Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sumatra breeder for 13-14 years in blacks and 4-5 years in blues. A good friend of mine got me started in Sumatras years ago. He has raised them for over 30 years. The first time I saw them I had to have some. And he gave me a pair to get started, I was instantly hooked. And we've traded birds back and fourth ever since. I primarily raise Sumatras solely to enjoy these beautiful birds. But I do sell some. And give some away "in special cases" to get others started in this breed. In fact no offence to other breeds "as I raise over 20 other breeds/colors" Sumatras in my opinion are the most beautiful breed out there. If I were to sell out down to one breed, it'd be Sumatras. Favorite characteristic would have to be their shear beauty followed by broodiness as a close second. They are excellent broodys and mothers, very protective of their babies. They are somewhat poor layer, primarily due to going broody so much in my opinion. Egg color and size can vary greatly. I have hens that lay from a dark cream to white eggs, and small to medium sized eggs. They are somewhat seasonal layers, here in Missouri mine lay from mid winter into late summer consistently. They are very flighty birds around people they don't know. But once they get used to you they become just as tame as most other breeds. In fact I've got a couple old hens that will come up to me at feeding time and let me pic them and hold them very calmly. Biggest downside I've found is when having to handle them. They scream bloody murder like your trying to kill them until you put them down. If you hold them right and tuck their head under you arm the calm down a little. Mature roosters are extremely agressive to other Sumatra males but get a long just fine with roosters of other breeds in my experience. If not In a covered pen the will roost just as high as they can get, and are excellent flyers. For all their faults they are still by far my favorite breed of chickens. *Not very good pictures I know, sorry*

    PS. Blues are also APA excepted.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2016
    2 people like this.
  3. RezChamp

    RezChamp Chillin' With My Peeps

    I raised Sumatra because I thought(still do) they were the beautiful side of exotic. I raised only black. Gorgeous birds with the color/ and carriage ....and that tail!
    It was the hobby part of my personal desire to raise chickens for eggs and meat.
    I never ate Sumatra although I was always curious about the color of the meat,"Is it like Silkie?".
    I had pretty good luck with egg production and 3 hens hatched out 27 chicks between them and a Partridge Silkie hen. All were black.
    A life changing situation saw me live without chickens for 4 years and when I started raising chickens again decided to go with less exotic breeds and raise only breeds with with tolerance to cold. Actually pretty extreme cold. Although this year is rather warm( only-3*C so far) the previous 2 years gave me -50*C nights for over a week causing me to lose over half my flock of Cochins, Wyandotte, Brahma, Rocks, RIR, Americana and Chantecler( and a bunch of X's) . All except 1 Silkie froze too. All that happened the first night when it went from -23*C daytime to -53*C at 6 the next morn. IAt that point I was glad I didn't have the exotic breeds I had been raising costing me a lot more in initial purchase and then higher maitainence.
    I would like 1 day to get some more and play with genetics from all the colours just to see what I can come up with.
    But all that will depend on my ability to properly house them.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. RezChamp

    RezChamp Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oops . Forgot to mention the birds I had weren't flighty around me but strangers did get them a bit antsy. There were god flyers though and many times that saved them from the local dog fox and the odd stray dog and cat. Although I lived in a rather forested area I didn't have problems with aerial predators at that time(when I raised Sumatras.
     
  5. owlmeadowfarm32

    owlmeadowfarm32 Just Hatched

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    This is one of my favorite breeds I like black or blue but I do not own any Sumatras and I have heard hat the hens are good mothers
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2016
  6. CuzChickens

    CuzChickens CountryChick

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    Interesting thread indeed. Geez, if this wasn't just what I needed. "Hey mom, can I get another breed to raise and breed?" I love the looks of the blue ones, do any of you guys typically breed blue to blue, or do you do blue to black to stabilize the blue gene?
     
  7. glennscheer

    glennscheer Just Hatched

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    As a puppy in his site, I'm not familiar with the protocols. However, it seems to be such a great place for anyone to learn about poultry, in general. I enjoy learning and, Truly, I have more to learn than I know.
     
  8. Gray Farms

    Gray Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I breed black roosters over blue hens.
     
  9. CuzChickens

    CuzChickens CountryChick

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    Cool! I hope to breed some blue birds next spring and I plan on doing the same.
     
  10. Gray Farms

    Gray Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You'll get more consistent blues that way.
     

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