Seramas?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Ravenna, May 6, 2009.

  1. Ravenna

    Ravenna Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 25, 2009
    SLO County, California
    I was just wondering what you folks think about their personality, ease of raising/hatching (I read they need higher incubating temps, humidity and take longer to hatch than normal chicks?) Can they tolerate cold (not snow, just colder weather) because they are more tropical? Are they hardy? I generally see them in wire cages opposed to coops, is this due to their small size? Can they fly a pretty good distance and need to roost? Any info would be helpful! I just fell in love with them! [​IMG] They are like the chihuahua of the chicken world! <---- huge Chi fan too!
     
  2. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

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    Jun 15, 2008
    I hate chihauhuas, little companion dogs, and the culture that goes with it. Don't compare my seramas to them or I might have to sell them all off. [​IMG]

    Seramas may hatch sooner than other chicken breeds. I had one hatch go on time and one hatch was on day 19. Most stop turning a day or 2 earlier (day 16 or 17) because the seramas have a higher tendency to go early. I would not incubate at higher temps than normal. I have and I know some do but I decided it's not a good idea and there isn't enough proof to back it up. I have noticed though that they are more sensitive to low temps and I lost some to very short term temps of 98F where I never lost japanese bantams or standard breeds to short drops like that. That may be what caused people to start cranking the temp up. Of course if you raise the temp they are going to hatch sooner than they would otherwise. I did run slightly higher humidity which I found smaller eggs seem to do better with higher humidity and shipped eggs seem to do better with higher humidity. I think those 2 things combined are more the reason they do better with slightly higher humidity rather than it being the breed. I didn't really find them harder to incubate than other eggs aside from having to watch that my temp didn't go lower than it should anyway.

    However finding good sellers that ship fresh, fertile eggs that aren't from poor quality breeding or pullets is hard. I got entire shipments of infertile or pullet eggs from some people. [​IMG] That's what makes it so hard to hatch seramas. My highest hatch rate on shipped eggs so far was actually this last serama hatch. If you find a good seller with good birds you shouldn't have any lower hatch rate than any other chicken. The difficulty is finding those people.

    They do not tolerate cold the best. I'm not sure the lower range though. I believe freezing to 40F is what's usually quoted and I plan to heat my coop to about freezing point and see how they do this winter. We do get well into the negatives in the middle of winter here. Other than that they are about as hardy as any other chicken. You could free range them if you want but their small size makes them easy prey to anything and everything so at least a fence would be best and if you don't want a fair amount of losses a solid pen with a top. Any of mine that I don't have in breeding groups will be running loose in about a 1 acre fenced yard with the japanese bantams. Most small bantams can fly pretty well and every chicken will roost.
     
  3. Ravenna

    Ravenna Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 25, 2009
    SLO County, California
    Awww...a chi really does grow on you! I didn't think I would love them but they are so in tune with their owners and loving I'm hooked. They think they are a German Shepherd lol. Hollyweird has put them in a bad light, sadly. [​IMG]

    Thanks for all the info on the seramas. I was just getting so much mixed info from different sites/breeders. I wanted to get some Jerry Schexnayder stock; however, he doesn't sell hatching eggs. You're right with the infertile/old eggs and that is what I'm afraid of. I've read a lot of horror stories and people dropping top dollar for bad eggs. I would be thrilled to get some As and Bs. [​IMG] The Japanese are very nice too - another one I would love to get![​IMG] I saw that the Serama chicks are the size of ping-pong balls and are just too cute! And the roos crows are so funny.
     
  4. rizq

    rizq Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 9, 2008
    Tennessee
    Mine have done fine at slightly below freezing temps with good shelter, buddies to cuddle with and plenty of feed. They were well acclimated, however, and are mostly B sized birds. When it got cold for an extended time (like mid 20's for lows for more than a night or two), I did provide a 60 watt bulb for them to snuggle under just in case and to help protect the roosters' combs from frostbite.

    I love their personalities. They are so cute and thing they are the big guys in town. They definitely have the "tough guy" attitude. Mine have not been handled much but still are not hard to deal with. If they were handled more I am sure they would be just like little puppies!

    As far as hatching, I agree with Akane for sure. I incubate my seramas right along side any other eggs I have from standard chickens and do not change a thing except stopping turning a couple days earlier. Mine do usually seem to hatch out about day 19, but not always. Until my bator started ruining every egg I fed it, I had a 100% hatch rate on my birds (even my pullets first eggs!). I have only lost 1 chick who never really got started eated (one from a pullet egg ... I had to help him hatch). Someone I recently sold eggs to got 10/15 to hatch on shipped eggs. Another person awhile back hatch 2 or 3 out of a batch of eggs (I forget how many) that the p.o. managed to freeze! So no, I do not believe they are any harder to hatch unless you are trying to hatch eggs from pullets (mine did fine, except for needing to help a few out of their shells) or extremely small birds. The eggs from very small birds are often not viable. It is very possible that shipping is harder on these little eggs though as I have heard most people have a lot more trouble hatching their shipped eggs ... but I have never tried hatching them once shipped, so I cannot say for certain. Could be simply what Akane said about sellers selling eggs from pullets or hens that are too small to lay a viable egg. I see a lot of ads (on ebay in particular) about "TRUE, TINY" serama eggs. They are small, sure ... but if they are the size of a marble they are not likely to hatch. There are exceptions, but your best breeders are generally going to be your B and C sized birds, or at least on the larger side of A. The really tiny birds just do not seem to reproduce well.

    ETA: All but 1 of my original birds came from Jerry and I have been very pleased with them. If you want a good start it is worth getting his birds if you can afford them (I could not, but did it anyway [​IMG] ). Or you can always find a breeder who has stock from him if those are the lines you want. The quality of birds that you get from eggs is a HUGE toss up though, especially in Seramas. I do not for sure how many eggs I have hatch, at least a couple dozen, and I have 2 pullets and 1 cockeral that I am keeping, 1 other that I would have kept, but gave to my Papaw and still have access to her eggs. I did have several that were killed by dogs before I could really tell what they were going to turn out like, had some real hopefuls in that pen.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2009
  5. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

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    I have an akita. One of the most independent minded, stubborn, and difficult to train breeds. Dogs that are loving, attached to their owners, and follow every command given even if it's jump through fire don't interest me. If they did I'd get a herding breed with a 50lb minimum weight.

    My seramas as chicks are actually less bold than other chicks I've had. Usually with the japs and most breeds I've hatched the chicks are fearless the first few days and attack everything I tap with my finger. Then after the first week if I haven't handled them enough they start running away and increasingly dislike being held more and more. The seramas at even a few hours old would try to run from me and without handling them often they are actually getting braver as they get older instead of the reverse. I don't have any adults at laying age yet so I don't know what their final personalities will be like.

    My first ever older chick I lost was actually a serama. Still not sure what happened. I think I had too many chicks to keep track of with 1 dozen bantam EE, 2 dozen japs, 100 coturnix quail, and 50 button quail. I may have just missed lots of little things that piled together led to her death. Other than that all of mine that have completely made it out of the egg are doing well.
     
  6. Ravenna

    Ravenna Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 25, 2009
    SLO County, California
    Quote:Wow, thanks SO much for that info on your experience. I thought maybe those tiny, tiny eggs would have hatching issues. [​IMG] Jerry's birds are BEAUTIFUL and I think probably the best route if you want quality (I too saw the ones on eBay you're talking about, you never know what is going to come out of the egg lol! Knowing my luck I would get hummingbird or something weird. Also, because this a fairly new breed here, all the kinks haven't been worked out and as far as I understand fertility is an issue. It would be awful to drop a lot of cash on expensive eggs and not have one hatch. But I'm glad to hear your batch did well, congrats!!! I just don't want a serama the size of an emu (lol!) but Jerry's line I've read are the best of the best, especially for showing.
     
  7. Ravenna

    Ravenna Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 25, 2009
    SLO County, California
    Quote:That is very interesting they are more flighty than other breeds. I was interested in the japs and phoenix as well as the seramas. How do you like the japs overall? How is their personality? I'm sorry to hear you lost the older chick, sometimes there is nothing you can do. [​IMG] However, keep me posted about the serama progress.
     
  8. BluegrassSeramas

    BluegrassSeramas Serama Savvy

    Aug 25, 2008
    Central Kentucky
    Great post! I agree with just about everything. I usually use my broody bantams, but have had luck with my LG bator, doing everything as normal, but stop turning on day 16-17.

    Mine have done great in the KY winters, but mine are allowed out in pens and tractors and are acclimated to the weather. I have no heat in the big concrete building (and no drafts) where the pens are, and in the winter, since Im not breeding..I let everyone out to huddle and I feed small cracked corn with their crumbles. When we had a few days in the singles and a few nights in the negs, I did have to watch a couple of the guys combs and brought them in. I put them in one side of my house (BIG 7 bedroom 150 yrs old) that we do not pay to heat in the winter. That way they didnt get all warm, and then have to go out in the freezing temps the next day. I tried the Vaseline thing but not sure if it helped really. They are small enough that you can set up a little brooder, and they wont be a problem.

    My guys all have different personalities. Some batches are more flighty and some have been born sooo tame. They are relatively easy to tame, if you just spend a day or so with them. Or if you have kids to carry them around..lol. I have never had an aggressive Serama. If you do handle them alot, watch were you step, they will always be underfoot Saying "Pick me UP!"

    If you dont want to pay some of the really high prices, there are some Real Serama breeders out there that are breeding great birds and would love to spread the addiction. Join the Yahoo! Group Seramas and meet some of them! Just do your research and ask for pics of the breeders so you can see the quality, and see if they have breeding pens and records. Then you know they will be trying to improve on the chicks in the next batch. Ask about what they do if you get no eggs to hatch, you never know, they may send you a few more if you pay shipping.
    Check out:
    Buyer Beware--what a Serama is suppose to look like
    Under Breeds, Genetics, & Showing
    Sorry, it wouldnt let me put up a link

    I keep mine in tractors and pens, because they are very small, like a robin sometimes and I have 7 cats, plus all the other critters around here. I cry so much if I ever lose one, they have so much personality.

    Best of luck with them! Hope you are getting all your questions answered! It sounds like you are really doing your homework! [​IMG]
     

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