A Blue Sumatra rooster stands in front of a beige background.

Sumatras are an exceedingly rare breed of chicken with a personality closer to that of a wild game bird than a domestic chicken: they are thought to be closely related to the jungle fowl of the Far East. They have been known variously as "Sumatran Pheasants" or "Java Pheasant Game Birds," even though they are most definitely chickens! Their unique carriage, with their sweeping tails held low, gives them the air of a pheasant or peacock, however. Sumatras make great show birds, and they're usually kept for their beauty alone. This is no surprise, because they're usually poor layers and they aren't hefty enough to be a good meat bird. You can see from the photos that their shiny, lustrous feathers are striking, but in addition they're one of two breeds of chicken whose roosters have multiple spurs! Like the Silkie, they also have black skin and black bones.


Class: All Other Breeds
Type: Large Fowl & Bantam
Size: Small (4-5 lbs)
Rarity: Rare
Purpose: Ornamental
Recognized Varieties: Officially recognized: Black only. Other unofficial colors: Blue, Splash

Egg Facts:

Egg Laying: Poor (1/wk)
Egg Color: White
Egg Size: Medium

Fancy Features:

Comb Type: Pea Comb
Crested: No
Feathered Legs: No
Number of Toes: 4

Suitability to Backyard Life:

Cold Hardiness: Hardy in winter
Heat Tolerance: Tolerates heat well
Bears Confinement: Intolerant of confinement
Especially Docile: No
Setter/Broody: No
Personality: Intelligent and active; usually calm but still irascible