The Java chicken is one of the oldest chicken breeds that originate in the United States, with only two recognized varieties: Black Java and Mottled Java chicken. Is the Java a good chicken for backyards? Let’s take a look.
Java Chicken at a Glance
|Eggs||150+ (per year)|
|Use||Dual-purpose (Meat + Eggs)|
|Weight||Male: 9.5 lb (4.3 kg) |
Female: 6.5 – 7.5 lb (2.9–3.4 kg)
|Country of origin||United States|
The Origin Of Java Chicken
The Java chicken originates in the United States. In fact, this is the second oldest breed of chicken in the country. Nobody knows exactly what breeds the chicken was developed from, but we do know that it likely came from a combination of several Asian breeds.
There are a few different colors to the Java Chicken breed. There were more, but a lot of them went extinct.
Perhaps the variety that you are most likely to encounter is the Black Java and the Mottled Java. No matter what, all of these birds will have single comb type.
Their skin will be yellow. If you opt for a black Java, then expect their eyes to be very dark in color, but the other colors tend to have really red eyes.
This is a very long and wide bird. You can tell that it is a chicken built for meat production simply based on how large the breasts of the bird are.
Let’s be clear, this is a big bird.. If you have read our chicken breed profiles regularly, then you will know that it is often the big birds who are the calmest in nature.
While the Java is probably not going to be putting up with constant hugs and touches from you, it is a quiet and laid-back bird. It really does make a fantastic family pet as a result.
This is a chicken that does brood a lot, but most people are not going to see this as a major problem.
Java Chicken Eggs
The Java chicken egg color is brown. The hen will lay around 150 eggs per year, but some will claim that their Java chickens lay closer to 200 eggs per year.
Whatever the figure is, it is fair to say that the Java is probably not going to lay as many eggs throughout the year as most other chickens. So, while it is a dual-purpose chicken, if you want a bird that is very productive, then this chicken is probably not going to be the right for you.
Java Chicken Meat Production
The Java does fare a little bit better on the meat production front. When the Java is fully grown, it weighs a good few kilograms. This means that it is absolutely perfect for feeding a family.
The only real problem is that the Java is a slow-growing breed. Really slow growing. This means that while it is going to be good for meat production, you probably shouldn’t only raise them for that. Raise them for a few eggs here and there, as well as the stunning look that the chicken boasts.
They make the perfect free-range chicken
The Java chicken, as low in production as it is, makes the perfect free-range chicken.
One of the wonderful things about this breed is that it tends to love to fend for itself. If you release it into your backyard, it is probably going to forage the vast majority of food that it needs.
Obviously, you will need to supplement that food with a bit of chicken feed, but the Java isn’t going to require anywhere near as much as other breeds . Sure, it is going to be a rather minor benefit, but it is still a benefit.
That being said, they are not necessarily a bird that demands to have tons and tons of space available to them. This is a breed that is just as happy with a smaller area to roam about in. However, we can’t stress enough just how important it is for your Java chickens to have at least a small amount of mental stimulation.
It is worth pointing out that because there are chickens who do things better than the Java, this is a chicken breed that does seem to be getting rarer and rarer. It would be very hard to find Java chicken for sale.
In fact, many organizations claim that the Java is on the precipice of becoming extinct. This can make the chicken difficult to get hold of, but when you do, you know that you are going to be raising a true piece of American history.