While the Malay chicken seems as if it has somewhat of an exotic name, this isn’t really a chicken from far-off lands. Well, not if you are European, at least. The Malay chicken as the tallest chicken breed in the world is a British chicken (with an Asian origin).
Let’s take a look at this breed in a bit of depth, shall we?
Facts at a Glance
|Eggs||80 – 100 eggs per year|
|Egg Shell Color||Brown|
|Recognized Variety||Black, |
Black Breasted Red,
|Weight||Male Standard: 9 lb. (4.1 kg) |
Male Bantam: 44 oz. (1.25 kg)
Female Standard: 7 lb. (3.2 kg)
Female Bantam: 36 oz. (1 kg)
|Country of origin||Malay Peninsula|
|Admitted to APA||1883|
The Origins of the Malay Chicken
As we just mentioned, the Malay chicken is a British chicken. This is where it was bred. The reason why it is called the Malay Chicken (named after the Malay Peninsula) is that the chickens that went into the creation of this breed were shipped in from India.
Whether they had any similarity to the Malay chicken that we know and love today is somewhat unknown. Chances are that it was, but the British just decided to improve on the look of the chicken ever so slightly.
These chickens certainly hold a place in chicken breeding history. They were some of the very first chickens to be regarded as official breeds in the United Kingdom.
They were also the very first standard-sized breed of chicken in the world that was turned into a Bantam chicken which, of course, is immensely popular now.
The Look of the Malay Chicken
The Malay chicken is a very muscular chicken. This is due to the reason why it was originally imported into the United Kingdom. It was intended to be a gamefowl.
This means that the intention of the breed was to be a chicken used in cockfighting, and it was used as such throughout Europe for a good while.
As a result, the chicken retains somewhat of the fighting chicken characteristics, but we are going to talk about those in a little bit more depth in a short while.
The bird stands upright. It has powerful legs, and the head is nice and large. It has a red strawberry comb and very small red wattles and earlobes.
Thanks to its long neck and long legs, the Malay chicken is the tallest chicken breed in the world towering over 3 feet (91 cm).
All of these are qualities that you would normally find in cockfighting chickens because it simply makes a far better fighting bird.
It Is Still Used as a Cockfighting Chicken in India
Some of these chickens can still be found in India used in cockfighting. The chickens were brought back over there by the British where they continued to be bred.
Since cockfighting is mostly legal in India, it are often used in cockfighting there. It certainly isn’t the most popular of cockfighting chickens due to a few changes to the breed over the last century or so, but people will use them.
Of course, in most parts of the world, the Malay chicken will never be used for cockfighting. It would be illegal.
The reason why we are pointing out the fact that this is a cockfighting chicken is not to encourage you to use it for cockfighting, but because you need to understand that this is an aggressive chicken breed, due to the original intentions of the breed. This means that it is not a chicken breed for beginners.
The Use of the Malay Chickens
Nowadays, the Malay chicken is most often going to be used as a show chicken. It is a staple in chicken shows throughout the United Kingdom, United States, France, and Germany.
It is not an easy breed to raise, though. This is why there are so few breeders out there that deal with the Malay chicken. We doubt that this is going to be a breed that dies out any time.
If you are looking for a purely ornamental chicken, we wouldn’t recommend it. While the Malay chicken does look beautiful, you will have a terribly difficult time raising it, even if you are looking for a breed that is purely good looking.
The Malay Chicken as a Meat Chicken
While the main purpose of the Malay chicken is a muscular chicken, many of them are going to be raised for their lean meat.
You will have difficulty breeding it, though. That being said, if you do want to raise the Malay chicken as a meat chicken, then you will end up with a chicken that does taste OK.
With Malay roosters weighing up to 9 lb. and hens reaching 7 lb., you will get a decent amount of meat. Maybe, it is not the best tasting chicken in the world, but it isn’t going to repulse you!
The Malay Chicken Eggs
In the past, it was not uncommon for the Malay chicken to lay 50-60 eggs per year. However, now that it is no longer used as a cockfighting chicken, breeders have tried to push the Malay chicken to produce as many eggs as possible.
Nowadays, you will find that the hens are capable of laying almost 120 eggs per year. This may seem like a lot but, sadly, the Malay hen is only going to be able to hold this sort of production for a few years.
The egg production falls drastically as they get older.
Generally speaking, if you are using the Malay chicken for breeding, they are good sitters. However, many breeders will likely prefer to raise the chickens in incubators to ensure that they hatch properly.
Raising Malay Chickens
This is a hardy chicken. You do not really have to worry about it catching the typical diseases that chickens will often get. Some people love that.
The problem with the Malay chicken is that it is an incredibly aggressive breed of chicken. While the chicken has changed ever so slightly over the years, it is still an aggressive bird.
You will find that even the chicks will fight each other after they have hatched. If you stick a couple of roosters into the same cage, then they will fight to the death.
This is why it is absolutely not worth raising if you are new to chickens, or even if you have a bit of experience under your belt. You will end up with a chicken that is just hard to deal with.
This breed is also quite territorial. While many aggressive chickens are fine with humans, the Malay chicken isn’t. Until the chicken gets comfortable with you, then you can expect it to be quite aggressive.
It certainly will not like you walking into that coop with it! They can be difficult to train too, so you really just have to wait it out.