Seramas are true bantams (meaning they have no larger counterpart), and are the smallest of all chicken breeds. They originated in Malaysia, where they were named after King Rama. Seramas are noted for their multi-color plumage — they can be any color normally found in chickens — and for their docile, friendly temperament. Distinctive features include a single comb, droopy wing feathers, and a full tail that sometimes reaches so far over the back that it touches the head.
Seramas were originally developed as household cage birds, therefore they require a warm environment and they do well in confinement. They may be housed with other small bantam breeds, but should not be kept with larger breeds that may bully them. In a controlled environment, a Serama hen may lay her tiny eggs at any time of year. The eggs hatch in as little as 19 days (compared to 21 days for most chicken eggs). Serama hens will brood and make excellent mothers.
The original Malaysian Seramas (also known as Ayam Seramas) are classified into three (or sometimes four) groups according to weight, ranging from a high of 600 grams (21.16 ounces) down to 170 grams (6 ounces). Malaysian Seramas do not breed true to color; a cock and hen of similar color won’t necessarily produce chicks of the same color.
American Seramas are being developed to satisfy the requirements of exhibition in the United States, where weights have been standardized as: cock 16 ounces, hen 14 ounces, cockerel 14 ounces, pullet 12 ounces. Plumage colors are also being standardized. White is the first variety to be recognized, in 2011, by both American Bantam Association and the American Poultry Association. Frizzled Seramas, booted Seramas, and silkied Seramas are also being bred.
These organizations promote Seramas in North America: