Serama chickens are the smallest in the world, but you really can’t tell by their attitude. When you see them pose with their heads pulled back and their chests protruding, you’d think they were some kind of feathered bodybuilder.
The Serama breed of chickens can be traced back to the 17th century, all the way to Kelantan Province in Malaysia. However, the current variety can be attributed to Wee Yean Een, a breeder who popularized it in the 1970s and even gave the chicken the Serama name after King Rama of Thailand. However, the breed was almost extinct from the bird flu pandemic in the early 2000s. Fortunately, by then they had already been exported to many countries around the world, including the US and the UK, and were making a comeback.
Photo: Rsteagall / Wikimedia Commons
Today serama chickens are thriving again, especially in Asian countries like Vietnam, where chicken lovers breed them for posing competitions where the chickens try to look as pompous as possible. For them it goes without saying, as they are known as athletes in the chicken world because of their proud pose.
Seramas have a muscular body, but their toned body is visually enhanced by their athletic posture. They instinctively tilt their heads back and push out their large chests as they lift their legs and shake their wings. It’s like trying to make up for their small size with their posing.
But creating feathered Arnold Schwarzeneggers isn’t easy. According to a Vietnamese source, breeders interested in winning competitions spend a lot of time getting their birds ready. Soon after hatching, they will “train” the birds to have their cervical arches and to pull their heads back. And to keep valuable seramas in tip-top shape, some breeders massage them for at least 10 minutes a day and feed them garlic alcohol three times a week to help boost their immunity.
Serama chicken competitions are popular in countries like Malaysia and Vietnam. They don’t focus on the size of the chickens, but on their keeping, walking style, and feather coloration.
These tiny athletes may do their best to look threatening, but they’re not at all aggressive and make great pets. They are easy to use and cheap to grow as they only consume about a pound of regular chicken feed per month.