Malay GameThis pre-historic looking bird, with cruel and morose appearance called the "Malay" is well worth considering if your looking for something a bit different, and can devote the space. Breeders tend to stick with the breed for a very long time, and they truly are unique, so I don't think you will be disappointed. breed:
Malay Game origin:
Black, black-red, Duckwing, Pile, white and other game colours. eggs:
tinted/cream in colour. Generally fairly poor layers, and nick named “May-Lay”. comment:
very tall, leggy birds that do well outdoors, particularly in warmer climates.Cost:
They can demand very high prices of up around $150 per bird or more, but often cheaper stock can be found also. History:
Very old breed believed by some to be derived from a giant ground dwelling fowl. They have contributed to the development of many of the more recent breeds, including our very own “Australian Game”. Exhibition:
Malays are not often seen at Poultry shows and roosters added height often result in birds having to crouch in standard size show pens.
As can be seen in the picture below, they Should look fierce, gaunt and very erect. Plumage is very short and scanty, but surprisingly a heavy, firm fleshed, and wide fronted bird.
For more information, feel free to look at the following PDF link for other Exhibition Malay featuresMalay Game Exhibition ChartSuitability:
They will cope with cold climates, but not thrive on it. Because of their scanty feathering, they do feel the cold more than other breeds, especially late hatch chickens, and late moulters that can fall victims to the weather. Like all breeds, you can get aggressive roosters, but this depends a lot on the strain. An Aggressive malay rooster can do a lot of damage, and best avoided, especially if you have young children. Most have a friendly disposition towards people, and love to roam outdoors, great around horse stables etc. They have very powerful dense legs, and can enjoy digging holes. Space is a must for this breed.Selecting birds:
Its often said with malays, that you start with the “head” and work your way down (opposite to other hardfeather breeds). Try to avoid birds with bright orange eye colour, and narrow or snipey heads, as you want a nice broad skull with deep brow ridges and light eyes (preferably pearl). Leg colour must always be yellow, walnut (sometimes called strawberry) comb, and small wattles.
Birds type often refers to them having 3 curves formed by neck, back and tail (triple arch).
Colour is of little importance. Some birds may be crossed with shamo or Australian Game (similar tall game breeds), so its important to look closely before buying that they have good Malay characteristics. If purchasing an older rooster, spurs should curve downwards (towards the ground). They are very long lived (especially females) and often improve with age.Breeding:
When new birds are penned together for the first time, birds are often very aggressive towards each other, so should only be kept in largest pens possible. Once they have worked out their order of dominance, a level of understanding should be met. It needs to be remembered that they are game fowls, and will often have physical squabbles anywhere from a few weeks old onwards. Its best not to put roosters that are too young or inexperienced with a dominant female, as she may only decide to accept him if he can show he is able to put her in her place.
Fertility is usually good. They will usually lay a clutch of eggs and successfully go broody, but because of their size and fearsome nature, I don't recommend them as mothers. They are often VERY protective, but may kill another hens chicks, or even her own in the process. Feeding:
They do eat a LOT. They do well with a bit extra protein (crave it in fact) in their diet, but best to be careful of not giving them too much in the developing stages as they should be slow growers.Bantams:
There are bantam Malays in Australia, but they are even harder to find than the large, and a lot of them tend to be a bit big . Perhaps in years to come, they will increase in quality and popularity.Forum Links:MalayMalay game, what colour am IInternet Links:
Malay Photos on BYP http://www.backyardpoultry.com/index.php?page=./breeds/mal.html
German Malay Game website: http://www.malaieninfo.de/