Looking for a small chicken who fears next to nothing? Then you may be interested in the Malay Serama, also known as the Kikiriki chicken. This remarkable breed from Malaysia is renowned for its small size, unique appearance, and confidence. It’s not tiny wonder that these birds are becoming more and more popular throughout the world. Let’s learn more about this breed so you can decide if it is right for you.
Overview of the Kikiriki Chicken Breed
Here are some general characteristics of the Kikiriki chicken breed:
|Country of Origin
|15 to 17.6 oz (425-500 grams)
|60-90 eggs annually
|Egg Size and Color
|Small, white to light brown
|Friendly and confident
History of the Kikiriki or Malay Serama
The fascinating history of Kikiriki chickens dates back to the 1600s in the state of Kelantan, Malaysia. It is believed that they were developed through selective breeding from various local and Japanese bantam chicken breeds, with a focus on miniaturization and posture. The breeders aimed to create chickens with an upright stance, compact size, and striking appearance.
However, the modern Serama breeds are thanks to the efforts of Thai chicken breeder Wee Yean Een, who brought the birds back from near extinction after the 2004 bird flu.
Legend has it that the name “Kikiriki” derives from the Malay word for the crowing sound roosters make. The breeders sought to create chickens that were not only visually appealing but also possessed strong crowing abilities. Over time, these small and charismatic chickens gained recognition and became known as Kikiriki chickens or Malay Serama.
In 2011, the American Poultry Association (APA) and American Bantam Association approved the American Serama variety. You can find them classified as a Single Comb, Clean-Legged (SCCL) breed.
Listen to the sounds of a bird of this breed in this video:
@tinychims #CrowingChicks #BabyRooster #Kikirikis #KikirikiChicks #BabyChicks #ChickenInfo #ChickenCare #ChickensOfTiktok #SexingChicks #RaisingChicks ♬ original sound – TinyChims 🌈
Physical Characteristics of Kikiriki Chickens
Despite their diminutive size, Kikiriki chickens have brilliant plumage and patterns. Kikiriki roosters have an upright posture with a high head carriage and a well-arched neck. Their chest is prominently forward, displaying a proud and alert stance. Their feathers are fine, smooth, and fitting tightly to the body. Roosters also have well-developed tail feathers that are carried high and slightly forward, giving them a regal appearance.Common color variations include black, red, white, golden, and combinations of these colors. Feather patterns can range from solid to intricate and eye-catching designs. The wattles and comb are often red in color.
Kikiriki hens also have unique physical charm. Hens are similar in size to the males, ranging from 5.9 to 9.8 inches (15 to 25 centimeters) in height. They display the same confident posture and compact body structure. You can expect hens to have a blend of colors, including gold, white, black, and red.
Both sexes are lightweight, ranging from 15 to 17.6 oz (425-500 grams) on average.
Personality and Temperament of Kikiriki Chickens
The Malay Serama is an endearing chicken breed, not only for their size but for their confidence. If you were to compare this breed of chicken to a dog, it would be similar to chihuahua — tiny but mighty. Kikiriki chickens are fearless. You will notice your Serama roosters walking around the yard, proudly strutting their stuff. It doesn’t matter that they are tinier than other roosters; they know their worth.
Because of their boldness, you might assume that Kikiriki chickens are not friendly. However, these chickens have a very friendly disposition and can develop strong bonds with their owners. They enjoy human interaction and can become quite attached to their caretakers. Because of that, these chickens are excellent as companions for the yard, particularly if you have children.
Kikiriki chickens are also curious birds. In a flock, they are the ones eagerly exploring the area. Whenever you add something new to the environment, they will show interest. They are entertaining to observe. Furthermore, you can trust these chickens to forage and remain safe. Kikiriki Chickens have a keen sense of their surroundings. They are quick to detect potential threats and will vocalize or alert others when they sense danger.
Finally, Kikiriki chickens are non-aggressive towards other chickens and animals. If you have an existing mixed flock, Kikiriki chickens will integrate in without much friction.
Do Kikiriki Chickens Forage Well?
Malay Serama chickens have a natural instinct for foraging. While they are smaller in size compared to other chicken breeds, they still possess a strong desire to search for food and explore their surroundings. The breed is active and agile, which allows them to navigate through vegetation and small spaces to uncover hidden food sources.
However, due to their small size, they may not have the same foraging capacity as larger chicken breeds. Their smaller beaks and reduced body weight limit their ability to dig deeply into the ground or move large objects. Therefore, providing supplemental feed is important to ensure their nutritional needs are met.
To enhance their foraging experience and promote natural behaviors, it’s beneficial to create an enriched environment for Kikiriki Chickens. This can include providing access to a spacious outdoor area with vegetation, allowing them to roam and explore, as well as offering environmental enrichment such as scattered food, treat dispensers, or foraging toys.
Kikiriki roosters are also adequate protectors of the flock when they forage. These confident birds are always vigilant and will raise the alarm should a predator get too close. However, you should not expect these smaller chickens to be able to defend themselves and others. Do be sure to enhance the safety of the yard by placing deterrents and using fencing or netting to secure your bantam birds.
Kikiriki Chicken Egg-Laying Capabilities
Kikiriki Chickens are not primarily known for their egg-laying capabilities. As a bantam breed, their main appeal lies in their unique appearance, small size, and friendly temperament. However, they do have the ability to lay eggs, albeit in smaller quantities compared to larger, commercial breeds.
On average, Kikiriki hens can lay approximately 5-7 eggs per month, averaging around 60-90 eggs per year. The eggs are typically smaller in size, ranging from medium to small, and can vary in color from white to light brown.
Broodiness in Kikiriki Hens
Broodiness refers to a hen’s natural instinct to incubate eggs and care for the resulting chicks. Despite being bantam chickens that rarely lay eggs, Kikiriki chickens tend to have a moderate level of broodiness. Since broodiness can disrupt the egg-laying cycle, this could be problematic if you only have bantam chickens wandering around. However, if you have other prolific egg-layers who are less broody, having a couple of Kikiriki mothers on your side will be a boon. They will happily adopt other eggs and hatch them for you.
In this video, you can see what these chickens look like as babies and as adults:
@gc.caban Evolution of Kikiriki chicks in 3 months. 🇵🇷🌴🐣#kikiriki #puertorico #minirooster #minichicken #minichicken #chicken #chickensoftiktok #backyardchickens #birdsoftiktok #farmlife #breeder #fyp #foryoupage #foryou #parati ♬ Cute – Prod by Rose & Artsounds Chill
Kikiriki Chicken Breed Care Tips
Now that you have learned about the history, physical appearance, and temperament of the Kikiriki chicken, let’s discuss what has to be done to keep them happy and healthy.
While Kikiriki chickens are hardy enough to live 7-10 years, they do need proper care and nutrition. Kikiriki chickens are susceptible to the same respiratory infections, parasites, and nutritional deficiencies of other breeds. During the colder months, you want to make sure these chickens have plenty of warmth. They are from a warmer environment, after all. Furthermore, because they have a lot of feathers, they sometimes attract a variety of mites and lice. Be sure to keep your Kikiriki chickens as clean as possible.
Feeding and Nutrition
Being that Malay Serama chickens are among the smallest of breeds, they do not need to eat as much as other chickens. Often, they will find plenty of insects, seeds, and nuts to sustain themselves while foraging. That said, you should supplement their diet with a high quality chicken feed that is between 16-18% protein.
Kikiriki chickens also love some treats once in a while. Fresh fruits and vegetables in the summer can help them stay hydrated, for example. In the winter, you can help them stay warm with some cracked corn.
Kikiriki chickens do not need the same amount of space as, let’s say, a Brahma chicken. Yet, they still need adequate space. For the coop area, allow a minimum of 2 square feet (0.19 square meters) per bird. This space allocation should be sufficient for them to comfortably roost, nest, and move around inside the coop.
In addition to the coop, providing an outdoor run or free-ranging area is beneficial for Kikiriki Chickens to engage in natural behaviors, forage, and exercise. Aim for a minimum of 8 square feet (0.74 square meters) per bird in the outdoor run. This will give them ample space to move around, scratch the ground, and explore their surroundings.
That said, more space is always better if you have it. Additionally, if you plan to keep a larger flock, adjust the space accordingly to ensure the birds have enough room to comfortably coexist.
Final Thoughts on the Kikiriki Chicken Breed
Kikiriki Chickens, also known as Malay Serama or Serama, captivate enthusiasts worldwide with their unique history, striking physical characteristics, and delightful temperament. Their small size, upright posture, and confident demeanor make them a true gem in the world of chicken breeds. Whether as pets, exhibition birds, or additions to backyard flocks, Kikiriki Chickens bring joy and fascination to your backyard. Consider adding a few of these small but mighty birds to your flock today.
Valerie has been content writing since 2016 for websites and companies all around the world. A traveler, dancer, martial artist, Valerie loves gathering experiences and wisdom. Her travels have taken her to over 20 countries, and she hopes to see more of the world soon.