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Department of Animal Science - Oklahoma State University

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Breeds of Livestock, Department of Animal Science

Poultry Breeds - Sumatra Chickens

Poultry Breeds - Sumatra Chickens



Origin: The Sumatra originates from the Island of Sumatra, from which it was named. It also is found on other surrounding islands such as Java and Borneo. This Island bird was recognized by the APA in 1883 then brought into the British standard in 1907.

Characteristics: Sumatras are a distinctive fowl which look less like domestic poultry than other chickens. They have rather long tails carried low enough to appear drooping. They have multiple spurs on each leg, dark purple faces and a high degree of greenish luster on jet black plumage. These fowls have a pea comb, red wattles and dark earlobes. Their shanks are leaden gray. Sumatras are generally not aggressive, however, cockerels are known to be agitated during breeding season. Hens do go broody and are considered good mothers. They are active and watchful birds. Sumatras are seasonal birds, in the way that they breed, which is generally around the early Spring and lasting a few months.


Standard Weights:

  • APA
    • Cock: 5  LBs; Hen: 4  lbs; Cockerel: 4  lbs; Pullet: 3 ½  lbs
  • PCGB
    • Cock: 2.25 kg - 2.70 kg; Hen: 1.80 kg

Varieties: Blue, Black, White

  • There are other varieties not recognized by the APA or PCGB.

Skin Color: Yellow

Egg Shell Color: White or light tint

Use: The Sumatra is used for eggs and ornamental purposes.



    Chicken Breeds and Varieties (A2880), John L. Skinner, University of Wisconsin-Madison

    Ekarius, Carol. "Chickens: Sumatra." Pocketful of Poultry: Chickens, Ducks, Geese, Turkeys. North Adams, MA: Storey Pub., 2007. 162-63. Print.

    Lewis, Celia. "Breed Profiles: Sumatra." The Illustrated Guide to Chickens: How to Choose Them, How to Keep Them. New York: Skyhorse Pub., 2011. 162. Print.

    Roberts, Victoria. British Poultry Standards (6th Edition). Hoboken, NJ, USA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009. ProQuest ebrary. Web. 8 July 2015.

    "Sumatra Chicken." The Livestock Conservancy. The Livestock Conservancy, n.d. Web. 08 July 2015.


      Loren Hadley

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Updated June 26, 1997


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