The Sumatra is a breed of chicken native of the island of Sumatra. Chickens were originally imported from Sumatra in 1847 to the U.S. and Europe as fighting cocks for the purpose of cockfighting, but today the breed is primarily kept for exhibition. 1883 is the year the Black Sumatra was first inducted into the American Standard of Perfection.
Sumatras are primarily an ornamental breed kept for their attractive plumage. Most often they are a lustrous black with a green sheen throughout the body and tail. The breed comes in blue and white varieties, as well as the unstandardised splash - a natural result of breeding blue chickens. Males usually weigh between 4 and 5 pounds, and females weigh between 3 1⁄2 and 4 pounds. Hens are poor layers with yearly totals of eggs amounting to about 100 white eggs a year, and are exceptionally susceptible to broodiness. Both males and females have small to nonexistent wattles, and males often have multiple spurs on each leg. The breed is considered a primitive one; the Sumatra retains a strong flying ability, unlike most modern chicken breeds. The males will fight for dominance, though they usually do not fight to the death.
- American Poultry Association (1998). The American Standard of Perfection. Petaluma, CA: Global Interprint.
- The American Standard of Perfection (2001), American Poultry Association
- Ekarius, Carol (2007). Storey's Illustrated Guide to Poultry Breeds. 210 MAS MoCA Way, North Adams MA 01247: Storey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-58017-667-5.
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