There is quite some speculation about the origin of this breed. Some claim they would be a sub-species of junglefowl before cross breeding with other breeds. Others believe they are a cross-breed of Gallus varius, Green junglefowl or even pheasantlike cross-breeds. How ever, they were created on Sumatra (Indonesia-Sunda Islands) and are one of the oldest fowl breeds. Despite their elegant appearance they are realy game fowl. Under the name Ayam Sumatra they were used purely in the gamepit.


Around 1850 they were imported into America where they gained popularity rapidly thanks to their exotic character. After the gamepit lost interest in this breed the were breed for shows only. In 1883 the breed was given a standard and was admitted in the ASP (American Standard of Perfection) Around this same period they were introduced in Germany and around 1900 into England. After that other European countries followed. The bantam was created in the Netherlands both in black and blue.



The carriage of Sumatra appears pheasantlike, the body is carried almost horizontal. Both hen and stag have a low placed, small pea comb. The facial color varies from darkred to purplish. The eyes are brown to darkbrown (the darker the better, as long there is a difference between iris and pupil) The head is typical small and “snakelike”. The feathers are full and lustrous and the black variety is known for it’s strong beetle green shine. The tail is rich and the feathers only bow after two third of its lenght. The shafts are stiff and hard. Preferable in Dutch standard non sweeping. The upper tail feathers of the hens are bowed. The legs are black(ish) to olive green with yellow soles. Sometimes a sole is black spotted wich seems to be connected to darker faces. Sumatraroosters can be multiple spurred.


Sumatras are alert and very mobile fowl. At danger they can fly straight up. Their eggs are light to white in color. The hens lay well and can be broody several times in a season. As parents they are quite fierce in protecting their offspring. One of my own hens took a dive at a megpie that stole one of her chicks, while in the air she managed to save it with succes!! All that flies past will be attacked with high spirit! Even the dog that grew up with them wasn’t safe. While Sumatras are relatively close to wild fowl they can get very nervous
in small pens and even become less fertile. By placing high resting areas you can help them develop stronger wing- and other muscles. To get them to get used to people it’s best to start handling the animals from chick. Despite game blood Sumatra’s are quite tolerant when
it comes to other (farmilliar) animals. Young rooster will fight till they bleed or drop when fully exhausted but then the battle is fought.
Young hens sometimes fight in these order fights too. After that further fights usually don’t appear anymore. The father will accept the young roosters for quite some time and by the time they are ready to mate he will keep them at a distance without bloodshed. (as long as the pen is large enough) In a small pen i’d advise to take out the young roosters. Roosters that grow up together up to puberty will assist eachother while trying to mate an (older) hen if the adult rooster isn't watching.
It’s advisable to raise young roosters with adult hens since they tend to be far more aggressive towards hens in later stadium when they’ve grown up seperately.

Subpages (1): BLUE SUMATRA