1ST AUGUST 2001
The rearing of bantams has been for a long time an integral part of many Asian cultures. These diminutive breeds of poultry com in many different sizes and colour variations, each having its distinctive character. Malaysian bantams are highly valued for their ornamental qualities and two locally bred varieties, the Serama Bantam and the Kapan Bantam are very popular among enthusiasts. In addition to their beauty, the roosters have very high-pitched and shrill crows, which are generally pleasing to the ear. The red junglefowl, though not a bantam, has been included in the miniature sheet of this series on account of it being the evolutionary ancestor of all domestic breeds of poultry.
This rather pint-size bantam is the result of selective breeding and is the latest craze of local bantam enthusiasts; its popularity surpassing the Kapan Bantam. It is characterized by its up-lifted and over-sized breast, short legs and tall tail, which is often held upright. It comes in many different colour varieties. The Serama Bantam has a swaggering gait, and the wings are usually carried low. The name Serama is believed to be derived from "Sri Rama".
This bantam looks similar to the Serama Bantam, but is generally more robust, bigger and heavier built. It has a large breast, which is generally held high. The legs are short and it swaggers while walking with the wings usually drooped. Like the Serama Bantam, it is also the results of selective breeding comes with a long tail, and in many different colour variations.
The evolutionary ancestor of all domestic breeds of poultry, the Red Junglefowl inhabits the forest edge, plantations, scrub, and open grassland throughout Peninsular Malaysia. It has a long slender body with bright orange-yellow hackles on the neck. The tail is long and black glossed green with a white patch at the base of the tail. It moves about in small parties of up to eight, scratching the ground like domestic poultry, in search of ants, termites and other grubs. It is particularly active in the early morning and late afternoon.