Malaysian Serama Bantams

Malaysian serama, Serama bantams, World's smallest Chicken

             Feeding your serama

 

Whilst the serama is merely just a very small breed of chicken, it does however require considerate feeding. Due to the very small size of the A class sized serama feeds designed for large breeds can be difficult for the very small serama to eat therefore it is advisable to find a feed which consists of a small pellet or even a breeders mash or to even crush larger pelletised feeds. Larger serama of B sizes and above do well on a standard pellet and rarely encounter feeding problems. I personally feed Garvo as I find that their breeder pellet for bantams is nice and small and suits all sizes of adult serama.

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Please remember not to over feed your birds as an over fed bird is an unhealthy bird which is unlikely to be a viable breeder and will live a shortened life. Serama are not particularly predisposed to being overweight, and should have feed available throughout the day, however ample excercise is very important and should be provided regularly in the form of a large pen with perches or a run. 

 Another point to remember when seeding serama is the feeding containers used. Bowls placed on the floor can tip up when stepped on causing leg injuries, they are also easily walked through which can contaminate food with faeces, resulting in possible illness therefore it is advisable to use a specially designed poultry feeding vessel. Seen below is the standard d-cup feeder or drinker which securely hooks over the wire of a cage and can be situated at a height which suits your individual birds.It can be used for feed or water.The only drawback is they will require frequent refilling if there are several birds in the pen, as well as it being likely that you will need several of these to contain enough feed/water to maintain several birds.

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Another type of feeder which can be used is a hopper style feeder. These kinds of feeders are ideal if there are several birds sharing a pen.  They also make less work as they require filling less often. These are used for feed only.

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The ideal drinker for your serama is the fount style drinker. These drinkers vary in size and can hold large quantities of water and offers fresh clean water ratherthan stagnant water as in a still drinker. These can also be refilled less frequently than cup or bowl style drinkers, although it is advisable to refresh your birds water at least once daily.

 

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Feeding chicks and growers

Serama chicks can be extremely small, and as such they can struggle to feed on standard poultry chick crumbs. For such small chicks it is advisable to crush their chick crumbs using something simillar to a pestle and mortar or even finely grind in the blender. Do not crush into a powder as some websites suggest as this can result in dust inhalation and respiratory problems as food dust in the respiratory tract is a sure way to cause illness. Not only can this method of feeding cause respiratory problems it can also cause eye infections should the chicks get it in their eyes, and also it can cause crop problems as the dust mixed with the chicks drinking water can form a sticky paste that can be difficult for the crops of young chicks to handle which may cause crop binding or sour crop.  

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  As stated earlier,some serama chicks can be extremely small, this can mean that they may easily fall into water or food containers resulting in them drowning or being trapped. I personally use the tops of large milk bottles or the lids off baby food jars as feeders and drinkers for very small chicks as they are too shallow for the chicks to fall into. 

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I personally classify my yougstock as "Growers" once they reach approx 8 weeks of age. At this stage I move them onto a "rearer" pellet feed. I feed "Garvo" rearers pellet, a form of which does not contain growth promoters, which are detrimental to the serama as the breed standard states they must remain small. Garvo rearer pellets are available in very tiny pellets which are specifically designed for such small fancy poultry varietis. I keep my growers on this feed until they are approx 16 weeks old, I then move them onto a breeder pellet. 

Always remember that when feeding your birds that the quality of feed offered directly affects the quality of the animal. A chick reared on poor quality nutrition is likely to be sickly and is likely to mature into a sickly, unproductive adult. An adult bird that has been poorly fed from hatching will never be a strong bird and may not lead a long life, some link poor diet to infertility. Feather quality is also greatly affected by a poor diet. The qualityof feed to breeding birds of ultimate importance as the quality and strength of offspring is directly affected by quality of nutrition.