The Malay Game is said to be a bird that only its mother could love and this is probably true for most chook fanciers yet the Malay is held by a few breeders who have a true love of the breed or some mad people with questionable judgement!
I have kept the Malay and they are a wonderful breed that has much to offer the breeder after a challenge.
They may be a hard breed to source and good specimens even harder but the search is well worth it. Malays are a large breed and are very strong with a sparse covering of feathers.
The Malay is a bird that has practically no economic use at this time but has been used historically to create the iconic Australian breed the Australian Game and to get longer leg length in the modern.
The breed is large but generally not very aggressive except for the odd bird but they do look the part with their hooded brow.
They lay a batch of eggs then seem to go off until the next batch.
This is fine for breeding but not great for the kitchen while they can be used for the table but are better crossed with a large softfeather to produce table birds.
If you can get a pair or trio the breeding is quite easy and fertility is good.
The hens will sit tight and they will care for the young but the eggs will incubate just as well. The young will need a high protein feed and plenty of space to grow to size.
They prefer range and do best if let loose in a paddock, even the bantams.
The breed is well worth saving despite it being a fancier’s breed rather than a bird that is generally appealing.
It is also true that the birds rarely win major prizes at show but they are worth persevering with and fanciers become very attached to the breed.
The Malay will certainly never be identified for anything but a Malay.
They are rare, distinctive and have require some space to reach their full potential.
Have a look for the breed at your next local show and decide if you think you’re up to the challenge of this old and fascinating breed.
- Bruce Pattinson is a past president of the NSW Exhibition Poultry Association. Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or post to: Chook Feed, PO Box 25, Kogarah, 2217, with your name and daytime contact number.