The Java Chicken is a breed of chicken originating in the United States. Despite the breed’s name, which comes from the island of Java in Indonesia, it was developed in the U.S. from chickens of unknown Asian extraction. It is one of the oldest American chickens, forming the basis for many other breeds, but is critically endangered today. Javas are large birds with a sturdy appearance. They are hardy, and are well-suited for both meat and egg production, especially by small-scale farms, homesteads, and backyard keepers.
Java Chickens appear in three color variations today: Black, Mottled, and White. The Black has black shanks and beaks, though some yellow may appear in the legs. The plumage is a uniform black hue that has a dark green sheen in the light. The Mottled and White have mostly yellow skin, with horn colored beaks. The plumage of the Mottled is a black base with white markings on the tips of feathers, which imparts a spotted appearance.
Characteristics: Java Chickens are valued for their dual-purpose characteristics. Though they are slow-growing compared to the broilers used by the commercial chicken industry today, they produce a good carcass. Hens lay a respectable amount of large, brown eggs and will go broody. Javas are particularly known as good foragers, needing less supplementary feed than many breeds when allowed to free range. Like many large breeds, they are known to be docile in temperament, and hardy in inclement weather. In general, Javas are particularly suitable for keepers of smaller flocks who require a good dual-purpose chicken.
- Standard Weights: Cock-9-1/2 pounds; hen-7-1/2 pounds; cockerel-8 pounds; pullet-6-1/2 pounds.
- Skin Color: Yellow
- Egg Shell Color: Brown
- Use: A good egg and meat producing variety.
- Origin: USA
Interested in raising chickens, but not sure which breed might be right for you?
Things to consider:
Geography: Consider geography when selecting a breed. In cooler areas of the country, consider raising heavier birds. In hotter areas, consider lighter weight birds. Some birds have been specially breed for cold climates. Consider these birds if you live in a cold-climate area.
Space: Where will you be raising these chickens? Do you have a lot of farm land for the animals to be raised on, or are you planning to raise them in your backyard? If you have a small space in which to raise the birds, choose breeds with a calmer temperament and avoid birds that are listed as active. Active birds will not be happy in close confinement.
Temperament: When choosing a breed, consider temperament. Some breeds are calmer than others. If raising chickens in a backyard or in the city, you may prefer a calmer breed.