Note the long straw colored neck hair and trimmed tail feathers
Traditionally bred as a fighting cock in Far East Asia, it now calls America home too. This is after service personnel took them back to North America after the war. They are thought to be descendants of local game fowl birds from the island or neighboring islands of Saipan. However they could have been mixed at some point with Japanese birds and local island birds to create what we know today. No one really knows for the history and breeding for certain. The results however are a very colourful attractive bird standing very tall. The muscular and powerful look of the bird is similar to that of the Malay or Shamo. Fully grown they can stand 2-3ft tall!
Hens weight 8-9 lbs and Roosters 9-13 lb Pullets weigh 6lbs and Cockerel 8 lbs
Light Brown or cream
Production per year
Poor egg laying ability 40-90 per annum
When do they start laying eggs?
Very slow to mature taking 3 years to reach full maturity.
Saipan Jungle Fowl Characteristics
Temperament / Are they good as pets?
They are quite tame despite years of ‘free roaming’ on the east Asian islands. However both the hens and cockerels around people and other animals they don’t recognize can be aggressive. So not recommended for children in case they mistake a childs playfulness as aggression. They make excellent showing birds, as they have tremendous feather colors and unique ‘upright’ and ‘tall’ physique.
They are very heat hardy being used to humidity and hotter climates.
How do I tame jungle fowl chickens?
They are naturally tame and non-flighty. Being an intelligent bird, they will begin to recognise you a form a good bond. There is reports amongst breeders who say that the chicks as hatchlings will feed from your hand.
How many do I need to buy?
A good ratio for a flock is 1 male for every 6 females. Best bought in twos as they are social creatures and do best when around other chickens. A great number for a backyard flock is 6 birds. You then then build up the numbers of birds from there.
How much space do they need?
Saipan jungle fowl are ‘active’ birds, so as such like space to roam. A large backyard or free range would suit this breed. 11sqft per bird is an absolute minimum. If you have some birds now and they look unhappy try extending the run or letting them go free range. This should help them enormously.
Will they mix with my other chickens?
Not always, they can be aggressive for no reason towards other chickens of different breeds. For that reason, they are usually kept in a different pen. Or a run that has a divider if you keep other chickens. They get along together amongst the same breed however. So keep Saipan game fowl with other Saipans.
The Saipan is either flat combed or pea combed and absent of wattles, having a simple dewlap instead. The rooster is most often Black Breasted Red and the hen Wheaten in color, there are other color combinations such as white. They are tall and of an upright stance, with a muscular breast. A long tail which is often a metallic or beetle green in the males. The height of the birds, people think, was so they could see predators over the long grass. Long necks will also have helped them with seeing predators too and maybe even eating fruit from low hanging branches of trees. Tails are long and may need to be trimmed to avoid dragging on the ground.
What should I feed them?
Can’t be fed a normal chicken diet. They can’t eat grains and corn like other breeds of chickens. For them to thrive and be able to reproduce they require fats in their diets. This is due to them for maybe a couple of hundred years going to the beaches or rocks and scavenging crabs, fish and other sea animals. You should therefore feed them a fatty fished based diet with fresh fruit and vegetables. They will forage for grubs and insects themselves to supplement this diet.
What can’t they eat?
As with all chickens they can’t eat the same things. The two main offenders are chocolate and dried beans. Yes odd I know, however both can cause cardiac arrest. Dried beans can seemingly slip into their diet if you are feeding them scraps from the kitchen table. Chocolate is infact dangerous to a lot of animals including dogs. Moldy foods shouldn’t be given to chickens either whether that’s bread or rotten vegetables. If you won’t eat it generally chickens shouldn’t either.
What do I need to keep chickens?
Well you’ll need a coop with a roost height for Saipan jungle fowl of 2-4ft. They then need a coop with a nesting box so the hens can lay eggs in them. Also they need a large run outside the coop so they can stretch their legs. They aren’t flighty birds so won’t need netting over the top of the run necessarily. They are, as mentioned before, tall. Make sure the coop high enough for a fully-grown bird to stand in. Remember this can be 2-4ft roost height plus 2-4ft for the bird so could end up being 8ft high!
A waterer for the birds to drink from. They prefer cooler water compared to warm. Id invest in a good metal waterer, for a few reasons. Firstly they last longer than the plastic ones – simple. Secondly, they are heavier and with larger birds therefore less likely to be knocked over. A knocked over waterer can result in dehydrated birds by the end of a hot day, this is dangerous to them.
Place the waterer in the shade to keep it cool and make sure its on flat ground. Placing it where all the birds are able to drink from is essential too.
A feeder – again id recommend a metal one for longevity. With birds pecking at it day in day out a plastic one can break quite quickly. There are various types but one that cant be stood in and knocked over is the best option. Food on the ground will go moldy quickly or spoil in the direct sunlight.