|Striking and beautiful birds!
Listed on the ALBC list as threatened
The Java 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 the second oldest American chicken, forming the
basis for many other breeds, but is critically
endangered today. Its ancestors were reputed to have
come from the Far East, possibly from the isle of Java.
Sources differ on the time of origin of the Java, but the
breed was known to be in existence in America
sometime between 1835 and 1850.
The Java is a premiere homesteading fowl, having the ability to do
well when given free range. The Java was noted for the production
of meat during the mid 1800s. The Plymouth Rock and Jersey Giant
breeds owe much to the Java, as the Java was used in the creation
of both of these breeds which later supplanted it.
Javas are a heavier breed chicken, with roosters weighing around
9.5 pounds (4.3 kilos) and hens 6.5 to 7.5 pounds (2.9 to 3.4 kilos).
They have a very long, broad back and a deep breast, which makes
for a solid, rectangular build. They have small earlobes and medium
size combs and wattles, all of which are red in color. Javas have
singe combs, but they have a shape which suggests the influence
of a pea-combed breed in their development.
Javas come in four varieties: Black, Mottled, White, and Auburn.
The legs of the Mottled Java should be a broken leaden-blue with
yellow soles. The White Java was admitted to the American Poultry
Association Standard of Perfection, but was removed prior to 1910
as it was felt that it and the White Plymouth Rock were too similar.
White Javas have yellow leg color. The Auburn Java has never
been recognized by the APA, but is mentioned as a color sport of
the Black Java in writings as early as 1879, and it is most noted for
its use in the development of the Rhode Island Red chicken breed.
All Javas have yellow skin and lay brown eggs.
Although the APA only recognizes the Black and the Mottled Java
colors in its Standard of Perfection the White and the Auburn are
being actively bred by a core of dedicated producers interested in
bringing these colors back to the breed.
The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy
has upgraded the Javas from:
Critical: Fewer than 200 annual registrations in the
United States and estimated global population less
Threatened: Fewer than 1,000 breeding birds in the
United States, with seven or fewer primary breeding
flocks, and estimated global population less than
|Day old Mottled Java chicks