Rosina, from chick to PADA hen
Since Rosina appeared in the channels of ICofA as a certified PADA chicken, one of the first questions about her was: “which breed is she?”.
In this article, you will know not only the answer to that question, but what makes Rosina’s breed so interesting and the experience from chick to an adult hen of the same breed.
Rosina is a Serama hen. The Serama breed originates from Malaysia, a result from crossing a Japanese bantam with a Malaysian bantam and it is the smallest chicken breed in the world, weighing a maximum of 500gr. They are tropical chickens, not made for the cold. Should temperatures go around or below zero, they need their night coop to be heated up, or they should be placed somewhere where they are protected from the cold. Due to their country of origin, they do not produce a thick underdown, and by being so tiny, they will need their human’s assistance in colder seasons.
Besides being tiny, they have a tough body structure: the chest is placed very high (it looks like they are constantly proud of themselves), and so is the tail. The wings instead are usually almost held vertically until the ground, because their back is very short.
They come in all kinds of colours, which combined with their posture and size, makes them quite adorable to observe.
Not only the looks of the Serama are dear, their personality traits are exquisite as well, which makes them one of the most suitable breeds for human company and for children, for these tiny chickens truly enjoy human contact. Making them tame is not difficult, they are curious and walk around lively. They have a calm personality and truly enjoy attention, hence, if their human would like to use extra time interacting with them, perhaps even teaching them tricks, they will tendentially develop even a deeper attachment.
Seramas are also a great breed for humans who are afraid of chickens, since they might look like younglings in adulthood, which can favour the diminution of fear from the human side.
You can choose your chicks just like any other animal: see how the mother hen reacts to strangers, to new smells, noises and how she is regarding being physically handled. Also see if the hatchery does any specific work with the chicks for making them become more human oriented and used to different stimuli.
Rosina came from a hatchery where all hens and chicks are used being handled by children of different ages and by different adults, and can walk freely around the property getting used to all kinds of noises, animals and other types of objects passing by.
Even if the chicks’ mom is nearby, should a human pick them up and pet them, they lay down and enjoy the cuddles, some even fall asleep (as Rosina still does).
It is interesting to see the personalities already from a few months of age. These two hens (see picture below) are still very young, both are human oriented, yet the light coloured one is more explorative and takes more initiative investigating new environments or objects.
The blue coloured one is calmer, tends to observe for a short while before investigating. Both already run towards a human if they see one, and both enjoy being cuddled. The light coloured likes to hold on a hand, finger, arm, shoulder (wherever on a human) with her feet, and enjoys having an overview. The blue coloured one likes to be in places much closer to the human, chest, neck, places with tendentially more protection.
Rosina was very similar in behaviour to the light coloured chick. It will be very interesting to see in the future when the blue has undergone her personality assessment and if both would be suitable as therapy chickens seeing their character now.
Text by Tahira Tarquini