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Malaysia's tiny, strutting serama fowl gains fans

Published on Jun 21, 2014 12:01 PM

KAMPUNG PANDAN, Malaysia (AFP) - Marching imperiously with a puffed-out chest and soldier's ramrod posture, Mr Mohamad Hatta Yahaya's tiny chicken strutted its rich yellow plumage for a stone-faced judge.

"Yes my hero, puff out your chest!" Mr Mohamad Hatta cried out above the din of fellow fowl-owners as his US$10,000 (S$12,509) bird pranced to victory in a "beauty contest" for serama chickens outside the capital Kuala Lumpur.

The breed - among the world's smallest chickens with adults weighing less than 500 grammes - has been a favoured pet in its native Malaysia for decades. But its popularity has spread to as far as Europe and America, with enthusiast clubs proliferating as owners celebrate the decorative breed's distinctive characteristics.

These include attractive and richly coloured plumage and a unique bearing marked by a protruding, heart-shaped chest and wings that hang straight to the ground, giving the pigeon-sized bird the air of a goose-stepping soldier on military parade.

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