The breed came to England around 1830 from Asia originally for cock fighting purposes. They are very large birds and their upright stance, long legs and neck make them look even larger than they really are. The broad head with a small comb, rather fierce expression and projecting eyebrows sits on a wide neck and they are shapely, tight feathered birds, tending to be kept for ornamental purposes rather than egg production or meat. They are a long lived, energetic breed and there is a bantam version available.
Malay cockerels are intolerant of other cockerels, seeking fights with each other and attacking anyone attempting to go near to their hens. For this reason, they shouldn’t be kept in large groups and it is better to keep them as pairs or trios. However, they can also become very affectionate towards their owners and can be tamed. The hens often become broody but aren’t suited to sitting because of their long legs. They don’t tolerate confinement well and need plenty of exercise to maintain their sleek physique. Care needs to be taken with the placing of feeders which should not be on the ground as these birds are so large. Hens don’t lay many eggs and these tend to be confined to a very short laying period of only a couple of months a year. They are very large birds and cockerels weigh around 9lbs while the hens are 7lbs.
The Malay can be found in the following colours:- black, black-red, pyle, spangled and white.