By Dennis Hawkins

This breed was apparently named from its original habitat of Sumatra in the Islands of the Asiatic Archipelago. It is popularly known as the Black Sumatra. Because of its island isolation, it has retained a pure blood line. It is a long-tailed fowl and has solid greenish-black plumage. The males frequently have multiple spurs which is considered desirable.

In about 1847, it was imported into America and then into England. Because of its double spurs, it was desirable for cockfighting purposes. However, because of poor timing, it arrived in England at about the same time that legal cockfighting was abolished. It is believed that this breed would have become very popular if this law had not been enacted.

The Sumatra has not been used to any great extent for developing other breeds. It lays lightly tinted white eggs. The Black Sumatra was admitted to the standard in 1883. No other variety of Sumatra has been admitted.

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Copyright 1995-2004 by Dennis Hawkins, All Rights Reserved.