Malay Gamefowl | Great Breed to Revitalize Different Chicken Breeds

The Malay breed is a breed well-known for being great gamecocks while also being extremely endangered. While many breeders will want Malay gamefowls to fight, it may be a good idea to hold off on this and use them to fulfill other needs.

Malay gamefowl

Malays are well-known for their strength, health, and vigor and their distinct genetics typically allow breeders to pass on these traits to other bloodlines. This allows breeders to create new breeds or bloodlines to have an edge in the cockpits.

Brief History on Malay Gamefowls

The Malay breed is a heritage breed, which means that it is a mainly traditional and purebred line. The origins of this breed are mysterious, but it’s undeniable that this was originally bred for cockfighting and that it came from Southeast Asia. Additionally, Malays may have been around for around 3,000 years.

Today, Malays are generally used as exotic pets, show birds, and as crossing material to create other breeds or revitalize dying breeds. In fact, this breed has already been used to add health, vigor, and strength to Cornish, Rhode Island Red, Phoenix, and Yokohama chickens.

Cornish chicken
A Cornish chicken, a breed improved by the Malays. Source:

The Livestock Conservancy stated that its most useful role has been for crossing to create other breeds. In fact, some breeders have already successfully regenerated bloodlines of Asian chickens, including Games and Longtails.

Malays are currently rare and the Livestock Conservancy gave the breed a “critical” status. While cockfighters may want to use this gamefowl breed in the cockpits to triumph against other breeds, their rarity makes losing one rooster very costly when it hasn’t been used to breed more Malays.

Key Features of Malays:

Malays are generally distinguished through the following:

  • Tall height, tallest of all chickens
  • Small to medium strawberry comb
  • Lean bodies
  • Tight-feathered bodies
  • Long neck
  • Long legs
  • Small wattles

Malays currently come in different varieties and the seven variations recognized by the American Poultry Association and American Bantam Association are the following:

  • Black
  • White
  • Mottled
  • Red Pyle
  • Spangled
  • Wheaten
  • Black-breasted Red

What Malay Gamefowls are Known for

Malay chickens are currently well-known for revitalizing and regenerating chicken breeds. While this can help other breeds, it itself can’t adequately reproduce to revive their breed as Malay hens are generally poor egg layers and most hens can only lay one or two eggs per week and about 50 eggs per year.

Malay Chicken
Malay Chicken. Source:

When used for sabong, spectators will see that these birds have strong fighting instincts. These birds are more well-known for their fight responses instead of flight. Malays are typically aggressive and are not suitable for mixing with other poultry, even fellow Malay roosters.

When used to create new breeds, this breed is known for the Indio Gigante which is generally made from a cross between the Malay and the Shamo.

Why Breeders Shouldn’t Use Malay Roosters in Cockfighting

Malay gamefowls are ideal for cockfighting due to their natural fighting capabilities and strong characteristics. The only problem is how costly it can be when losing a rooster in a fight since the hens themselves are poor egg-layers. One lost Malay gamecock is one lost rooster that could have been used to breed more Malays or create new gamecock bloodlines or strengthen non-fighting rooster breeds to make them healthier.

While breeders aren’t advised to use Malays for cockfighting, bettors should capitalize on them when they do see them in local or online cockpits.

Pure Malays are exceedingly rare so purchasing one bird is rather costly. Losing one Malay rooster in a fight is a significant drain on a breeder’s funds. Cheaper Malays will be juveniles, chicks, and heavily-inbred chickens.


Malay gamefowls are great cockfighters and are even more known for their strength, health, and vigor and the unique genetics that allows them to be passed on to other breeds. As such, Malays are great birds for improving other breeds and creating new bloodlines. The fact that the hens are poor egg layers make them unable to increase their numbers at a significant rate and using up the roosters in cockpits can be a waste when the other gamefowl wins.

If you’re looking into breeding Malays or improving another of your chicken breeds, then you’ll be pleased that these birds are perfect for the Philippines. The only issue is the cost and the fact that some of the available birds may be heavily inbred. Still, you can have a decent chance of getting good chickens.

If you’re only betting on online sabong matches, then try and keep an eye out for this gamefowl breed or offshoots from crossbreeding since they’re some of the best fighting roosters out there. 

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