The Kabalen Bantam Society (KBS) recently held an event at Robinson’s Starmalls Pampanga showcasing different fancy chicken breeds.

Text by Ian Carlo Lising
Photos by Dickson Dizon

Many of these competed for the coveted titles of their respective breeds, with the top prize being the Best of Breed awards.What is a bantam chicken? Visitors to the event learned that bantams are a variety of small chickens a fifth to a fourth of the size of the standard chicken of the same breed; the “true bantam” is naturally small and has no large counterpart.People who passed by the exhibit to take a peek wound up taking photos with the bantam chickens, delighted by the size and variety of the feathered creatures on exhibit. A crowd favorite was the silkie, a chicken breed that originated in China which is popular for its fluffy plumage which is similar to silk; its other attractions include its black skin and five toes—in contrast to the usual four-toed chicken.

Also attracting much attention was the German fancy chicken breed, the Phoenix. Characterized by its very long tail, it is usually displayed on a perch to emphasize its lengthy asset.But the show-stealer, popular with the crowd, breeders, and enthusiasts alike, was the Malaysian Serama, which dominated the second half of the fancy chicken segment of the show. Noted for their cocky, upright posture and vertical wings, this breed is described in Malaysia as brave warriors and ‘archangel chickens’; it is also considered the smallest chicken in the world.Fancy chicken breeds also showcased during the event included the Modern Game Bantam, Sebright, Belgian D’anvers, Hennie, Cornish, Asil Bantam, KoShamo, Chabo, Cochin, Turken Naked Neck, Old English Game Bantam, Rosecomb, Sumatra, Minorca, and mixed breeds. Most of the entries belonged to the bantam family of chickens.

The Philippine Bantam Fanciers Association (PBFA), a nationwide group of fancy chicken hobbyists, lent its support to the KBS; the association’s president, Vilmo Silvederio, and members Aries Estanislao, Ed Manlapaz, and Ric Jacomille Jr. all served as judges for the fancy chicken segment of the program. The show was the KBS’ maiden event, and is headed by Anthony B. Payabyab, who is also president of the Fancy Pigeon Group of Pampanga.KBS is set to register with the Securities Exchange Commission to be recognized as a legal bantam and fancy chicken association in Pampanga, with the mission of promoting the spirit of camaraderie and unity among Kapampangan fancy chicken enthusiasts. Its ultimate goal is to share its passion with all fancy feathered hobbyists across the archipelago. (With reporting by Ian Carlo Lising, vice president of the Kabalen Bantam Society)

This appeared as “Fancy Chickens at Pampanga” in Animal Scene’s August 2015 issue.