The Java is a critically endangered old dual-purpose breed developed in America from Asian stock, and they are the oldest American breed aside from the Dominique. In fact, the Java was used as a foundation to develop many American breeds, including popular favorites like the Rhode Island Red and the Plymouth Rock. They are calm and bear confinement well, but are also excellent foragers. Javas are particularly suited to small backyard flocks, where a genuinely good dual purpose bird is needed.
The Java chicken is one of the oldest American chickens, forming the basis for many other breeds. Despite the breed’s name, which comes from the island of Java in Indonesia, it was developed in the U.S. and it is not known exactly where in Asia its ancestors came from. After the Dominique, the Java is the second oldest breed developed in the U.S. even though its name would suggest a Javan background. It was first mentioned in print in 1835, but it is thought to have been present well before this time.
The Mottled Javas dashing plumage consists of a black base with white markings on the tips of feathers, which imparts a spotted appearance. Now couple this with a strong body structure featuring a very long, broad back and a deep breast and they are quite a sight. They are able to adapt to difficult living situations such as inclement weather. Though they are slow-growing compared to the broilers used by the commercial chicken industry today, they are great meat birds. The hens lay a quantity of large, brown eggs and will hatch their young. Javas are particularly known as good foragers, needing less supplementary grain than many breeds when allowed to free range. Like many large breeds, they are known to be docile in temperament. In general, Javas are particularly suitable for keepers of smaller flocks who require a good dual-purpose chicken. The males can reach 9.5 pounds and females 7.5 pounds. Javas had nearly vanished by the end of the 20th century, having been pushed to fringes of the poultry world by the intense focus on one or two breeds by commercial growers, and the introduction of innumerable new and exotic breeds to poultry fanciers. Javas were
especially notable as meat production birds throughout the 19th century, with their popularity peaking in the latter half of that