Malaysia’s Best Cocks Show Themselves Off at Special Beauty Pageants

In place of gorgeous young women, fine-looking chickens take the stage at a special chicken beauty pageant in Malaysia.

Originating from the rural state of Kelantan, the unique competition uses a petite breed of chickens known as the Serama chickens.


These chickens, which originated from the small variety of Malaysian and Japanese bantams, are believed to have been gifts from the King of Thailand to state sultans in Malaysia. Its name Serama is actually derived from the word “Rama”, a title referring to Thai royalty.


These petite pageant contestants are judged based on their wings, feathers, tail, color, and comb. Aside from their “beauty,” the chickens’ “style and confidence” are also evaluated in the way they walk, strut and puff out their chest.

Title winners can fetch up to 43,950 Malaysian Ringgit ($10,600) in cash prizes depending on the prestige of the pageant.

The pageants have been taking place in Malaysia for decades, and more recently, these competitions have been gaining international attention and have even spread to Indonesia, Thailand, the United States, Britain, and France, among other countries.

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CHICKENS, the international English edition of the C.OCKS book is now available as an e-book on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play and Kobo! Thank you #blackwellandruth and @abramsbooks for believing in the work. . Started this wild fowl chase some six years ago and never imagined how the work has traveled the world the way it did. Through the work, I received love and lessons from some of the most incredible people. But it wasn’t all nice – mockery, bad jokes and despise came my way too. @aikbengchia and I had a long chat about why and how photographers navigate the treacherous journey to choose what to photograph throughout their careers and we concluded one of the best ways to do it is to not give a f***. . . . #chickens #rooster #cocksbook #animal #critters #ayam #ayamserama #creatures #love #animalphotography #farmanimals #fowl #kindle #ebook #amazon #itunes #kobo #applebooks.

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The competition first rose into international prominence after Singaporean photographer Ernest Goh stumbled across such an event while traveling to a farm in rural Malaysia for a photo expedition seven years ago. Goh, who is best known for his incredible work with animals, featured the pageants in his “Cocks: The Chicken Book” back in 2013. It was released as “Chickens” in the U.S., U.K., and Australia in 2015.


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Look what has arrived in my mail #cocksbook #theanimalbookco #ernestgohphotographer #thefishbook

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In 2017, a team of young filmmakers from Singapore made a short film about the pageants as a school project. According to Rojak Daily, the film eventually made it into Discovery Channel Asia Pacific’s Jumpcut Asia.

Featured image via YouTube/Discovery Channel Southeast Asia

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