Serama Standard and Tabletop Judging
The Serama Standard is referred to when discussing Tabletop exhibition of Serama. Tabletop exhibition is at the core of what the Serama is. The Serama Standard and Tabletop Judging is similar only in appearance to the American Serama Standard. The Serama Standard for Tabletop Judging removes all color and minimum weight restrictions with an increased focus on judging Character and Performance. Tabletop demands more on Character and Performance than can be displayed with in-cage exhibition only.
The Serama Council of North America (SCNA) is the oldest, largest, and leading organization to promote the Serama and tabletop exhibition in North America. The SCNA continues to encourage the breeding of Serama with type and character, as type and character define the breed in tabletop exhibition.
Country of Origin: Malaysia & America
Shape Of Male
Coverts: Feathers broad, forming two distinct bars across wings.
Comb: Comb foreign to the breed
Single comb falling below the horizontal plane on level with top of head.
Single comb with side sprig. Split comb.
Legs: Creeper Legs
Tail: Wry Tail
Wings: Horizontal Wing
Comb: Thumb marks. Large combs
Wattles: Large wattles. Wattles with wrinkles or folds
Head: Narrow head, crow head
Back: Long or narrow back
Chest/Breast: Shallow or narrow breast
Legs: Short Legs
Color of Male and Female for Tabletop (TT) Judging
All Variety (AV) Serama
COMB, FACE, WATTLES, EAR LOBES, BEAK, EYES, SHANKS & TOES: No color requirement
PLUMAGE: No color requirement
Class A - up to 350 grams
Class B - up to 500 grams
Class C - up to 600 grams
Class A - up to 325 grams
Class B - up to 425 grams
Class C - up to 525 grams
In posing the Serama one should use either one's hand or judging stick to slowly move the head backwards so the eye lines up with the leg. In doing so the back of the comb will come in contact with the two main sickles on a male or the top two tail feathers on a female.
Once the eye is in line with the leg one should notice that the large wings are downward sloping or vertical as called for in the Serama Standard.
Also the breast is thrust upright and the Serama is posed in an upright manner.
When posed thus one can clearly see the breed characteristics that make up the breed; namely the moderately large upright tail, large downward sloping to vertical wings and upright breast.
One should always keep in mind that this is an upright breed unlike so many breeds developed in America that are horizontal in shape.
JUDGING SERAMA GUIDELINES
Serama are judged in a Tabletop-judging scheme. The birds are individually judged and evaluated while standing free on a table in front of one or more judges. This sets the Serama apart from what most chicken breeders are used to since all other breeds are simply picked up then placed back into their cages. Therefore, the Serama must not only fit the standard in appearance but it must also have the correct behavior and be easy to handle.
The size of Serama must not exceed the size limits for a given category. When a bird has been entered in a given category and it is found to weigh more than the standard weight for that category; that particular bird should be disqualified from that category and moved into the proper category.
The assignment of points to a particular Serama are general guidelines that in their distribution and number of points allotted show the most important traits of the Serama standard. Type, temperament, and tail set are the most important traits of the Serama and these traits set it apart from other breeds.
TEMPERAMENT AND TYPE
These are the two most important traits for any Serama intended for showing. These are the basis for what makes Serama a distinct and unique breed. Both of these factors are awarded the largest number of points in the point scale—thus, they should in no way be ignored.
Temperament is of the utmost importance in Serama. Temperament is based on both nature and nurture. The selection for calm and friendly temperament must be stressed in the breeding pen to heighten this important trait through each generation because genetics and inheritance play a very large role in the temperament of each generation. This is nature. In addition, young Serama should be brought to shows so that they become accustomed to the handling and crowds they will encounter at such shows in their later years. Therefore, it is very important to start handling and training your birds for show at as young an age as possible. This is nurture. Aggressive birds that attack the handler should be disqualified and must not be used in the breeding pen. Wild, frightened birds that try to flee from the cage or the handler also should be disqualified. Only friendly calm birds should be used for breeding or showing.
Type is the essence of any breed. Without proper type, a bird is not recognizable as a member of a given breed. Type refers to the silhouette of the bird and is the general outline of the bird. In Serama, type also refers to the way the bird poses or its carriage. Some Serama have perpetual pose, wherever they stand, they appear as if posed at all times. This is unnatural and should not be treated as something special. You can recognize such birds by the fact that they are always in pose and never relax and they appear as not evenly balanced when mating, feeding or perching. No extra points are to be given to such birds. What is to be preferred though is a Serama with auto-pose—this is where the Serama carries itself in pose without being handled or posed by the owner or judge, but can relax, while the bird is able to move its tail at will whether upwards or downwards. The proper type and carriage of Serama is for the body to be at a 90° angle from the ground. The balance should not be affected and with proper carriage it is not. The head carriage of the Serama is also very important to the type. The proper head carriage is for the head to be pulled back as far as possible, so that the back of the comb touches or nearly touches the main sickles and the eye is behind the leg when viewed from the side, that is if you were to draw an imaginary line from the front of the eye down to the leg. Thus, the breast will be held out at maximum extension. Neck carriage refers to the way the neck is held to allow for the head to be held fully back, the breast fully forward, but yet the wattles do not hang on or lay on the breast. To do this, the neck must have sufficient length. Breast fullness refers to the well-extended breast that is required to have proper type. The breast should be well muscled, held far forward, and yet high and not at all low to the ground.
It is vitally important to the breed that the Serama's body be full and well muscled, especially the breast. Thin birds, without full, solid breast muscling should be disqualified. The muscling of the bird is an indicator of vitality. Thin birds are of no use to the breed, as they are very susceptible to disease and are lacking in vitality and are generally of poor reproductive qualities.
The tail must be well held, solidly set on the body. Poorly set tails and wry tails must be disqualified. Low tails are to be discouraged. The very high angle of the tail is of great importance in creating the outline of the breed and is a major factor in the type of the Serama.
- True Main tail feathers - Thin and sparse main tail feathers are a detriment to the breed. Birds with less than five main tail feathers on each side should be disqualified. While five feathers on each side of the main tail is the fewest allowable, more than five on each side is preferred.
- Sickles - Again, thin or sparse sickles are undesirable. Straight sickles are not desirable nor are less than five sickles on each side of the tail, while more than five per side are preferred.
- Secondary Sickles - Sparse, thin or poor textured secondary sickles are undesirable.
- Saddles - Sparse, broken or thin saddles are to be avoided.
Wings that are held above the vertical line are undesirable. Birds with wings nearly horizontal should be disqualified. Wings should not drag along the ground to the point of damage or tattering . They should clear the ground just enough to be intact and well groomed. Wings that drag along the ground and are constantly dirty, tattered and broken are an unpleasant sight.
Legs should be long enough to keep the wing just above the ground. Very short legs are often the result of the creeper gene, and this is very undesirable in Serama, as this is a Chabo (Japanese bantam) trait, and is also a lethal gene. Very short legs make for ragged, tattered wings that drag the ground. Short legs are to be disqualified. Legs should be of medium length, but not long either. Very short legs, which are so short as to have little or no actual shank, are also a disqualification. Further, more than four toes is also a disqualification.
Thin, sparse, picked, broken, ruffled, partially frizzled or coarse, or rough feathering are undesirable. Only smooth, well-textured, medium tight feathers are allowable.
Combs should be small to medium to present an elegant and refined look. Wattles also should not be overly large. Long pendulous wattles, very large combs, or combs that flop over and combs or wattles with folds and thumb marks are to be strongly discouraged.
The condition of the bird is the essence of good rearing and show preparation. Bad looking birds that are dirty, with excessively broken, roughed or tattered feathers, pale faced or showing any kind of disease or physical problems should be disqualified and removed from the show.
CHARACTER AND PERFORMANCE
Tabletop demands more on Character and Performance than can be displayed with in-cage exhibition only. Performance refers to the abiltiy of the bird to simply perform on the table. Male perfomance attributes include (but not limited) strutting, wing flapping, crowing, and moving about the table. Female performance attributes include (not limited) talking/clucking, scratching, and moving about the table.
Because countries have different ways of establishing awards in the colors they choose for the first, second, third place, etc., SCNA uses 1-purple, 2-blue, 3- red, 4-white while other colors are used in horse/dog/cat competitions in the US. In chickens there are no rosettes but Cups with an inscription on the plate. In the beginning of the last century there were medals as well, but that stopped in the ‘70’s though still used in Germany, they have vanes also that have embroidery on them. So, various countries have their own traditions concerning awards. With that said, below is the awards system as used by SCNA, the leading Serama organization in America.
Tier One -- Judging - Quality Awards
Each Serama in each class is individually evaluated and awarded a score up to 100.
Serama awarded a score of 95 - 100 earn a Purple Ribbon
Serama awarded a score of 90 - 94 earn a Blue Ribbon
Serama awarded a score of 85 -89 earn a Red Ribbon
Serama awarded a score of 80 -84 earn a White ribbon
Serama awarded a score of 75-79 earn a Yellow ribbon
Tier Two -- Judging …
The top three (3) scoring birds in each class compete against each other.
One is selected Class Champion, another is selected Class Reserve Champion
Classes consist of Cock, Hen, Cockerel, and Pullet
In Stand-Alone Serama-Only-Shows, the Cock and Hen classes may be further divided by weight, A, B & C
Tier Three – Judging …
All Class Champions compete against each other.
One is selected Show Champion, another is selected Show Reserve Champion
In case of a tie, the exhibitor with the most SCNA Purple Awards is declared the winner. If still a tie, blue, red, and then white awards are counted as tiebreakers.