Green Wildfowl, Gabelschwanzhuhn, Green Junglefowl
Scientific Name: Gallus varius
The coloration of male Green Junglefowl is different from the females; males are mostly green and black feathered. Each male?s head is topped by a light blue comb, which turns purplish red the higher it gets from the head. The wattle is also purplish-red and this is bordered with blue on the edges and yellow nearer the throat. The feathers along the Green Junglefowl?s neck have lighter green and blue patterns, and the wings have copper colored hackles. The hackles on the Javan Junglefowl?s rump are dark green with edges of yellow, and the tail is held low. The female Green Wildfowl is mostly brown. Occasionally her plumage is highlighted by forest green feathers which are patterned so that female Green Junglefowl appear ?scaled?. The female has no comb. The plumage on the underside of her body is lighter brown, with fewer green feathers interspersed.
It is important before acquiring your Green Junglefowl to find a veterinarian experienced in the care of these birds in case an emergency should arise. Also, these birds are very sensitive to cold and should have heated aviaries in cold climates.
The Green Junglefowl is sexually mature at two years of age and the male courts the female by doing a sort of dance. He rubs one wing against one foot to produce a sound and circles rhythmically with wing lowered around his chosen female. Breeding occurs between April and July. Females lay three to five eggs in nests, which are made atop tree stumps or found. In captivity, Green Junglefowl like nesting boxes about three feet high with a branch leading up to the box. The eggs incubate for about 21 days before hatching with about a 60 percent success rate. Chicks should be fed mealworms three times a day and sometimes it is difficult to teach them to eat. Often they are mixed with bantam or pheasant chicks to help them learn. Green Junglefowl can fly at about one week of age. In captivity, infant mortality was high due to disease, predation and stress; only about 35 percent of the Green Junglefowls hatched survived.
The Green or Javan Junglefowl is a rare bird, which is being increasingly bred in captivity as its genetic diversity is disappearing. This lovely and striking bird is also known as the Green Wildfowl or the Gabelschwanzhuhn.
Native to Java and Bali, the Green Junglefowl live in groups of two to five in the wild. They feed like chickens, scratching roadsides, clearings, or fields with their clawed toes and eating whatever they can turn up. Green Junglefowl groups are led by one dominant male, who takes the flock each morning to a watersource. They drink while he keeps watch. After, the male Junglefowl will quickly take his water and then lead his flock back into the cover of the forest. Each night the flock of Green Junglefowl roost in bamboo stands, 15-20 feet above the forest floor. Male Green Junglefowl who do not have a flock, live alone until mating season, when they challenge established males by clapping their wings and loudly crowing. The cocks may fight with sharp, one-inch claws like spurs on their feet. Because they live in the tropics, Green Wildfowl need very warm aviaries. Also, since these beautiful birds have shy natures, they should be given lots of foliage and cover in their aviaries.
Native to Java, Bali, and the surrounding islands, the Green Junglefowl has been bred throughout these areas with domestic chickens, producing a hybrid known as the Bekisar. Because of the Bekisar, genetic purity is reduced among Green Wildfowl and in captive breeding programs it is worried that the genetic pool is becoming too reduced. Inbreeding may result. There are few Javan Junglefowl captive breeding programs due to the popularity of the Bekisar. The Green Junglefowl is often hunted or captured from the wild and kept as a pet due to its unusual call and its incredible beauty, as well as its importance in fathering Bekisars, the mascot-bird of the East Java Province. Natives have been known to steal Green Junglefowl eggs from coffee plantations and use their domesticated hens to raise the chicks.
These lovely pets should be fed grains and seeds supplemented with insects and fruit, the same sort of foods that Green Junglefowl would find in the wild.