Ayam Ketawa: The Laughing Chicken

The Ketawa or Ayam Ketawa (literally means ‘Laughing Chicken’) is a breed native to southern Sulawesi, Indonesia. The rooster is prized for the clarity and initial length of its long song.

The crowing of the roosters has an unusual similarity to a human laugh, and that’s where the name comes from. In the past, these birds were only kept as a status symbol of the Buginese royal family. Today, the Ketawas are enjoying increasing popularity and are frequently exhibited in crowing competitions.

ayam ketawa
Credit to Wikipedia

Ayam Ketawa characteristics

At first glance, the Ketawa looks like the common rooster or fowl. Their posture, size, gesture, and the color of their plumage are the same as those of common chickens. There are many fanciers of these birds in the South Sulawesi region. As time passes, this chicken becomes more famous and the breed is rapidly expanding outside of South Sulawesi.

The unique sound of this chicken will appeal to lovers of ornamental chickens.

Ayam Ketawa breed varieties

This peculiar bird can be divided into 3 types according to its type of song and color. Dangdut carries the Indonesian music gene, then there is the slow dangdut and one called the “popular” type. Actually, the most appreciated is the slow dangdut also known as Ayam Ketawa or Ayam Gaga.

Genetically speaking, Ketawa is not much different from most native Indonesian chickens, except that they laugh at it.

This laugh is a treasured sound that is developed through selective breeding and domestication of selected birds. It is common in Indonesia to see several laughing roosters caged or tied in their breeders’ yards.

This is a tall breed with long necks and a slim body. The hens go out in the open, as most native chickens do, but they rarely produce more than 60 eggs a year.

Breed temperament

These birds are very resistant and do not require special care. But you need extra attention to get a good crowing. This is one of the most important criteria that allow the breed to excel in singing competitions. So be sure to take care of your cock’s song.

The Ketawa should only be mated with birds of the same type. The goal of this recommendation is to keep your sound unique. If they mate with other types of chicken, the Ketawa will lose its original song.

In general, roosters are sold at a high price for their peculiar and original song. But to produce this laugh song you need stimulation from another Ketawa rooster. So let your chicken hear the good sound of an adult Ketawa rooster, which is more professional and has good quality sounds. This can stimulate your chicken to perfect its song.


The Ketawa is considered an indigenous breed of Indonesia. These peculiar singing birds can only be found in the Sidenreng Rappang area, 183 kilometers south of Sulawesi. In the past, the breed could only be kept by the Buginese royal family at the Kraton (the palace).

This bird was considered a symbol of royal status. In addition, this bird symbolizes courage, exceptional gallantry, and the symbol of “virility” of the Buginese royal family.

Breed recognition

The Ketawa does not yet have a scientific description, as uncontrolled mating between this breed and other breeds in their environments still occurs. It is also not easy to find purebred Ketawa chickens to evaluate and set a fixed standard for the breed.

In Indonesia, the breed is also known as Ayam Ketawa, which means “laughing chicken”, or also Ayam Gaga; while in the Buginese language it is called Manu ‘Gaga’ or simply Gaga ‘(literally stuttering chicken).

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