Japanese Bantam Chicken
Developed in Japan as early as the 7th century perhaps from Indo-Chinese stock. First introduced to Europe in 1860. Truest bred carry a “lethal gene” which is also connected to the shortened leg characteristic. Japanese Bantam Chicken presents one of the extremes of the Bantam World. The disproportionately large comb, head, wings and tail of the male and the remarkable shortness of legs are obvious characteristics.
Japanese Bantam Chicken male tail is further distinguished by the long sword-shaped main sickles carried slightly forward of the perpendicular, accentuating the typical shape. Known as Chabo in Europe they come in a number of colors, and can even have silkier feathering.
Characteristics: The Japanese Bantam Chicken is an ideal bird for people who are fond of their lawns and gardens because they are not good diggers as their short legs stop them from damaging the ground. The hens make an excellent broodies and are also very protective mothers to the chicks which hatch after 20 days incubation. They may find being outside in foul weather difficult because of their short legs and fancy feathering but they are well suited to being kept in confinement in town gardens. They should be kept in a very clean hen house as their wingtips touch the ground and can be easily soiled. Japanese Bantams with large combs need extra protection to these during cold frosty weather as they can become prone to frostbite. As they are such small, light birds, some can be very good fliers so boundaries need to be secure. They lay few eggs and these tend to be very tiny indeed. They are long-lived birds and therefore make excellent pets. They are ideal birds for children as they are generally friendly, calm and trusting but the cocks can be aggressive, however, the cocks don’t tend to crow very loudly.
- Standard Weights: Cock-18 oz; Hen-14 oz; Cockerel-14 oz; Pullet-12 oz.
- Varieties: Black, White, Black Tailed, Birchen, Mottled and others
- Skin Color: White
- Egg Shell Color: White
- Use: Exhibition
- Origin: Japan
Bantams are suitable for smaller backyards as they do not need as much space as other breeds. Bantam hens are also used as laying hens, with some breeds laying up to 150 eggs per year. However, Bantam eggs are only about one-half to one-third the size of a regular hen egg. The Bantam chicken eats the same foods as a normal chicken. In commercial situations they are fed grain-based foods because this is convenient and efficient for the producer. Chickens in the wild eat more insects and vegetation than grains.
In contrast, the Bantam rooster is famous in rural areas throughout the United Kingdom and the United States for its aggressive, “puffed-up” disposition that can be comedic in stature. It is often called a “Banty” in the rural United States.
Many bantam hens are renowned for hatching and brooding. They are very protective mothers and will attack anything that gets near their young.
Bantams do have a higher mortality rate when they are kept as backyard pets. They are easy targets for hawks, cats, foxes, or any other small predator.