Pros: small, easy to care for, friendly, excellent for youth, or hobbiest

Cons: not very cold tolerant, difficult to hatch, has leathal gene, 1/4 will be short legged

I just love our Japanese Bantams.  Very docile, communicative birds.

Come in a variety of colors. Excellent for any chicken lover or youth 4-H project.

Show quality are difficult to come by. At hatch about 1/4 can be short legged. the others will be either medium or long legged. and then about 1/4 will have the leathal gene and won't hatch.


We are personally working on blues, mottles, btb. Eventually blacks, blue mottleds, btw, whites.


Pros: Sweet, Talkative, Cute, Dont mind kids, get out and eat alot of bugs, are very pretty

Cons: Fly out alot! Hard to keep in.

I have six Japanese Bantams. Five hens and one rooster. Grace, Zoey, Lemon, DeLacey, and DeLaney are the hens, and George Tucker is my rooster. They make up about 1/5 of my chickens. I have all bantams and really havent ever had a bantam like these guys. They are sweet and talkative, very flighty and fly out and often stay out all day. George is very protective of all his hens and chased and attacked a stray cat the other day that just glanced at the chicken house. They are calm and beautiful birds and definetley all add color and personality to my flock. big_smile.png






Pros: So tiny! So cute!

Cons: Soooo tiny!

I have never had these but thought I would write about my experience anyway. My neighbor has a flock and they are the cutest little things! They look so pretty wandering about in her very nicely landscaped yard, just like "lawn ornaments," adorable really.


I have heard that hers do go broody quite often, and at least one of the hens has successfully raised offspring. She tells me they lay many tiny eggs for her. 


She might be selling off her flock, and while I considered adding to mine, their very small size is too much of a vulnerability for me. The majority of my chickens are LF (mixed breeds, but all living together) and I have dogs and cats too. 


Pros: Very attractive busy personalities

Love these birds as ornamentals..very attractive and sprite personalities. Can be a little flighty but not too bad. I have always enjoyed raising them.


Pros: Beautiful Tiny Light Feeders

Cons: Not very productive Not very predator resistant

i personally think japanese are the best i raised them for many years and think they excel in all levels they are very good mothers and are ok producers of tiny off whitish eggs


Pros: Can be extremely tame, gorgeous roosters, perfect for Texas weather

Cons: lethal gene which means 25% of chicks won't hatch

I really enjoy my Japanese bantams! One of my roosters is sooo tame, and I can just go and pick him up. However I didnt put in an effort to my other Japanese hens, and they're definitely not tame. So if you're wanting to have a tame chicken, you're going to have to hold these a lot as babies (which is every breed). Because of their genetic coding, almost all of them have fairly short legs (or so I've heard). However, some of my Japanese bantams have normal size legs for their size. But I did notice my others do have short legs. WARNING: this breed has a lethal gene. 25% of chicks won't hatch. So take note of this when hatching some out yourself.


Pros: Simply gorgeous, great personalities, friendly roosters, eye catchers, great lawn gnomes

Cons: Difficult to keep in condition, lethal gene

This bird is one of the few breeds that can capture the attention of anyone that walks by it. This breed has extremely short legs (a quality bird's leg is about the average length of a thumb, really nice ones are half that). Its squirrel tail is incredibly beautiful (especially on the roosters, which have extremely long sickles). The tail also fans out and stands upright forming a 'V' with its head, unlike other breeds, which really shows off its sleek feathers. Another key feature is that this breed's wings actually stand nearly vertically when relaxed, allowing the primaries to cover the legs and drag on the ground. This breed also has a large comb on the rooster, and large eyes (prone to frost bite and dryness if your not careful). The overall physique of this bird is extremely unique, and makes this bird incredibly beautiful to look at. 


Japanese bantams also come in a variety of colors; black, white, black tailed white, black tailed buff, brown red, mottled, wheaten, and my personal favorite (and the variety I raise) the gray. The most commonly found colors are white, black, and black tailed white.  The gray looks very similar to birchen. 


Personality wise, these birds reign supreme. I have yet to meet a rooster sweeter than the ones the Japanese throw, and each bird is extremely affectionate. All my Japanese love to be held, and love baths. Honestly, their personalities are such a joy to interact with, and they are always excited to see you. 


These are by far my favorite breed of bird, and one of the key reasons I'm so involved with poultry (and showing poultry). 


As much as I truly, truly love this breed of bird, there are some cons to owning them.


They are difficult to keep in condition (especially with shows in mind.) Their wing feathers become shredded and covered with whatever is left on the ground when they aren't given routine baths and soft bedding. Their tall tail feathers also are prone to crimping (mostly the roosters), and the long sickles are easily snapped off. If you keep the hens and roosters together, this becomes even more of a problem.


Another con is that this breed produces lethal genes, from their short legs. This means that when you breed two short legged Japanese, 25% of the eggs will develop, but will die days before they're supposed to hatch. However, I personally have not had an issue with breeding my bantams in terms of the lethal gene. 


This breed is technically an oriental breed, so don't get this breed expecting to get a huge egg producer. They lay eggs 2-3 times a week, and go through resting periods during the winter. Their eggs are smaller than the average bantam egg. 



Overall, this breed is such a treat to own, despite the difficulties in maintaining it. I also want to mention the hens go broody fairly often. It's best to avoid hatchery Japanese chicks, as I guarantee from personal experience they won't look how you're expecting. They have pinched tails, and poor coloration. They also tend to be taller than they really should be, also known as "leggy". This is also a "true bantam" breed, meaning there isn't a larger version of it. Also note that there is no such thing as a "fan" tail variety of this breed.  I have met  people who have shown this, thinking that this is an accepted form of tail. Its not, and is actually just a pinched tail (a fault).  


I recommend this breed to anyone looking for a unique bantam that has a great personality. It's fun to show, and beautiful to look at (and it will get you a lot of attention.) It's great for the hobbiest, the 4H project, and for the serious breeder. Just an awesome breed. 



Pros: Cute, docile, doesn't peck, timid, flighty

Cons: timid, not many more

My Japanese Bantam died today. Raccoons got her. She was one of a flock of 14. (Since then three have died.) I had gotten the flock when my family moved into a new house, and the old owners were moving somewhere where they couldn't keep chickens. So I took the flock under my care. All of them have weird gnarled feet, and are unhandleable. Kuniko, the only bantam since the old rooster died, was very difficult to catch, but when I did she was the sweetest thing. She stood up for herself, and didn't let any other hen bully her, and was quite high in the social hierarchy. She was a favorite to guests and my toddler sister, who all thought she was both beautiful and cute. She had very large wings and was flighty, which is a problem for some people, though I thought it was fun to watch her fly. I definitely recommend this breed.


Pros: Small, Pretty, Quiet

Cons: Don't Like Being Held, Small, Flighty

My Jap, Yuki, I got from a friend a year or so ago. She is 4-5 years old I was told, so I am not sure on eggs. She is small and cute, and the noises are funny as well. She gets picked on a lot, but still gets a long with my layers. 


A nice chicken to add to a small bantam flock.


Pros: Sweet, friendly, good for showing, and beautiful

Cons: Poor layers, are sometimes flighty, carriers of a lethal allele, chicks are fragile

    Japanese bantams, as you may have guessed, come from Japan. However, the breed has been tracked to originate from Southeast Asia, coming from the traders of the area. Japanese bantams have been bred for centuries in Japan. They are best known for their small size and very short legs. 

     I raise Japanese bantams and they are wonderful. I only have two Japanese rooster now, which I planned to get rid of, but they are so sweet. They aren't the friendliest birds, but they are tame when you hold them. Japanese bantams are great show birds, as they are easy to handle. However, their genetic problems narrow their chances of becoming show winners. What are there genetic problems? They carry a lethal allele (the short-legged gene) that kills 25% of incubating chicks at day 20 (a day before they hatch). Because of this, they are difficult to breed and hatch. Also, breeders have been known to breed from poor stock, resulting in possible disqualifications and defects in a show, as an APA judge told me. I thought I'd also mention, they are fragile when they are young, so, if shipped, some chicks may come dead or die a few days after they come. 


Japanese Bantams are a tiny breed of chicken known for their extremely short legs, large combs and graceful, arched tails. The wings of a Japanese bantam will touch the ground as it walks. This breed originated in Southeast Asia and were kept by Japanese aristocrats and affluent fanciers of poultry as ornamental garden fowl as their beauty far surpassed their egg production. They are appreciated in gardens still as their tiny feet do little damage. A wonderful show bird, these tiny birds require little feed and space but put on a big show. The Black Tailed White Japanese Bantam was recognized by the American Poultry Standard of Perfection in 1874 and have maintained a strong presence in the show circuit ever since.

Breed PurposeOrnamental
Climate ToleranceAll Climates
Egg ProductivityMedium
Egg SizeSmall
Egg ColorWhite
Breed TemperamentBears confinement well,Noisy,Calm
Breed Colors/VarietiesThere are several recognized colors of the Japanese Bantam, such as Black, Black or Blue Tailed white, White, Blue, Black Tailed Buff, Buff Columbian, Birchen or Grey, Cuckoo. Frizzles of any color, Mottleds (Black, Blue),Brown/reds, Black/red, Wheatan, Partridge, Duckwing Gold or silver, and Blue reds.
Breed SizeBantam
APA/ABA ClassSingle Comb Clean Leg
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC

Chicken Breed Info:

Breed Purpose: Ornamental
Comb: Single
Broodiness: Average
Climate Tolerance: All Climates

General Egg Info:

Egg Productivity: Medium
Egg Size: Small
Egg Color: White

Breed Temperament:

Wild / restless,Flighty,Bears confinement well,Noisy,Shy

Breed Colors / Varieties:

There are several recognized colors of the Japanese Bantam, such as Black, Black or Blue Tailed white, White, Blue, Black Tailed Buff, Buff Columbian, Birchen or Grey, Cuckoo. Frizzles of any color, Mottleds (Black, Blue),Brown/reds, Black/red, Wheatan, Partridge, Duckwing Gold or silver, and Blue reds.

Breed Details:

I have raised Japanese Black tail whites for a few years and have found them to be very flighty birds so I would not recommend them for first time chicken owner who is wanting a calm, docile pet. The hens are broody and make good mothers, being very protective of their nest and chicks. Finding show quality Japanese can be very hard, due to the fact that it is difficult to hatch show quality chicks. The Japanese standard calls for short legs but this short leg gene can be lethal. A show quality Japanese will have one short leg gene and one regular leg gene. If the bird has two regular leg genes, its legs will be too long. If it has two short leg genes, it will die in the egg. A quarter of the chicks will die in the egg from having the two short leg genes and one quarter of the chicks will have too long of legs. Add normal chick losses to this calculation and very few show quality birds are produced.