Average User Rating:
  • Breed Purpose:
    Climate Tolerance:
    All Climates
    Egg Productivity:
    Egg Size:
    Egg Color:
    Breed Temperament:
    Bears confinement well,Noisy,Calm
    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 Size:
    APA/ABA Class:
    Single Comb Clean Leg

    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.

    Japanese Bantam eggs

    Japanese Bantam hens

    Japanese Bantam rooster
  • 76c8f9e3_100_3338.jpeg 3dc77bfc_japanese-21968-700670.jpeg 777adb4f_japanese-21968-178342.jpeg c65b830b_japanese-21968-669514.jpeg ef7525ee_japanese-21968-50844.jpeg 3c23e0ad_japanese-21968-810586.jpeg 56ffbf2c_Bonsaiandbantam.jpeg d6d41879_Bonsai.jpeg 6691a3f2_1333292370.png 33052d10_Bonsaithreatened.jpeg 1aaf1afd_Bonsai.jpeg

  • Chicken Breed Info:
    Breed Purpose:
    Comb: Single
    Broodiness: Average
    Climate Tolerance: All Climates

    General Egg Info:
    Egg Productivity:
    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.






BlackHackle likes this.

Recent User Reviews

  1. ZachyWachy
    "proud buddy"
    Pros - small, nice looks, tame easily, eat little, caring roos, showy
    Cons - small(depending on what you want), not ready to accept a new flock when near the other one.
    I have one black tailed white roo and he is so amazing. He will not forget the bigger sized chickens as his flock even though he has some more bantams with him. He holds himself proudly and never misses out a chance to help "his" flock, he has always called when there is food and been an active lookout. He is also very friendly. I have gotten him to the point where when I walk by, he is at the edge of the fence where I am. Although he isn't cuddly. He is an amazing rooster that puts many others I have seen to shame, despite his small size.
    BlackHackle likes this.
  2. mjett5578
    "Broody, but would never get again"
    Pros - broody, okay mothers
    Cons - attack other chicks, super skittish, lethal gene
    I have two Japanese hens raising chicks together since they wouldn't let me separate them:hugsThey are decent mothers, but one of them would peck at the chicks until she got used to them. I had another hen that was broody, and my japanese hen killed one of her chicks. They aren't an outstanding breed so I definitely wouldn't get again.:smack
  3. Devw
    "Absolutely lovely birds"
    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.

    jeffsmith13 likes this.

User Comments

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  1. JesusHChicken
    Our little Napoleon is a character. He was the first one to roo, try to mate, and get out of pen. He has no problems finding the one hatch door to enter/exit chicken run.
      AChickenInEveryPot likes this.
  2. jeffsmith13
    Great review, beautiful birds
  3. mjett5578
    Ha! Seems like you probably wouldn't want those roosters to reproduce... I have 3 Japanese hens, and they haven't gone broody yet, but also thats becasue they literally just reached adulthood. If you want to have more Japanese babies, I recommend getting a whole other hen to lay on their eggs. I've heard Silkies are the best mothers around.
  4. Petra Pancake
    I agree with the gorgeous rooster part, though one of my two beautiful Japanese roosters seems to be a bit dim in the head department - he's got difficulties finding his way home when I let them free range a bit. Gets stuck on the wrong side of the fence every time. My mixed breed hens figured out how to get round it in no time. Regarding chicks - nothing hatches because my one purebred Japanese hen doesn't go broody. She chucks out 3-4 eggs every week but never sits on them...
  5. mjett5578
    I think you got the lethal gene part wrong. Almost all Japanese have short legs beacause of their regular genes, but the lethal gene causes 25% of chicks to not hatch.
  6. turtlesgalore
    I reeforced my chicken wire with welded wire from tractor supply. so chickens can't stick heads out and coons can't tear in past panel wire. sorry your lose.
  7. hayley3
    Agree with Gramma...you need to make the coop more secure so they don't take any more.
  8. Gramma Chick
  9. BantamFan4Life
    They can be, but they're great birds.
  10. snowflake
    interesting, had not heard of them before. sound rather difficult to keep though

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