- Breed Purpose:
- Climate Tolerance:
- Egg Productivity:
- Egg Size:
- Egg Color:
- Breed Temperament:
- Friendly,Easily handled,Bears confinement well
- Breed Colors/Varieties:
- Silver,Silver Duckwing,Golden,Golden Duckwing,Black,White,Black-Breasted Red,Golden BlackBlue Gold Duckwing,Variegated, others.
- Breed Size:
- Large Fowl
- APA/ABA Class:
- Single Comb Clean Leg
Phoenix were created in Europe by combining strains of the Japanese Onagadori with more commonly available birds, leghorns, dutch, and various games were most commonly used. There are three recognized colors by the APA: Silver, Golden, and Black-Breasted Red, although several breeders have developed many additional colors.
A Phoenix is a long-tailed bird that will molt every 1-2 years. Their tails typically reach 2-3 feet in length, with longer lengths possible only from a few select breeders. They should have a full curtain of saddle feathers and it is desirable that they touch or reach the ground. They are not to be confused with their distant ancestors, the Onagadori, who are non-molting longtail birds who have tails exceeding 12 feet in length. There are no Onagadori currently in the US, although there are some birds of partial heritage.
The Phoenix should have a pheasant-like appearance, white earlobes, a single comb, and slate colored legs. The tail should be carried horizontally in roosters and slightly higher in hens. Phoenix hens are good layers of small to medium sized eggs, and go broody frequently. They are an active bird with excellent flight skills, and can make a great free range bird if given proper shelter and escape routes from predators. Keeping a Phoenix in a small coop is not recommended for best tail growth, as the tail will be stepped upon by coop-mates and ruined by frequent contact with feces and dirt. Large coops with runs that are cleaned regularly are great options for these birds. Covered, or elevated waterers, and a fully sheltered pen are a must if tail length is important to you, as are deep bedding in the pens. Otherwise, their care is no different than that of any other chicken breed.
For more information on this breed and their owners' and breeders' experiences with them, see our breed discussion here: https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/chicken-breed-focus-phoenix.1107214/
Chicken Breed Info:
Breed Purpose: Ornamental
Climate Tolerance: Heat, Moderate Cold
General Egg Info:
Egg Productivity: Moderate
Egg Size: Small
Egg Color: White
Flighty, but will respond to handling. Typically non-aggressive.
Breed Colors / Varieties:
APA accepted: Silver, Gold, Black-Breasted Red. Other colors available from select breeders.
There is a wide variety of temperment within Phoenix birds, but the majority are flighty with good survival instincts. They do respond to frequent handling, however, to become quite tame. They are available as large standard-sized fowl and bantam size.
Adult Phoenix Photos Courtesy of Napalongtails. All other Photos Courtesy of Feathersite and Jamie L. McCallum Egg Photo Courtesy of Feathersite and Rupert Stephenson. Egg is not an Phoenix egg, just a example of the color.
Recent User Reviews
"Wonderful and Amazing birds!"
Pros - Beautiful, smart, quick, wonderful chickens!
Cons - Can be a little skiddish from time to time and are a small breed.
I have 5 silver duckwing phoenix that are about 19 weeks old. I had one start laying already! I have a large enclosure, which allows for them to run around and play. The new layer has always laid in the nesting box and is becoming sweet and affectionate. I have not found any cons yet! I guess I'll just have to wait and see!
"Great birds, they are a joy to own"
Pros - Beautiful, tame, alert, curious, broody
Cons - Lay few eggs, can be too flighty, loud
I have owned Silver Duckwing Phoenixes for about three years. I started off with five hens and two roosters. They were relatively easy to tame and I even trained a few to fly on my arm. They are loud, a little crazy, and love to forage. I free range my birds and they venture out very far, sometimes too far, and are prone to get eaten by predators. They are very quick and alert, however, so more times than not they can escape possible danger. They are broody birds, and hatch many batches of chicks. The first few times they raise babies they tend to not be very great mothers. After gaining more experience raising chicks, phoenixes are great mothers and are fiercely protective of their young. I have had two phoenix hens team up and raise one batch of chicks at one point with great success. They love their babies, and even will take care of chicks that aren't theirs! The roosters are generally good birds as well. They are very protective of their flock. I once witnessed one of my phoenix roosters die trying to save his flock from coyotes. It was a sad moment, but he died with honor. I also watched one of my phoenix cross roosters attack a hawk, successfully scaring it away. The roosters are brave birds. I wouldn't recommend the phoenix to a first time poultry keeper or someone who doesn't have room for them to roam because they aren't your average bird. The phoenix is probably my favorite chicken breed and I would recommend them to someone who is experienced with poultry and has room for them to forage.
Pros - beautiful
Cons - skiddish
Ours are only juveniles. But they're SO frightened. They'll just nearly kill themselves running away from us when changing the water in the brooder. And other breeds are right next to them in other brood tubs....it's really just These Guys that are so freaked out.
We are going to be asking how to take care of the feathers, but for now...they're alive! 5 of 5 from Cackle are still flittering around.