Chicken Breed Focus - Japanese Bantam


Rest in Peace 1980-2020
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Jun 28, 2011
Also known as Chabo, the Japanese bantam is a small ornamental breed of chicken. A very old breed, they were created in Japan perhaps as early as the 7th century and imported into Europe by the sixteenth century. They are said to be quite long lived. The Japanese Bantam are a true bantam, in that it does not come in a standard size. They are a good choice for urban coops, or for the poultry lover that wants a pet that won't be too destructive to lawns. The breed is a popular show bird with hobbyists and the hens have a very sweet nature which makes them popular as pets for children.

They are a breed with a distinctive appearance, ideally with clean, very short legs, which gives them a waddling gait. The short leggedness is caused by a single lethal gene, so all birds with the desired short legs are heterozygous for the gene, embryos with two copies die before hatch and birds without the gene have regular (longer) legs. They should also be squirrel-tailed, having a very upright forward sweeping tail carriage. They have a single comb, which is usually quite large on the males, making them rather sensitive to cold and frostbite. They come in a wide variety of colors, with Black-tailed White, Black, White, and Black-tailed Buff, probably the most popular, and they are also popular frizzle feathered. The hens are poor layers, but good broodies and mothers.

It was recognized by the APA in 1874 .


Breed purpose: Ornamental
Comb Type: Single
Broodiness: Frequent, good mothers
Climate Tolerance: Heat tolerant, large combs make males prone to frostbite.
Weight: rooster 28oz, hen 22oz.
Egg Productivity: Poor
Egg Size: tiny
Egg Color: Tinted


Rooster picture by @bantambury


Hen picture by @bantambury

Breeding trio pic by @Megs

BYC Breed reviews:

General breed discussions & FAQ thread:

Do you own Japanese Bantams? Are you a Japanese Bantam breeder? If so, please reply to this thread with the your thoughts and experiences, including:

· What made you decide to get this breed?
· Do you own them for fun? Breeding? Some other purpose?
· What are your favorite characteristics about this breed?
· Post some pics of your birds; male/female, chicks, eggs, etc!

We have a bunch of other awesome breed-focus threads for you to enjoy. You can see all of them here:
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I have just one Japanese bantam. I had actually gone to the local feed store hoping he had one of his Silkies left, but they had all sold out and the Japanese were all he had. I decided they were pretty and to get one. After comparing the combs on the white and white/black tails that he had, I decided the only female he had in the group was a white one, so I got her.

She is one of my favorite hens, a cute girl and a sweety. Ever since she started laying eggs (1 1/2 months ago), she has threatened to go broody. I decided to hatch some eggs for the NYE Hatchalong and was a week into this when I caught her sitting on the 2 ceramic eggs that I have in my nesting boxes for training purposes. I left her alone for a few hours and went back, and she was still at it. I swapped her for 2 eggs from the incubator to test her out overnight.

She was fine until the big girl in the group scared her off, so I moved her to a small, portable cage I have inside. She has been sitting for about a week now, and because her eggs got a head-start, will be a first-time "Mommy" on Christmas.

Love my Japanese bantam girl!

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