Other common names: Japanese-American Longtails
The Onagadori Chicken is a long-tailed fowl which was first developed in Japan in the late 1700's. The Onagadori is most noteworthy for the incredibly beautiful and long tail that the Onagadori rooster can grow, sometimes exceeding 12 feet in length.
The Onagadori was imported to the USA in the 1970’s. However, most of the imported birds fell ill and died as they were unaccustomed to the pathogens of the area. Because of this the Onagadori was crossed with Phoenix, and other local breeds in an attempt to create a hardier fowl. Today, there are no pure Onagadori in the USA, they are descendants of the original breed.
Varieties (Single Comb): Many colors exist including: Black Breasted Gold, Black Breasted Red, Black Breasted Silver, White
Weight: 3 - 4 lbs
Personality: Docile birds should be selected for breeding, as a calm nature is less stress on the tail.
Preferred climate: Moderate
Handles confinement: Yes
Egg production: Okay (2/week)
Egg color: White
Egg size: Medium
What else you should know:
Conditioning of tail feathers helps keep tails flexible, and prevent damage.
Today, most Onagadori are feed commercial fodder. However, breeders all have their special additions including hard boiled eggs, eel, garlic, ground bone, fish, and more. Ideally, they should have a high protein diet of approximately 13.2% protein for chicks, and 22.9% protein for adults. Corn should be avoided.
Normal housing can be applied if the Onagadori is not being kept for extreme tail lengths. If tails above 4ft long are desired, then “tomabako” pens are desirable. The “tomabako” pen is a raised hen house with dim lit and a sheltered roost approximately 1.8 m from the ground. Pen measurements are 18cm wide, 80cm deep, and 170 cm high.
Health issues vary with each strain. Many breeders vaccinate their Onagadori against fowl pox.
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