Japanese Bantam Chicken

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Other common names: Chabo

The basics:
The Japanese Bantam Chicken is a true bantam breed which is distinguished by its large, upright tail and short legs. Japanese Bantams are known for their friendly, docile personalities, and are popular ornamental and show chickens.

According to the Japanese Bantam Breeders Association (JBBA), "Japanese Bantams began to appear in Japanese art around the year 1635, right about the time Japan closed its shores to outside trade. Also, it appears in Dutch art of the same era. This suggests to me that Dutch spice traders probably carried the Chabo as gifts to the Japanese from the Asian spice ports; likely from Java. The very word "chabo" originates in Java as chabol, where it means "dwarf" and applies both to humans, and to the short-legged Chabo chicken."

Types: Bantam
Varieties (Single Comb): Black, Black Tailed Buff, Black Tailed White, Blue, Blue Tailed White, Brown Red, Buff, Cuckoo, Grey, Mottled, and White. Japanese bantams can also come in the Frizzle, or Silkie feather types.
Uses: Ornamental
Weight: 1 - 1.5 lbs
Personality: Sweet and charming, the Japanese bantam makes a great pet.
Broody: Yes
Preferred climate: Moderate
Handles confinement: Yes
Egg production: Poor (1/week)
Egg color: White
Egg size: Small

What else you should know:
Japanese bantams are low to the ground, and extra care will need to be taken to keep their legs, wings, and feet clean.

Special precautions may be taken to keep your bantams safe. Hawks (and other birds of prey) are fond of bantam chickens, so an enclosed pen should be considered.

Japanese bantams can be a challenge to breed because of their short legs, which are caused from a lethal gene. When two short legged birds are breed together approximately 50% are short legged, 25% die in the shell, and 25% have long legs.


excellent foragers, excellent pets, sweet chicken, little birds, big red crests


good eating, egg laying


independent little guys, precocious attitudes, excellent fly catchers

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