History of Japanese Bantam Chickens: The Japanese Bantam arrived in Japan as early as the 7th century, perhaps from Indo-Chinese stock. In Japan, they are called Chabo, which translates to dwarf or bantam as well as to a type of bonsai tree. The Japanese Bantam was admitted into the American Poultry Association’s Standard of Perfection in 1874.
Conformation: The Japanese Bantam has a large, upright tail that sits forward on the body creating a V-shaped appearance. Wings are large and held at a downward angle, which in combination with their short, yellow shanks, causes the wings to touch the ground. The APA recognizes the following color varieties: Barred, Black, Black-tailed Buff, Black-tailed White, Brown Red, Gray, Mottled, Wheaten and White. The breed’s comb, wattles and earlobes are bright- or dark-red and medium to large in size. Japanese Bantam cocks weigh 26 ounces and hens weigh 22 ounces.
Special Consideration/Notes on Japanese Bantam Chickens: The Japanese Bantam can be a difficult chicken breed for new poultry keepers because its form and plumage is difficult to achieve and requires extra attention. It also suffers from an allele (an alternative form of a gene) combination that kills about 25 percent of chicks shortly before hatching. The breed is not cold-hardy, and during winter months, it will require insulated coops, sometimes with the addition of supplemental heat. The American Bantam Association counts them among the 10 most-popular chicken breeds, proof that poultry enthusiasts believe them to be worth the extra effort. When allowed to free-range, Japanese Bantams will happily forage and fly. They are tamed easily, though cocks might be aggressive.