Japanese bantam

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Japanese bantam
Pair of Japanese Bantams.jpg
A pair of black-tailed Japanese bantams
Other names
  • Chabo
  • Shojo Chabo[1]
  • Katsura Chabo[2]
Country of originJapan
DistributionSouth Asia
  • Male: 510–600 g
  • Female: 400–510 g
Skin coloryellow
Egg colorcream or tinted
Comb typesingle
APAsingle comb clean-legged[3]
PCGBTrue bantam[5]

The Japanese bantam or Chabo is a breed of chicken originating in Japan. It is a true bantam breed, meaning that there are no large fowl counterparts. It has a large upright tail that often reaches over the bird's head. The wings angle down, and to the back, along the sides.


A young Black-tailed buff Japanese bantam cockerel, which has not yet developed the breed's characteristic large tail and comb

The Japanese bantam has very short legs.[6]:142 This trait is caused by a single lethal gene. All proper Japanese bantams are then heterozygous meaning that when the birds are bred, 25% of the embryos will receive two mutant alleles and die in shell. The other 50% of the embryos will receive one mutant allele and one wild type allele and will then be short-legged. The remaining 25% receive two wild type alleles and have legs that are longer than what most breeders want. Long-legged birds bred to each other will never produce short-leg offspring

There are many colour varieties of Japanese bantam, with standardised colours including birchen grey, black, black mottled, black-tailed buff, black-tailed white, blue, blue mottled, blue-red, brown-red, buff Columbian, cuckoo, dark grey, golden duckwing, gray, lavender, Miller's gray, partridge, red, red mottled, silver-grey, tri-coloured, wheaten and white.[4] There are also frizzle-feathered and Silkie-feathered variations.[7][8] These chickens have been known to live for up to 13 years with proper care.


  1. ^ Breed data sheet: Shojo chabo/Japan. Domestic Animal Diversity Information System of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Accessed August 2014.
  2. ^ Breed data sheet: Katsura chabo/Japan. Domestic Animal Diversity Information System of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Accessed August 2014.
  3. ^ APA Recognized Breeds and Varieties: As of January 1, 2012. American Poultry Association. Archived 4 November 2017.
  4. ^ a b Liste des races et variétés homologuée dans les pays EE (28.04.2013). Entente Européenne d’Aviculture et de Cuniculture. Archived 16 June 2013.
  5. ^ Breed Classification. Poultry Club of Great Britain. Accessed February 2017.
  6. ^ Victoria Roberts (2008). British poultry standards: complete specifications and judging points of all standardized breeds and varieties of poultry as compiled by the specialist breed clubs and recognised by the Poultry Club of Great Britain. Oxford: Blackwell. ISBN 9781405156424.
  7. ^ Australian Poultry Standards, 2nd Edition, Published 2012, Victorian Poultry Breeders Association
  8. ^ http://www.aviculture-europe.nl/nummers/12E02A04a.pdf