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8 Japanese Chicken Breeds (With Pictures)

Rachael Gerkensmeyer

June 29, 2021

Chicken breeds have been created and discovered all around the world, including Japan. Although Japan is not one of the most prominent chicken-breeding countries, there are notable breeds that Japan deserves credit for. Chickens are raised in Japan for a variety of reasons, including for egg-laying, pest control, fighting, and eating. Therefore, native Japanese chickens are typically multipurpose and productive in some way. Here are eight Japanese chicken breeds that you should know about.

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1. The Ukokkei

Also referred to as the Japanese Silky, this chicken has super fluffy feathers that make them look like mini clouds. They do not have combs like most chickens do, but they have a head full of feathers that sometimes cover their eyes. These fluffy chickens are friendly and like to be handled by human companions.


2. The Kawachi-Yakko

These are brave, independent chickens that come in many colors and can have various types of markings. They have long tail feathers and long distinct beaks and wide, alert eyes. Their feet are huge and strong, which makes roosters dangerous when they feel threatened or cornered. Hens are known as efficient egg layers.


3. The Koeyoshi

These are rare chickens that are not well known outside of their homeland of Akita Prefecture Japan. The birds grow slowly and do not mature until about 18 months of age. Roosters do not typically start crowing until about 8 months of age. This is a large chicken breed that is friendly and generally docile.


4. The Uzura Chabo

This strong and sturdy chicken has silky feathers that are usually black and reddish-brown in color. Their legs are short, their necks are long, and their chests are broad. Their tail feathers lay down, making it look like they have skirts or backward aprons on. These chickens are quite common around the world.


5. The Jitokko

This endangered rare breed is only found in Japan. They sport short legs, rounded bodies, and long tail feathers. They also have little beards and furry heads that give them a comical look. Their long necks stretch out while they walk, and their small beaks are almost invisible behind their feathers. The Jitokko is a calm and docile bird that typically does not mind being handled.


6. The Bantam Chambo

These sweet chickens are small, delicate, and inquisitive. They are great backyard chickens and will happily eat up garden pests. Their delicate nature means that they should be handled with care and protected from possible predators, even cats. The Bantam Chambo has a rounded body and tail feathers that stand erect above the butt.


7. The Tosa-no-Onagadori

What is exceptional about these chickens is their extremely long tail feathers, which can grow as long as 80 inches to a whopping 400 inches long! The Onagadori is a docile bird that does not move quickly due to the length of their tail. Their feathers are usually black and white, and they have long legs and big combs on their heads.


8. The Shamo

Shamo chicken
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Shamo chickens have impressively long necks and spotted markings all over their bodies. Their feathers can be in any variety of colors. They are not good egg layers, but they are renowned for their strength and stamina. In fact, these chickens have been raised for fighting in Japan. While found in many places throughout the United States today, they are most popular in southern states.

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In Conclusion

Although you will not find many of these chickens in the United States or anywhere other than Japan, for that matter, every breed deserves attention, whether for their looks or their temperament. Do any of the chickens on this list interest you? If so, which ones and why? Feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comments section.

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Image Credit: schubbel, Shutterstock

Rachael Gerkensmeyer

Rachael has been a freelance writer since 2000, in which time she has had an opportunity to research and write about many different topics while working to master the art of fusing high-quality content with effective content marketing strategies. She is an artist at heart and loves to read, paint, and make jewelry in her spare time. As a vegan, Rachael is obsessed with helping animals in need both in her community and anywhere in the world where she feels she can make a difference. Animals also happen to be her favorite topic to write about! She lives off the grid in Hawaii with her husband, her garden, and her rescue animals including 5 dogs, a cat, a goat, and dozens of chickens.