Japanese Bantams are one of my favorite breeds. Their original name is “chabo” which means “dwarf.” Calling them “dwarf” is very fitting! They are very well known for their large comb, wattles, and tailfeathers. However, they are most well known for there very short legs.
One bad thing about Japanese bantams is they have breeding difficulties. They have a lethal allele (the short legged gene) which kills 25% of embryos at day 20 of incubation because they are mutants. Another 25% don’t take on the short legged gene and the remaining 50% take on the short legged gene. Because of this, I did not choose to breed my Japanese Bantams along with my d’Uccles.
Japanese Bantams were mainly bred in, Japan, however that probably isn’t where they originated. Most likely, they were brought down from Java and Malaysian to trade for with the Japanese. The Japanese had an affinity for it, so they took them. They loved to have them roam around in there gardens, as with their short legs, they were unable to ruin things in the gardens. Japanese Bantams were later imported to America and were admitted to The Standard of Perfection in 1874.
Breed: Japanese Bantam
Size: 20-24 ounces
Special features: Very short legs
Cold hardy: No
Confinement: Tolerates confinement
Country of origin: officially Japan, but most likely Southeast Asia
Eggs per week: 1-2
Recognized by the American Poultry Association: Yes
ALBC status: Not listed
Temperament: Docile, make good pets. Some aggressive and/or flighty individuals.
My Gray Japanese Bantam rooster.