Japanese Bantam

Type: Bantam

Colours: Blue, White, Black

The Japanese bantam is a charming miniature – a true bantam with no larger counterpart. This bantam whilst developed to perfection in Japan, has its origins in South China, as their Japanese name ‘Chabo’ indicates. The history of the Japanese bantam can be traced back to the Tang Dynasty (618 – 906) where they were kept only in the royal gardens of the emperor. From 1200 – 1500, the Edo emperors allowed the birds to be freely moved throughout Japan. Japanese Bantams began to appear in Japanese art around the year 1635.

The Japanese bantam was traded into Germany in the 1800s before arriving in Britain direct from Japan in 1860. It was not until 1910 that they were seen in exhibition classes in Britain.

The Japanese bantam exists as an ornamental aviary or show bird. They make ideal pets in the garden as they do minimal damage to plants due to their small size and clean short legs. The long tail carried high and well forward, together with their short legs, endears them to all.

They are recognised in many colours, although the most popular is the highly contrasting Black-tailed white. Other colours include the White, Blue, Black, Black-tailed Buff and Mottled. They have an evenly serrated single comb that are rather large on the males. The face and ear lobes of the birds should be bright red.

Exhibition Japanese bantams are more difficult to achieve, requiring diligence and attention to detail in order to produce the long tails on a short body with very short legs.

The main characteristics of the bantam are as follows:-

  • Upright tail feathers carried in elegance behind the head. The tail must not slope backwards as in common fowl but should stand up like Iris leaves.
  • Legs must be short and free from any hint of feather, consequently, when standing, only the toes of the bird should be showing, but the leg must be straight and really short. If the legs are inclined forward this is a fault as it gives the appearance of having it's belly very near to the ground.
  • Big wings of which the tips are very close to the ground to give an appearance of creeping when moving.
  • The body should be well-rounded and broad, with a very short back showing between neck and tail hackles.

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