Japanese Bantam Chicken

Japanese Bantam Chicken

Last Updated on February 9, 2021 by Pauline G. Carter

The Japanese Bantam chicken goes back years, probably as way back as in the 7th Century. The Chabo Bantam as it was called then, is a Japanese fowl and was introduced in Europe some time in the 16th Century. “Chabo” actually means little, bantam, miniature, dwarfish.

It lives up to that name because there aren’t any larger counter parts. In fact it was never even bred as a standard-size chicken. It’s a true bantam. Today, the Japanese bantams are an ornamental bird.

Poultry fanciers love this bird and have turned it into a very popular bird. According to the Association of American Bantams, Japanese Bantam Chickens are considered to be in the top 10 chicken breeds.

Japanese Bantam Chicken | Breed Profile

Japanese bantam

Country of origin:Japan
Primary use:Exhibition / Ornamental
Weight:Male: 510–600 gFemale: 400–510 g
Temperament:Hardy, Bit flighty
Recognized Varieties:White, Black, Black Tailed White, Black Tailed Buff, Barred, Brown Red, Grey, Wheaten
Egg production (annual):75-100
Egg color:Cream or tinted
Egg size:Tiny (bantam)
Comb type:Single

Characteristics Of The Japanese Bantam

The Japanese Bantam chicken has short, hairless yellow legs. It has a long tail, it carries high, pointed forward, often described as looking like a squirrel; it is held in a dramatic forward way.

In other breeds, this would be a disqualification. This chicken has a U-shape body. It’s because its holds its wings so low that they actually touch down to the ground. It has a single serrated comb. In the male, the comb is pretty large. The ear lobes and face are red.

Because the legs are so short, with a broad body, the bird looks like it waddles. Colours are Black Tailed White, Buff Columbian, Black Tailed Buff, White, Birchen Grey, Black, Silver Grey, Millers Grey, Dark Grey, Mottled Black, Mottled Red, Mottled Blue, Blue, Cuckoo, Lavender, Red, Tri-coloured, Partridge Bred, Wheaten Bred, Blue Red, Brown Red, Silver, Gold Duckwing.

The Japanese Bantam will lay around 75 eggs in a year which are creamy coloured and small. They are beautiful birds with lovely faces, probably the reason the Japanese aristocracy had them gracing their gardens for years on end. They weight around 1.3lbs.


Japanese Bantam Chickens are easy to be tamed, but they are not all that hardy. Quite a good flier. Hens are good mothers. They are easy-going type bids. People usually want these birds simply to add elegance and interest around the yard.

If they don’t have human interaction and attention, they can become a bit flighty. But if given attention they turn out friendly and plenty of fun. In areas with extreme winter cold they will need some protection.

What we like and what we don’t like about the Japanese Bantam Chicken:

We Liked

  • Happy disposition.
  • Great mothers, ready to sit on any eggs.
  • Make wonderful pets with the great personality.

We Don’t Like

  • Can be a bit tricky raising them as chicks.
  • Not really a meat bird, small eggs.
  • Not for cold weather – need well insulated, weather-proof coops.
  • Delicate chicks because of size – breed considered ‘lethal gene’.
  • Very noisy – needs to be considered in backyard.

Is The Japanese Bantam Chicken A Good Choice For You?

The Japanese Bantam Chicken definitely needs extra consideration and attention and a coop especially to cater for its needs. They are great for the backyard as they don’t do any damage. They contribute much in ornamental-show value.

Because their wings do drag on the ground, they do get discoloured and dirty in wet weather. They are birds that even though elegantly beautiful to look at, they can be a challenge for the show-exhibitor. But in full-bloom, they are certainly eye-catching.

If you are looking for Japanese Bantam chickens for salefor egg laying purposes for their meat, this one won’t be for you – simply, they are beautiful, colourful birds.

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