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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 8:40 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Breed Profile-----Japanese Bantam

Known as " chabos" in Japan, they are natural bantams with no large fowl counterpart. The name Chabo, is believed to be derived from the word Chabol, meaning dwarf, but the L has been dropped by the Japanese as it is difficult to say.
Japanese bantams , characterised by their dwarf stature, waddling gait and oversized tails and combs are like no other breed of fowl.

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Birchen japanese male
Described by the Japanese Bantam Club of Australia as "The little breed with the big personality" they are that and much more, Japanese bantams are charming birds which lay fairly well,make excellent mothers and offer a challenge to the dedicated fancier who wishes to breed and show bantams .The short legs, tall tail and large combs present a striking picture , almost statuesque .

Origin-- The breed originated first in South China (now Thailand and Vietnam) but was adopted by the Japanese between 1600 and 1635, they developed the type of fowl we still see today and were used largely as living garden ornaments for the aristocratic gardens of the time, paintings of these gardens in the 1600 's show japanese fowl much as we see them today, unmistakeable in the shape size and stature.The Japanese Bantam arrived in Britain and the USA in the 1800's.
It is not known exactly when they first arrived in Australia, it is believed to be before 1900 according to "The Australian Book of Poultry" by A.J. Crompton.

Housing--- Being very small birds they lend themselves well to intensive setups so are ideal for back yards.
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A group of birchen japanese free ranging

The birds will flourish in warm dry housing with plenty of room, they will struggle with overcrowded draughty accomodation and their large combs are particularly susseceptable to cold conditions.
With their extremly short legs and long wings which drag along the ground, keeping them on dry litter is a must otherwise the wing tips can become damaged and discoloured.
I have read that Japanese Bantams do not need a perch, but mine much prefer it, the higher the better they seem to like, and being small light birds they have no trouble flying up to and down from their lofty perches.

Feeding--- Japanese bantams are tiny birds so don't eat a lot, they have an abundance of feathers for their size so a boost in protein to help with the moult is often benificial.Most commercial feeds are suitable but a slightly higher protein than standard pellets is recommended in some books, if using a standard mix, extra protein by way of bandsaw dust or meatmeal, meal worms or even cat food can be benificial. Do not over feed , they should be fit, not fat.
Laying---- although good broodies, Japanese Bantams lay fairly well, small eggs (approx 30 grams) in shades of cream.

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Breeding--- It is rumoured that japanese bantams are difficult to hatch artificially,I have read some books that quote the hatch rate for Japanese in artificial incubation as being approx 45%. I have not found this to be the case and have about a 60% hatch rate in my incubator, adjusted for the lethal short leg gene (which will be explained later) I am happy with that.
Chicks do well either brooded artificially or raised by small hens (I find Japanese make the best mothers for Japanese chicks), as long as you keep them warm and dry the first few days to a week.
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Some extremely short legged males apparently have trouble mounting hens, to aid this some breeders trim the excess fluff from both male and female vents, others choose to use a male with a slightly longer leg length .

Exhibition-- As Terry Wibbles book so rightly states" First you build the barn then you paint it"----Colour makes the variety and Type makes the breed, In no other breed is type so important,without correct type no matter how good the colour, you don't have Japanese Bantams.
To be worthy of showing a Japanese Bantam MUST have short legs, a short back and erect tail carriage with the tail feathers well spread much like a fan.
Proper tail carriage accompanied by a short back will form a "U" shape between the tail and hackle, this "U" shape is very distinct in a good female, but is often concealed in the best males by the flowing hackle feathers over the back.
Image
wheaten pullet showing good body shape-legs are too long and wings are carried too high---note the rounded full breast

The tail is to be upright , at 90 degrees but as the first tail feathers are curved forward it appears to be further forward of this mark.Tails falling to the side or carried forward past the head are faults.Ideally the tail should extend higher than the head of the bird by a third of its length.
Also Important are deep, well rounded breasts carried low and prominant enough to extend beyond the tip of the beak.

The body, overall should be short and blocky with good width from the shoulders to the base of the tail.
The Comb should be relatively large, ideally 4 or 5 even serations, and follow a downward line over the back of the head.
The skull must be broad to accomodate the comb.The wattle and earlobes should be well rounded and proportionate in size to the comb.
The eyes should be large, bright and round in shape.
The neck should be short and slightly arched with full flowing hackle feathers.
Wings should be carried low with the tips just touching the ground.
Although short thick legs are required for showing a bird who in every other aspect is a good example of the breed can be used in the breeding pen.
Colours--In Australia Japanese bantams are recognised in a multitude of colours in both straight and frizzle feathered varieties, most common are the Black-tailed White, White, Black, and Birchen .
Other colours shown in Australia in recent shows include Blue, black mottled, Blue mottled,Cuckoo, Grey (often confused with birchen), Black tailed Buff and Buff columbian and also old english game colours such as Black red, Wheaten, and Brown red---for a full list and descriptions of colours refer to the Australian Standards.
It is a common opinion that the multitude of colours has led to the decline in type of Japanese Bantams , type is worth many more points in judging than colour , as breeders we must, while aiming to perfect a colour, maintain type as our first priority.
Genetics and Japanese Bantams
The shortness of the legs is from a dominant gene which is lethal if the chick gets two such genes from its parents,they die before hatching so are dead in shell, some people have had very very short leg young hatch only to die within hours, whether these also have the double lethal gene has not been proved.
Exhibition, or short-legged Japanese Bantams have one short leg gene and one long (or normal) leg gene, it will pass one of these genes to each of its offspring.
So when both parents are short leg the resulting chicks can either have two short leg(dis) one long and one short gene (appear short legged) or two long leg genes ( appear long legged).
Calculated over a great number of chicks the resulting percentages will be25% dead in shell 50% short legs and 25 % long legs.
When mating a short and long leg pair the resulting split will be 50/50 for long and short legs, some breeders choose this route as they have a higher hatch rate but I don't because you don't get any more exhibition chicks only more long leg culls.
Long leg birds only carry two long leg genes so if mated together will produce 100% long leg birds.
Japanese Bantams also come in frizzled feathered varieties and the frizzle gene complicates things even more, it is considered semi-lethal.
Frizzling is an intermediate state between over curled feathers and normal feathers.
If two frizzled parents are mated you will get normal feathered birds, frizzle feathered birds and overcurled birds.
Over Frizzled birds are generally not viable and rarely reach maturity.
If you mate a normal bird and a frizzle feathered bird you get a 50/50 split but both would be suitable for showing if they are also short legged.

The German author, Rudolf Hoffman, in his Japanese Bantam Booklet noted, when mating 2 short-legged frizzled Japanese bantams of each 16 embryos, 7 are dead in shell because of the two lethal genes which the parents carry.
He does not say how many of the resulting chicks will be long legged culls, according to Mendels theory , it should be 3, so out of 16 embryos one would get 6 short legged potential exhibition birds, some of which would be frizzled and some of which would be normal feathered.

web links
http://www.ohionational.org/articles/japbantams.html

http://home.roadrunner.com/~jbba/JBBA.html

http://www.japanesebantamclubaustralia.com/clubprofile.htm

Edited to add photos, and update links---- cheers pam

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JAPS ARE REAL CHOOKS (DON'T BELIEVE THE KNOCKERS)


Last edited by pjh on Tue Jan 01, 2013 4:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 9:49 pm 
thank you for that pjh it is very informitive. i am looking foreward to the photos.

k.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 10:18 pm 
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Wise One
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Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 9:40 pm
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Location: Medowie NSW
I have just had a look at the sites you listed,what beautiful looking birds they are. Looking foreward to pics of yours.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 5:47 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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thanks for that Pam

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breeder of show quality silkies and now Polish in wc blue and wc black


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2012 5:47 am 
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Dapper Duck
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Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 8:39 am
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thanks pjh i love japanese bantum and i have black ,white,blaik tail wite mand black tail buff,
but i need more colours from them can i get?
and one good thing i read in ur post two short legs genes thats y i cannot breed them since 1 and halh years only per season i get 2 or 3 birds from them,now i will try to put one male or female long legs to get breed


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2014 2:13 pm 
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Hatchling
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What temperature and humidity level do you incubate at? We are having lousy luck incubating, and the one that hatched from our first run died at about 3 weeks old. Only one hatched this run as well, we are hoping it will do better!!


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2014 12:12 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Joined: Fri May 18, 2007 11:44 pm
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Location: western sydney,nsw
I am slack and do not measure humidity...I could never get it as high as recommended and was getting sticky chicks ( too wet) I now fill the channels when I set the eggs and let it run dry before I fill it again, make sure it is full of water at day 17 ( they will often hatch on day 20) I run mine at 37.7

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2016 3:32 pm 
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Hatchling
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Joined: Tue May 10, 2016 3:42 pm
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Hi PJH,

I gather from your posts that you are very knowledgeable and passionate about poultry, especially Japanese Bantams.
At present I keep small numbers of silver-grey dorkings, but I have recently become taken with the Japanese Bantams. As a general rule would they mix okay?

Also, do you know of any reputable breeders of Japanese Bantams in South Australia? If so could you please send me some contact details.

Many thanks,
Maynard


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2016 8:52 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Joined: Fri May 18, 2007 11:44 pm
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Location: western sydney,nsw
Japanese have been my passion for 30 years.....I keep large wyandottes and ducks as well as Japanese, they are housed seperately but free range together of a day with no drama so think that they would get on ok with your dorkings.
I know there are breeders in South Australia but do not know any personally, Kingsley Hancock is in south aussie I believe. There is a couple of facebook groups for japanese , maybe that is a source to contact some south aussie breeders, cheers pam

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