Yokohama chicken breed is a fancy breed rather than a utility one. These chickens are named after the port of Yokohama in Japan from which they were exported to France and the outside word.
They were developed after crossing the Onagadori and Minohiki chickens. This breed has been extensively bred with other breeds which have resulted in several varieties.
In Germany for example, the Yokohama chickens have been bred with another breed resulting in the development of a bantam variety that has retained the qualities of the Yokohama.
Yokohama chickens are very rare and this factor has made them so pricy. In many parts of the world, this chicken breed does not exist and many people do not know anything about them at all.
It is very easy to mistake this breed with the Phoenix chicken breed that is very popular and common in Germany except that the phoenix greatly differs from the Yokohama chicken in color.
In 1981, Yokohama chicken breed was officially recognized and admitted at the American Poultry Association of Standard Perfection. Only two color varieties of the Yokohama chicken breed were recognized and they are the red saddled and white varieties.
Yokohama chicken appearance
Many people who have these chickens keep them as ornamental birds. Their fancy appearance makes them preferred as pets and for showing.
They are popular for having long tail feathers that can grow up to 7ft long. These long tails makes these birds demand high levels of hygiene and enough space to keep tidy.
The most popular color variety among the Yokohama chicken is the red saddled variety. It is popular for having red patches on the shoulders and long saddle feathers that fall on the sides like waterfalls.
Most of the body is white in color with mottled red regions or almost complete red on the under neck, shoulders and the underside.
For the Yokohama roosters, there is a more visible white color as the head and neck feathers are completely white. The hackle and tail feathers are long and all white.
Yokohama chickens have small red combs and wattles with yellow skin, legs and orange reddish eyes. All these combined features make these chickens very stunning and loved for their appearance.
They have long legs that have no feathers and on each foot there are four toes. They are not big birds in size. The boys weigh 4.5lbs while the girls weigh 3.5lbs.
Temperament and production
The Yokohama chicken is a very calm and friendly bird. Their docile nature makes them easy to keep as pets because they will freely get along with children.
These long tailed chickens love treats and will come running expecting you to toss those dried mealworms or left over rice. They are chatty as long as they are used to you and will often follow you making sure you have company as you go on with your daily chores.
They are easy to tame and do well in confinement rather than when allowed to roam on their own. Their long tails require special care and raised chicken cages with dry beddings to keep them clean.
The males are known to be very aggressive and it will not be good if you keep them together with other males as fights can easily break out.
They are not good on free range and prefer being kept indoors in large coops with big spaces. Yokohamas prefer being cuddled and will always get close for you to hold and sit them on your lap.
When it comes to production, these chickens are not good layers and are not good for meat either. This makes them utility birds and are kept for beauty where they are widely used as show birds.
In a year, Yokohama hens will lay 80 white or cream colored eggs. This is equal to 1 or 2 eggs per week and they will not be a good option to those looking for a laying breed.
After laying a bunch of 12 to 14 eggs, they get broody and sett. Once they hatch they become excellent moms and take good care of their young just like Cochins and Silkies chickens do.
Yokohama chicks grow very slowly as most of the nutrients are utilized by the long tail feathers. Most keepers are advised to give a high protein feed to the chicks to help them grow fast.
If you want to raise these long tail chickens, eggs, chicks and mature chickens for sale can be bought from a few dedicated breeders who still have these birds. However, because these chickens are very rare, expect them to cost more than other common chickens do.
Yokohama Chicken Integration
When integrating these birds with other flock members you ought to be careful. Even though they are calm, Yokohama chicken roosters are very aggressive and easily trigger fights that can lead to serious injuries or even death.
Separate the males with those of other breeds to ensure there is peace and accord among your birds. Females are not hot tempered and are good even when raised with other hen breeds.
Additionally, consider the long tails with these birds and keep them separate from others just to make sure they remain clean. When kept together with other chicken chickens, their long tails will be stepped on again and again and this can cause injuries or loss of the tail feathers.
Protect the baby Yokohama chickens that have come out of the brooder and newcomers in the coop. They can be easily bullied, harassed and intimidated by other dominant breeds especially those that rank at the top of the pecking order.
Take them to the coop in the evening and place them on the roost bars together with the others. In the morning, all the birds will wake up together and this way the old dwellers will think they have all been living together with the newcomers.
These birds are not the kind that is affected by cold. They will do well even during winter months just like Orloff chickens because they are cold tolerant chickens. However, this does not mean that you don’t have to provide the necessary conditions during cold times.
Young birds during the winter weather call for warm shelters as they can easily chill to death. Use a sweeter heater or chicken coop heaters to provide warmth for these chickens.
Additionally, you should be very innovative and learn how to keep chicken water from freezing in winter. This is because your chickens still need to drink despite the cold weather. I use heated chicken waterers to keep my girls hydrated when the temperatures plummet.
Yokohama chickens will also easily adapt and do well in warm and hot areas. However, make sure they have enough shaded areas to shelter against the direct sun. Additionally, provide them with plenty of cold drinking water to cool their bodies as well as keep them hydrated.
These birds are very resistant to diseases and this is well explained by their hardiness. The major issue with them is that they require high levels of hygiene to keep their long tail feathers neat. A clean and dry chicken coop with a warm bedding will work well.
Internal as well as external parasites are a major problem that requires your attention. Gape and thread worms are a serious health threat to these chickens.
Deworm them regularly as recommended by your bird vet with the right chicken wormer for water to help deal with any internal parasites. If left uncontrolled, chicken worms will lead to I’ll health, low production and even death.
Chicken lice and mites will shelter in the plumage and use this as the ground to suck blood and do damage on the juvenile feathers. When not controlled, these external parasites may lead to health problems and even death.
Using small amounts of diatomaceous earth powder in the chicken dust bath will help control these notorious parasites. (Check my article is diatomaceous earth good for chickens?). There are also some kinds of poultry dust that is suitable with chickens but always consult your vet.
Malnutrition is a serious threat to the health of your birds. Always make sure they get a well formulated course if they have to remain healthy and productive. Enough amounts of clean drinking water are also very vital to keep their bodies cool and well hydrated.
Yokohama Chicken Lifespan
These birds belong to the jungle fowl family. A sub species native to some parts of Southeast Asia and can live between 5 to 8 years.
However, with good health and proper care they can live longer as there are stories of people who have lived with chickens for 20 years.
They may live even less than a day because mortality rate in baby chicks is very high especially after hatching. Additionally, chicken predators, I’ll health and poor housing will also reduce the number of years they are likely going to live.
Yokohama chickens are an ideal choice to anyone looking for an ornamental breed. However, these chickens are not easy to find and this has made them so pricy.
If you want to keep them, I would advise you to buy from known breeders or few farmers who have them in their farms. Be sure they are expensive and you will have to dig deeper in your pocket to have some.
Yokohama chickens make good pets for you and your kids who are chicken fanciers. These birds will utilize those left overs and table scraps eating them as treats and nothing will go into waste.
Do you have Yokohama chickens? Talk to us on the comment section.