Posts Tagged ‘long-tail’

My New Chicken Blog

November 12, 2009

I live in northern IN, USA, and raise rare fowl such as the Japanese Tomaru, the Turkish Denizli, and non-molting long-tail fowl at my hobby farm, Megumi Aviary. I don’t have a lot of spare time. So I will update this when I have a spare moment. If anyone is interested, you can visit the forum that my friend Toni-Marie of and I run at

Japanese long tail and long crowing fowl are my main area of interest. By “Japanese long tails”, I do not mean Phoenix. The misnomer that the Phoenix is a Japanese breed has been around a very long time. It’s been spread by misinformed poultry organizations and hatcheries either as a misunderstanding or a clever selling point to make them sound more exotic. The Phoenix is actually a German breed.

Where the misunderstanding comes in is that the Phoenix does contain a small amount of Japanese blood that was brought from Japan to Germany right after WWII by returning military troups.

Those birds were then crossed with Europe’s own breeds; the Leghorn and some game breeds. When it comes right down to it, the Phoenix contains a very small amount of Japanese blood and was developed and standardized in Europe from mostly European blood.

The Japanese breed that the Phoenix is so often confused with is the Onagadori. Unlike the Phoenix, the Onagadori (developed in Tosa, now the Kochi Prefecture) has green and yellow legs and only molts its tail and saddle feathers once every three to four years, or even longer.

The Phoenix was bred strictly to be a blue/slate-legged, molting breed that molts at least every one to two years and never, ever had tail lengths comparable to the Onagadori. Nor was it intended to have.

You can see real Japanese fowl in this video that was a gift to Toni-Marie from Mr. Stromberg some years ago. Japanese fowl are quite interesting. Several of the breeds there of various polymorphisms that differ from breeds we are familiar with in the west.