The Red Saddled Yokohama Bantams first came to GPBP in the summer of 2017 after we had caught the long-tailed bug with the likes of Onagdori, Minohiki and Ohiki Kris decided that these we essential to add to our ever growing list of breeds. Our first pair arrived at GPBP in the summer of 2017.
The first show we exhibited the yokohama was Bury Agricultural Show in June 2017 where Peter took 1st and Polly took 2nd in the Juvenilles class, followed by Cleveland Agricultural show where Peter took Best Juvenille and placed onto Champ row - this was the first time that Freya had managed to win her class and make the big leagues, and a testament to the quality of the birds she had for breeding. At this point Peter and Polly were quite young, Polly had not yet come in to lay and Peter soon after went into a moult thus showing season was swiftly over for the rest of the summer.
Come winter and with it the winter shows it was time to take the pair back out and into the spotlight and Peter kept up his record by taking 1st place once again in the Rare Juvenilles class at Ribble Valley Poultry Show 2017 - he was beaten to Champ Row by one of Freya's other breeds a lemon porcelain sablepoot who took Champion Juvenille that day.
Freya's success with the Red Saddled Yokohama caught alot of attention from fellow fanciers and it wasn't long before we became aquainted with a fellow long-tail breeder - Geoff Tinson. Geoff was full of enthusiasm and advice regarding the breed and kindly agreed to help Freya work towards breeding better quality of birds, this came in the form of new bloodlines from his own breeding group and quickly Freya's pair turned into a total of 7. Geoff's birds were of exceptional quality, young 2017 bred not yet laying pullets and a magnificent cock bird with an already impressive tail and saddle feathers. Freya believed all her christmases had come at once!
Heading into 2018 with the Red Saddled Yokohama and the first show we entered was the Northern Poultry Championship show in Halifax, Freya entered a cock bird and a pullet into split sex Rare Juvenille classes. Both took first place with the Pullet taking Best Juvenille and went as far as Champ Row. Next on the list was The North of England Poultry Society Championship Show at Clitheroe where Freya edging her bets entered one of her cock birds into the Rare breed class - up against adults this time! Thompson as she had named him won his class and then by much surprise took Best Rare and placed onto Champ Row. What an absolute stonking run she has had, 3 seperate birds making it on to Champ Row and 4 birds taking 1st place in their classes in under a year. There is no better way of showing that you have quality birds than results like that.
Throughout their showing lives we have recieved positive comments from numerous judges complimenting the gentle and placid nature of these birds and how unlike much of the stock here in the UK, our birds are the correct size for a bantam.
We have yet to begin hatching from Freya's breeding groups of Yokohama of which there are 2 and we eagerly anticipate the pullets to begin laying. Here's hoping for a successful year of breeding!
History of the Red Saddled Yokohama Bantam
The first attempt at creating the Bantam Red Saddled Yokohama was by a fellow named Hans Sack of Leipzig-Connewitz in the 1920's. His breeding porgramme and method in creating the bantam started with crosses of undersized large Red Saddles and White Deutsche Zwerghuhner. Back then there wasn't much difference between the bantam and the large due to their being so many undersized large circling and with that this made the bantams quite unpopular. The first strain that Hans Sack created unfortunately did not survive The Second World War, after the war however another breeder by the name Amo Beyrich tried again around 1956 using the same cross as Hans Sack but addded another breed into the mix - the Red Pyle Modern Game Bantams. Other breeds started to follow suit in the years to come and the Red Saddled Yokohama bantam was first standardised in Germany in 1968. Between 1978-84 a small group of breeders within Germany and The Netherlands started to work on yet another remake of the bantam variety and it is these strains that are current in today's breeding of the Red Saddled Yokohama Bantams.
They have been bred in the UK since the 1990's and the main breeder and exhibitor being Richard Billson.
Yokohamas differ greatly from other long-tail breeds such as the Onagadori due to their larger, taller and "gamey" apperance. They should be slim in shape and this should be key when selecting for size and fitness in your breeding. The tail and saddle feathers of a Red Saddled should reach the ground and drag along slightly but not much more than that. They should have a walnut comb and their wattles should be small or abscent. On both sexes, the plumage of the neck, legs and tail should be pure white. The "red" parts in the males should be a deeper mahogany shade than the softer colour found in the females. The breast in both sexes should be red and white with "kite shaped" tips on enough of the feathers to give an attractive look. Wing feathering on the females is the same as the breast, but usually a darker shade of red. The back plumage of a female can be clear white however some red may spread up, this is quite common to find in the UK. The shoulders and the upper wings of the males should be a deep rich and glossy mahogany, and in both sexes they should have vibrant red lobes, yellow beak and yellow shanks and feet.