About Our Onagadori

Our journey with the Onagadori happened completeley by chance. We were asked to collect and house a mixture of Japanese birds on behalf of a friend and from first sight we fell In love with the sheer beauty and mostly calm nature of the Onagadori. One of the white cock birds having over 6ft of tail! The males would perch on a high fence and not move all day while their pens were cleaned them out, such elegant behaviour. However, we quickly learnt how difficult they can be, the 6ft tail on the white cock bird was gone in a matter of weeks after we found a stick had been wrapped around the end of his tail and had been caught in a hens leg ring, quick as a flash with out thinking we grabbed his rump and pullet that beautiful tail out to save the hen. Oh how we cried afterwards!

From the initial birds group of birds we had acquired in Spring 2017 which were whites and silvers we have begun to breed with mixed success. The chicks we hatched were strong but as we found out were very susceptible to coxi. We combatted this by hatching smaller numbers and rearing the chicks away from the rest of our birds really seem to aid their survival rate.

A trip to Holland later in the year saw us bringing home some new colours for our flock and we are now concentrating on breeding Black/Red and the first in the UK the goshiki(5 coloured)!

In the winter of 2017 a fellow long-tail enthusiast offered a us a cockerel that had previously done the rounds within the showing world and so to end the year we now welcome to the fold our 5th colour – the gold duckwing.

Going into 2018 we have started to plan our housing for the Onagadori, we have aquired a number of large sheds that will provide the cock birds the perfect environment for tail-growth and condition. Currently the Silver and the Gold duckwing have their tail-feathers in tact and so for the time being will be show birds for the foreseeable future. The goshiki came back to the UK without his tail-feathers and so he will be bred this year and we are hopeful for the results.

Onagadori (Japanese meaning "Long-tailed Chicken")

The Onagadori is a breed of chicken originating in the Kōchi Prefecture of Japan. The Japanese government designated the Onagadori, in Kōchi, as a Special Natural Monument much like the Jitokko. The Onagadori is an ancient breed dating back to the 1600’s. It’s believed the breed was developed from another long-tailed Japanese chicken, the Shokoko, and originated in the Kochi Prefecture of Japan.

The tail feathers can grow to lengths of 12 to 27 feet, making this the king of all the long-tailed breeds of chicken. The purest Onagadori if housed correctly offering the best protection against cold, wet weather, dirt and wear, these feathers should never moult, thus will continue to grow through the life of the cockerel, although due to the climate within Europe the Onagadori are more prone to moult every 4-5 years. Tail, saddle and sickle feathers should grow continuously.

Japanese breeders would keep their show birds within confined up-high cages that allowed the tails to flow freely down from the back of the cage. These birds would be taken on daily walks, with the owner holding the tail off the ground.

If you are considering breeding or showing Onagadori, be mindful that for the cock birds these are two separate things. It is best advised that your show bird is not your breeding bird, and ideally you should keep the males on their own in a warm, dry and high environment. It is very difficult to keep a breeding cock bird with a tail due to breeding usually occurring on the ground which poses many risks to the quality of the tail length. This is not an easy breed to keep for exhibition purposes, and will require more “up-keep” than your average chicken.

Conservation status: Critical

Country of origin: Japan

Use: Exhibition breed

Weight: Male 1.8kg

Female 1.35kg

Skin Colour: Yellow

Leg Colour: Willow(with the exception of white which should be yellow)

Egg Colour: Tinted

Comb: Single comb

Ear colour: White

Colours: Black/Red, White, Silver Duckwing, Goshiki (5 coloured) and Gold Duckwing

Onagadori related products within our store.

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