A Koeyoshi rooster
Photo courtesy of Marc King

Text courtesy of
Marc King

At first sight, one would think that Godzilla was actually a gamefowl! The head and beak of the Koeyoshi is thick and fleshy, rich in folds and wrinkles and ferocious in expression. The eyebrows are quite prominent. The effect is like looking a feathered dinosaur in the face! It is, however, very much the opposite in character. The flock that I studied and photographed in Germany, birds raised from imported eggs from Japan, was extremely peaceful, gentle and tame, running up to us with their gangly gait as we came near their pens.

These birds possess extremely distinctive characteristics. With one of the longest crows known to gamefowl or domestic poultry, up to 20-25 seconds in prize-winning roosters, albeit with their beaks closed, the Koeyoshi belongs to an ancient race of Japanese purebred fowl. It is also one of the only breeds of domestic fowl in which the rooster changes its plumage after the breeding season - as does the Jungle Fowl. They are docile and tame by nature. The only colour that this breeds comes in is the above - a black-silver "wildfarbe" (game colour).

Koeyoshi are quite slow to develop and are similar to many other purebred Japanese fowl of antiquity in that many eggs are needed to be hatched in order to raise just a few birds to maturity. The mortality rate is high. These birds, however, have a truly magnificent crow as well as a large, game-like muscular stature, massive legs and very pronounced dew laps. The hens have elongated dew laps partially covered in feathers as can be seen in the illustration below. They walk rather upright, in a Shamo-like posture, and have distinctive, wide-spaced gaits. They consume a lot of feed, as do Shamo! If I only had enough room for all the birds that catch my fancy, this would earn a place of honour!

Koeyoshi Links:

Marc King's Koeyoshi page

Two shots of a pullet
Photo courtesy of Marc King

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