Other name(s): Koeyoshi Long Crower;
Scientific name: Gallus gallus domesitcus
Country / Place of origin: Japan
History: The Koeyoshi Long Crower is a breed of long crower gamefowl created in Japan in the 1700's. The Koeyoshi Longcrower was created by crossing and backcrossing Shamo Chickens and the Tomaru longcrowers. This gave the Koeyoshi the longest crowing sound of all chickens (up to 25 seconds have been recorded). The Koeyoshi has a deep long crow made from a closed beak. They are ultimately descended from the Indonesian Ayam Pelung long crower, and their green junglefowl ancestry means that they are not very fecund. Many eggs are sterile and a large number of eggs need to be hatched to gain birds that develop to maturity. The breed is also highly inbred and and there has been some recent outbreeding with the Shamo to try and improve the genetics. The Koeyoshi breed was introduce to Britain and Germany in the 1980s and now there is a British standard for the breed. They have long tail feathers and are not as upright as other gamefowl, unless they have recently been outbred with Shamo. In Japanese, Koeyoshi means 'beautiful voice'. They are a show breed, specifically bred for crowing competitions. Formally, they are classed as a Heavy, Rare, Malayoid Soft feather Long Crower.
Current Uses: Showing
Appearance: The Koeyoshi is a robust bird with an upright stance and long tail feathers that reach to the ground. The body is large and firm, with a broad full breast, though the wings are short. The head is deep and broad with wattles and earlobes that are small or absent. The beak is strong, short and broad and the eyes are deep set under overhanging brows. They have a triple (pea) comb. The head is thick and fleshy, with plenty of folds. This and the overhanging brows gives the bird a fierce expression. Their necks are long and round, slightly thicker at the shoulders. Legs are of medium length, thick and very strong with four toes that are well spread. The feathers are short and fairly light. Roosters classically have goshiki (literally five-coloured) plumage that is mainly streaked silver duckwing with some brown on the shoulders. Roosters have very pronounced dew laps. The hens are smaller than the males and have similar plumage (but without the black). Hens also have elongated dew laps, partially covered in feathers. Koeyoshi are unusual in that the rooster changes its plumage colour after the breeding season (a feature retained from the ancestral jungle fowl). In both sexes, the beak, legs and feet are yellow; the comb, face, throat and earlobe are red and the eyes are a light orange.
Average weight: 6.5 - 10 lbs.
Lifespan: 10 - 12 years
Diet: Traditionally they are fed a diet of grain, supplemented with fresh fruit, greens, earthworms, caterpillars and snails. They also do well with commercial feed. A diet high in protein and calcium supplements are recommended if trying to breed these birds. Plenty of fresh, clean, water should always be made available. As with all birds, they need to pick-up small stones for their crops. Grit should be provided if you do not allow Koeyoshi to roam freely.
Housing: Traditionally they are housed in bamboo cages for showing. Otherwise, they are allowed to roam around the village during the day and are shut up at night. In Europe, they are allowed to roam in large pens during the day and closed in henhouses at night. If using henhouses, then roosts should be provided for sleeping and nest boxes for laying.
Health issues: Koeyoshi are typically healthy birds, despite their inbreeding and the main problems are getting viable chicks and getting those chicks to live to maturity (metabolic defects are the commonest cause of mortality). They should, of corse, be treated regularly for internal and external parasites, particularly if kept with other chickens.
Behavior / Temperament / Activity level: Despite its fearsome appearance, the Koeyoshi is actually one of the most peaceful, gentle and tame of all chicken breeds. They like to be hand fed and will run up as soon as you approach their pens. Though extremely difficult to source, these would make an excellent pet.Written by Dyfed Lloyd Evans