This is a true bantam breed developed in Japan from stock originating in South East Asia, possibly Thailand. In Japanese Ko Shamo means ‘Little Siam’. Some reports say the breed may have originated as far away as India or Pakistan. Although they were bred for cockfighting, which is still practised in parts of Asia, today they are prized as ornamental birds and for their show qualities.
The Ko Shamo is a different breed to the O Shamo, a large fowl, and not just a bantam version of it despite the confusion in the name. It is thought to be a strain of the Aseel. They sport a walnut comb with a wrinkly red face and wattles. They have a very upright carriage with a small tail. In Japan it is known as a prawn tail as it resembles the tail of a prawn. They have hard feathers, short roundish wings, and muscular bodies with prominent shoulders. Small as they are they have a bold eye and look like they could take on anything! The females are similar looking to the males though smaller. There is usually a thin line of bare red skin showing along the keel bone (stomach). This is a normal characteristic in a number of game birds.
Recognised varieties include Black, White, Wheaten, Partridge, Blue, Ginger, Splash, Duckwing, Black/Red and Spangle. Legs and feet are yellow. The male grows to 1lb 12oz, and the female to 1lb 2oz. Keepers of these report a great little personality and proud attitude, and also evidence of high intelligence, though they can’t seem to get through their physics homework. They first appeared in British Poultry shows around the mid-19th century and have remained a popular show variety.
Egg laying capacity: 2-3 per week
Egg size and colour: small, white
Temperament: Cheeky, intelligent, active, males can be aggressive to other males, hardy, females frequently broody. Tolerates confinement and adaptable to free range.
Conservation Status: not at risk