Uses: Originally Cock Fighting, now exhibition. Eggs: 80-100 white / tinted.
Weights: From 0.5 Kg (Nankin Bantam) to 5Kg (Malay)
Colours: Mainly Light and Dark Red / Black but some White, Spangled and Pile.
Useful to Know: A gap between primary and secondary feathers (known as split wing) is often acceptable when showing Hard Feather breeds. Hard feather birds plumage should not be washed before showing or it will be spoilt. Many of these breeds have an in-bred desire to fight.
Photo: Yamato Gunkei, a rare Asian Hardfeather breed.
The Asian Hardfeather category includes breeds like Asil (or Aseel in the US), Nankin-Shamo Bantam, Malay, Ko-Shamo Bantam, Tuzo, Shamo, and Yamato-Gunkei. We have grouped them together until we have more articles and photos when we will split them out into individual sections.
‘Hard Feather’ birds are the game varieties together with the Asian Hard Feather birds. Hard Feathered birds are named because their feathering is very tight and they often don’t have a great deal of feathers, especially around the neck area.
The Malay is the tallest breed of chicken (shown right) and can reach up to 90cm tall whilst the Ko Shamo has neck hackles that end before the bottom of the neck and there is bare skin on the breast. The Asil (that originated in India) is the oldest known of the Asian Hard Feather. These are powerful, muscular birds that were purposefully bred for cock-fighting. A serious defect in the UK Poultry Standard is ‘Lack of attitude’…need we say more!
The Asian Hardfeather Club was founded in 1999 to cover all the Asian Gamefowl breeds, and has had a strong membership ever since.
Take care with males during the breeding season as some can be very aggressive.
The following books are available. Links take you to the Amazon or other sellers’ pages for the books.
- Popular Poultry Breeds – D. Scrivener – P.21, 119, 229
- Storey’s Illustrated Guide to Poultry Breeds – C. Ekarius – P.74, 96, 100, 136
- British Poultry Standards – Various Pages
- UK: The Asian Hardfeather Club: Julia Keeling (Secretary) 01624 801825
- Please leave us a comment below if you can provide further information or have a question about Asian Hardfeather Chickens.