BREED NAME: KOEYOSHI (The Beautiful Voice!)
BRIEF DESCRIPTION: KOEYOSHI chicken has a beautiful voice with not so beautiful a face. One might think turkey or pheasant or mutant rather than chicken.
This is the only domesticated chicken breed that experiences an Eclipse Molt, a breeding season molt, like the ultimate ancestor of all chickens, the Red Jungle Fowl.
As the name suggests, the Koeyoshi chickenis a purely Japanese breed. It‘s a large but gentle giant with deepest tone of all long-crowing roosters. KOEYOSHI, The Facts:
Size: Standard Male: 9-10 Ibs. / Standard Female: 8-9 Ibs.
Comb, Wattles & Earlobes: Red Comb, wattles, lobes and face, including a dewlap that flows under the chin from ear to ear. This unusual fleshy dew lap is bright red and featherless in roosters, softly feathered and smaller in hens.
Color: Silver Wheaten, BB Silver, yellow or pink shanks
Place of Origin: Akita, Japan
Conservation Status: Rare, endangered outside home range
Special Qualities: Nearing 10 lbs, a Koeyoshi rooster has a heavy neck with matching vocal chords. His deep “beautiful” voice resonates uniquely through a nearly closed beak and nares; making his call soft but strong muffled vibrations. Some liken it to a motor idling in the distance.
The Akita Prefectural Government has an official web-site and under Akita Monuments pages a heading says : Koeyoshi-Dori(Dori=chicken), describing his voice as "elegant", "fluent", "solemn" and "strong".
His stance, when crowing, is a full verticle reach with wings lowered to the earth as if ready to steady him if he becomes weak after his long exhaled song lasting 15 – 20 seconds.
His song is judged in 3 parts: the Dashi (beginning), the Hari (full of Life) and Hiki (the finish). At rest his posture is more horizontal with a descending back to arched tail feathers.
Male or female, these large chickens have an appetite to match, but are known for being a docile, even friendly breed. Unfortunately and probably due to a narrow range of available genetics world-wide, the breed is not known for hardiness, with weak immune systems for fighting off or recovering from disease.
Koeyoshi chickens are rare in much of the world, but well known in their home region of Akita Prefecture Japan. The breed was developed from imported Chinese Tomaru around 1881-2 by crossing them with American Plymouth Rocks. There may be fewer than 5 viable flocks outside Japan today.
Koeyoshi is the official bird of Kazuno city in the Akita Prefecture and a declared natural monument. Mr. Ito, President of the National Japanese Poultry Association, has a strong preference and talent with the breed.
He won the Guiness Book of World Records award for the longest crowing rooster.
This is a slow growing breed that takes its time maturing in 12 – 18 months; a Koeyoshi cockerel not letting out his first crows until almost 8 months of age. Even as he matures he is not intent on crowing throughout the day, as is the case with many breeds.
The breed is known to flesh out with long heavy legs and body structure. Roosters take on a near fierce look with a thick heavy horn-colored beak, heavy brows, lumpy gnarled comb, and unusual fleshy dew lap; making him look more like a prehistoric game bird than modern day chicken.