Onagadori ("Honourable Fowl" in Japanese) is a breed of domestic chicken and the cocks can have a tail reaching 10 m! This is an unchallengeable record amongst birds and perhaps some extinct huge sauropod dinosaurs could have had tails longer than 10 m!. The onagadori cocks can be colored in Black-breasted Red, Black-breasted Silver, Goishi (a pale Black-breasted Golden) and White. The leg color is willow in the Black-breasted variations and yellow in the Whites; blue legs are not accepted. They grow in special cages in which the feathers of their tails are rolled up like a curl and suspended on the walls for protection. At about ten years of life the cocks attain this impressive tail length.

The onagadori cocks are the result of a mutation in "nm" (non-molting) genes that causes the extravagantly long growth of the tail feathers, but they also carry the "gt" and "sg" genes for rapid growth in tail feathers. Due to "nm" mutation, their tail feathers never molt, if kept in the best of conditions with high levels of animal husbandry, growing for the life of the roosters. A portion of the tail does partially molt its sickle feathers annually and the body feathers may molt only every second or third year. The onagadori hens molt normally. Till now, they have not been found in other countries. In Japan these cocks are protected. The record was reached by an Onagadori cock with a 11.3 m (38 ft) long tail.

The mutation that produced the Onagadori could have emerged on the breed Shokoku in the middle of the Edo Period (1600--1868). The Prince Yamanouchi in the Kochi Prefecture on the southern peninsula of Shikoku had the helmets and spears of his soldiers adorned with long rooster feathers for special occasions. The serfs who kept Onagadori chickens and delivered the long feathers were exempt from taxes. In about 1655, a steady selection for longer feathers was made. During the Taisho Period (1912 - 1926), Onagadori tail feathers had already reached lengths over 6 m (20 ft).

The Onagadori cocks differ from the Phoenix breed, also originated in Japan and with long tail feathers, but no so long.

Standard weight:
Male - 1800g
Female - 1350g

Male body:Kawari-honge (also known as "kouge") is an altered feather of the main tail and is the widest, with feather shaft that is fine, elastic and strong, reaching length of around 3 meters. The number of this feather determines the quality of the Onagadori. In other words, the altered feather count can range from 1 to 4, and an individual with 4 such feathers is prized most highly. Along with this altered feather, the urao (literally, back tail) also molts once every 3 to 4 years. The pair of Urao feathers is not broad but has strong and elastic shafts and can reach a length of around 3 meters. The main tail is wide and long. The daiichi-honge (literally, primary main feathers; also known as "kougai") grows 70 to 90 cm (27 to 35 in.) a year. The lower section of the sho-utaibane and ofuku (main tail feathers - retrices) molt ever year but grow with speed all year long.The feathers maintain length of roughly a third of the growing tail feathers and do not molt.
Breast - Broad, round and expands well.
Belly - Long, firm and muscular, narrowing toward the tail. Soft feathers are long and abundant. The tail end is firm.
Legs - The legs can open wide and stand upright. The thighs are medium in length. Its strong shanks are medium in length. The heels are long and can open wide and straight.

Comb - Single; medium-sized; 5 points that are firmly upright
Beak - Medium length, strong and moderately curved.
Head - Medium-sized & round; round-faced; fine & smooth
Eyes - Large & wide; shine, full of life
Wattles - Medium
Neck - Bends proportionately to length. Neck feathers are abundant and long, covering the shoulders well and falling to both sides to reach under the throat.
Wings - Long, large & strong; wing tips fold firmly.
Back - Long and broad at the shoulders, narrowing down toward the tail, declining moderately and joining smoothly to the tail without odd bumps.
Tail - The tail feathers grow at the rate of approx. 90 cm. (35 in.) a year; 26 feathers continue to grow for 3 to 4 years or longer. Others molt every year, but some of them (well over 10 feathers) reach 70 to 90 cm (27 to 35 in.). Utaibane (dragging tail feathers) are wide, smooth and strong and grow the longest. After 7 months (after tail feather molt), they grow 12cm (4.7 in.) a month in the first year and 9cm (3.5 in.) in the 2nd year. In the 3rd year and thereafter, they grow at the rate of 7.5cm (3 in.). The feathers in the upper section of the sho-utaibane ( lesser or mutant sickles) and ofuku (tail covert?) (side tail feathers)--except the daiichi ofuku (literally, primary tail covert?; also known as "uwayore")--are also wide, and the feather shaft fine, smooth and strong, growing proportionate to the utaibane. The daiichi ofuku continues to grow, but the feather shaft is twisted.

Female body

Closely resembles the Shokoku female but is slightly slimmer, with feathers of various sections longer than those of the Shokoku female. The saddle feathers form a semi-circle.
The main tail is broad and long, with the top feathers long and the tips pointed and bending slightly downward.


  1. They are really Awesome

  2. Anonymous2:24 PM

    Nice Collection... they all look magnificent...

  3. Anonymous2:25 PM

    Lovely,..........really needs to be appreciated....

  4. Anonymous9:55 PM

    This is real chicker?