Shamo Chicken: History, Size, Eggs, Health and Care

The Shamo is a chicken breed from Japan. In the seventeenth century, the Shamo breed was imported from Thailand. The Shamo has a unique posture and flashy traits. It is one of the tallest chicken breeds. The Shamo chicken breed was raised to be fighting birds. There are different varieties of the Shamo breed.

History of Shamo Chickens

shamo chickens

The Shamo chicken breed originated in Japan. The breed was created in Japan, but its ancestral line goes back to Thailand. The main reason the bird was bred is to fight. The Shamo was originally imported into many regions around the world for the sole reason of fighting.

Shamo chickens are known as game chickens. Game chickens are specifically bred for cockfighting with other chickens. In Japan, there are multiple types of game chickens, but the Shamo is the best-known game chicken.

The original Shamo breed was crossbred with other chickens that had great endurance and strength. As time passed, breeders continued to make the Shamo stronger. This chicken breed has been selectively bred to have the strongest traits for over a hundred years. The breed of Shamo we see today is different and some belief stronger than the original breed of Shamo.

Selective breeding of the Shamo has evolved over the years. In addition to being bred for cockfighting, the Shamo is also bred for its unique traits. It has a distinct posture and great carcass quality. There are four varieties of the Shamo that are recognized, they include:

  • O Shamo
  • Chu Shamo
  • Nankin Shamo
  • Ko Shamo

The term “Shamo” means “large fowl” or “Japan game bird.” In the varieties listed above, the term is further described by each variety.

  • O Shamo means large size
  • Chu Shamo means medium size

shamo chicken

But the O Shamo and the Chu Shamo are part of the same breed. In this specific breed of Shamo chickens, there is a range of weights all above seven pounds. The Ko Shamo refers to miniature games. The Ko Shamo is not the miniature version of the large fowl. The Nankin Shamo refers to game birds that are from Nankin. They are also a bantam chicken

A name can carry multiple meanings. The name Shamo is an adaptation of the word “Siam.” Siam was the original name of what is today called Thailand. Since the Shamo bird has ancestors from Thailand, its name was derived from their genealogical place of origin. The name of this region was switched from Siam to Thailand in 1939.

The Shamo is a unique bird and in order to prevent extinction, it has been placed under protection. You can find the Shamo in and near Japan, and it can also be found in the United States. This distinct bird was imported to the United States around 1874.

Each variety of the Shamo is recognized in the United States and the bird is commonly found in southern states. In the United Kingdom, only the Chu Shamo and O Shamo are recognized.

Shamo Chicken Breed Standard & Appearance

ko shamo chicken

The classification of the Shamo breed is an Asian hand feather, large fowl. The Malay chicken has the record as being the tallest chicken, but the Shamo comes in second.

The Shamo is a striking eye-catching bird with tall sleek stature. It is commonly recognized and identified by its nearly vertical postures. The body of a Shamo chicken is muscular, especially its thighs.

The Shamo features include:

  • Closely held feathers
  • Hard stiff feathers. Their feathers may not cover their entire body
  • Structured broad shoulders

Tail features:

  • The Shamo tail is small and slopes downward to the ground
  • Bright red small earlobes
  • Bright red small comb
  • The Shamo has small bright red wattles. In some birds, they are extremely small or missing.
  • Both the beak and legs have a yellow color
  • The eyes are pearl color, but this can vary based on variety.

Each variety of Shamo has a distinct look that sets them apart from other birds. Their unique stature and feather style make them a beautiful species. Black and red is the most common color seen on Shamo chickens. Other color combinations also exist, such as black-breasted red, wheaten and white, dark, and black.

shamo chicken blaziken

Wing features:

  • The Shamo wings are big, short and strong
  • The wings tend to be bony and carried down and close to the body
  • Most times, the Shamo will not have their wings showing. They sit firmly on the back of the bird

Head features:

  • The head is broad, deep and has wattles
  • Strong beak, curved downwards, and broad
  • The beak has no hook
  • The eyes have overhanging brows
  • On the Shamo chicken, the comb is small or absent

The male Shamo chicken is a minimum of six pounds. The female Shamo is a minimum of four pounds. For specific varieties, the male Chu Shamo is above six pounds and under eight pounds.

The female Chu Shamo is above four pounds and under six pounds. In the O Shamo variety, the male is usually above eight pounds and the female is usually above six pounds.

Personality & Temperament

The Shamo chicken is an aggressive bird. The hens have a calm temperament. Shamo roosters can be extremely aggressive towards each other.

Remember, the original sole purpose of this breed was to cockfight and they have aggressive genes in their lineage. The roosters can be territorial. Although the Shamo hens tend to be calm, they can be aggressive to other chickens.

Not only are the Shamo roosters and hens aggressive, but the baby chicks also pose a threat. The baby chicks fight amongst each other. The only way to prevent the roosters from fighting is to keep them in separate spaces.

If the roosters are kept near each other they will always fight to the death. For such an aggressive breed, the Shamo chicken does well with human interaction, but it is recommended to watch them around younger children.

Shamo ChickenEgg Laying

Shamo hens lay around 90 light-brown eggs per year. This number is excessive compared to other birds of their kind, but low compared to other chicken breeds. The number of eggs produced each year can vary based on the variety of Shamo. Their eggs typically care medium sized. The Shamo hen is known to go broody. They make exceptional mothers.

The Shamo hen is particularly large and this poses a problem during hatching. It has been noted that the Shamo hen is clumsy and this can result in the breaking of eggs. It is recommended to observe hens and make their living area more comfortable and less accident prone.

Shamo chicken can produce a good amount of meat. You don’t commonly hear of people eating this breed, because the meat tends to be tough and to not have flavor.

Health Issues & Care

shamo chicken breeders

The Shamo breed does not have any known health care issues. It is recommended that Shamo chicken owners be on the lookout for mites. Poultry mites are external parasites. They can become a pest to your chickens, you want to make sure they do not make their way into your chicken coop.

Poultry mites are spread by introducing infected birds into your flock. Other forms of transmission are rodents, wild birds, carrying them in shoes and clothing. The best way to prevent these parasites is to keep a clean and well-maintained environment for your chickens.

Tips for Raising Shamo Chickens

shamo chickens

  • Note that the Shamo chicken breed is not a common breed. This breed may not be readily available in your area
  • Always keep Shamo roosters separate
  • If you have other chicken breeds, it is important that when you introduce Shamo chickens into the flock you observe them frequently. Shamo chickens have a dominating presence and tend to overpower other chicken breeds
  • The Shamo chicken loves to roam and has free range. You should have a large enough space for the bird that also keeps it separate from other animals
  • In terms of coop space, the ideal size is 50 cm x 50 cm of space per bird
  • Shamo birds do not fly, therefore it is not mandatory to cover the coop
  • Due to their short feathers, the Shamo bird does not have specific grooming needs. A dust bath is sufficient
  • Routinely, you should check the Shamo chicken for lice, mites, and other dangerous parasites
  • The natural temperament of the Shamo bread is aggressive, but they can be tamed. It is recommended to start taming the bird early to ensure less aggressive behavior
  • If your Shamo chicken will be around other animals or humans, you should regularly de-worm the bird
  • Shamo chickens like to forage and eat insects
  • They also like food scraps, vegetables, and fruits
  • To ensure good egg quality, laying hens should be given extra calcium and protein

shamo chicken breeders


The Shamo chicken breed is one of a kind. It demands the room when it is present. The tall stature, striking red features, and feather style is a few of its trademarks. Although it was originally created for cockfighting it has evolved into a beautiful show bird.



46 thoughts on “Shamo Chicken: History, Size, Eggs, Health and Care”

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