There are many types of chickens in existence, and they all have their own personalities, temperaments, and reasons to keep around on the farm or in the backyard. One interesting chicken breed is the Shamo Chicken. These birds are considered game hens, which means they are primarily bred for cockfighting purposes. Let’s learn more about the Shamo Chicken breed here!

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Quick Facts About the Shamo Chicken Breed

shamo chicken in the grass
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Breed Name:Shamo
Place of Origin:Japan
Uses:Cockfighting, eggs
Male Size:30 inches
Female Size:26 inches
Color:Black, wheaten
Lifespan:6–8 Years
Climate Tolerance:Cold and warm
Care Level:Moderate
Temperament:Independent, aggressive, outgoing

Shamo Chicken Breed Origins

The exact origin of the Shamo Chicken is unclear. However, it is believed that their ancestors arrived in Japan between 1603 and 1867, during the Edo period. This is a fighting breed that has been selectively bred for hundreds of years, so the modern birds do not resemble the original Shamo Chickens. However, they have maintained their formidable fighting abilities over the years.

shamo chicken
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Shamo Chicken Breed Characteristics

The Shamo Chicken is an independent breed that doesn’t have much interest in interacting with humans. However, if they are accustomed to being around humans while babies, they shouldn’t have a problem being picked up and held. These birds enjoy grazing and will explore far and wide if allowed to do so.


The Shamo Chicken is typically bred for cockfighting, which is a sport that many Asian countries have participated in for thousands of years. Twice a year, there is a “Slasher” event in the Philippines that is all about cockfighting. You can count on seeing Shamo Chickens in attendance and on the contestant roster. These chickens are also sometimes raised for eggs, although they are only moderate producers.

close up of shamo chicken
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Appearance & Varieties

The Shamo Chicken is a long and slender breed that displays impressive agility and strength. These chickens have long necks, fluffy tail feathers, and bright eyes that give them an endearing look. Their thighs are extremely muscular, and they hold themselves as though they are standing or walking upright.


The Shamo Chicken can be found living in many areas of Japan today. They are not typically found on farms but are more common in cockfighting facilities. Many people who breed these chickens for fighting insist that they provide their roosters with a free-range life for a couple of years before introducing them to the fighting ring.

shamo chicken Stanting
Image Credit: Jrs Jahangeer, Shutterstock

Are Shamo Chickens Good for Small-Scale Farming?

Shamo chickens can be raised on small farms for eggs, but they are genetically inclined to fight, so roosters should not be kept in the same pen together. These chickens are best kept in small groups if being raised for farming purposes. Large farms can establish multiple chicken coops to keep several Shamo chickens in.

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Final Comments

The Shamo chicken is beautiful, frisky, and even a bit aggressive, which is due to their cockfighting ancestry. These are not the best backyard pets, but they can be good for egg laying if no more than one rooster is kept in the pack at any given time.

Featured Image Credit: Jrs Jahangeer, Shutterstock