Are you interested in the Phoenix Chickens? If so, we’re not surprised! These are beautiful chickens, but you probably have plenty of questions about them. Thankfully we have all the info for you right here.
The Phoenix Chicken is extremely friendly and makes excellent pets, plus they also lay tons of eggs. Want to know more? Continue reading for your complete guide to the Phoenix Chicken!
History and Origin of the Phoenix Chicken
This beautiful breed is generally raised as an ornamental chicken due to its long tail. It originates in Germany and is an ancient breed that has a fascinating history.
These chickens have been bred from the Onagadori, a Japanese breed famous for having a long tail. Japan has been breeding these ornamental garden chickens for thousands of years, but what makes them cool is the tail feathers, which can reach up to 30ft.
The first president of the National German Poultry Association, Hugo du Roi, was the person who created the breed in the late 19th century.
Plenty of chicken breeds were needed to produce the Phoenix Chicken. There were a couple of delicate imported long-tailed Japanese chickens that were cross-bred with other breeds. These included the Yokohama, Leghorn, Old English Game, Combattant de Bruges Kruper, and Malay chicken
Generally, the chickens were recognized in the APA’s Standard of Perfection in three variants. These are the Silver (1965), Golden (1983), and the Black-breasted Red (2018).
Physical Characteristics of the Phoenix Chicken
These chickens feature a pheasant-like look and are known for their exceptionally long tail, which can reach up to 90cm or more. The chickens have white earlobes, red single combs, and red wattles. They’re not necessarily large chickens, with their regular weight being around 5.5 lbs for a rooster, and 4 lbs for a hen.
Their single combs have five well-defined points and are medium-sized in males and smaller in females. They also had small to medium wattles, and both wattle combs are bright red.
Both boys and females have medium-sized, oval earlobes. Their eyes are reddish-bay, and their beak features horn-like markings. Phoenix Chickens have slate-colored legs and yellow skin. In roosters, the tail is carried horizontally, while in hens, it is carried somewhat higher.
Uses of a Phoenix Chicken
The Phoenix breed is considered a show-type breed just like all ornamental chickens. This breed is raised due to its fancy appearance, and the production of meat and eggs is only secondary. Also, the breed is often high-maintenance and is pricier compared to other chicken breeds. Let’s take a closer look at what they are used for.
Surprisingly, Phoenix Chickens can be raised for meat despite being known for their ornamental value. However, they don’t grow fast or as large as other breeds, so while they do work as meat birds, no one breeds them for this reason.
As you can probably guess with them being an ornamental breed, the Phoenix Chicken isn’t a great egg layer and usually ranges from around 50 to 120 eggs a year. Not only that, but their eggs are quite small too. There are many great reasons to keep the Phoenix chicken, but their eggs aren’t one of them.
- Eggs per Year: 100
- Eggs per Week: 1 to 3
- Size: Small
- Color: Pale cream or tinted brown
Whether the Phoenix Chicken makes a great pet or not will depend on a few factors. Importantly, they are friendly chickens with great personality. This means you’ll love keeping them as they make a beautiful backyard companion.
However, there are a few negatives. The biggest problem for many is their size, especially due to their large tail feathers. This means they need a large coop and therefore they aren’t suitable for small backyards.
They also aren’t productive chickens and if you were hoping for meat or eggs, then you’re going to be disappointed. Aside from that, they are a good choice for a pet for those wanting a unique and beautiful breed.
Feeding and Housing a Phoenix Chicken
If you’re looking to raise a Phoenix Chicken, here are some of the things you need to know. It’s important to keep in mind that this breed needs spacious coops, and they are susceptible to the cold. Let’s take a look in more detail.
Even though the Phoenix isn’t the biggest of chickens, they still require plenty of coop space due to their large tails. They should have at least 10 sq. ft. of space per chicken to ensure they are happy and stay in good health.
The Phoenix Chicken thrives when given a lot of freedom and therefore you’ll want to ensure it either has a very large run or that you let it forage throughout the day. They will happily roam around and seek out their own food.
Another consideration here is their roosting bars. Due to their long tails, they should be at least 6 feet off the ground to give them adequate space. Not only is this great for their tails but it will also make the safe from any predators.
Finally, as with any chicken, you’ll want to ensure their coops remain dry and comfortable. Change their bedding often to keep them clean while also deterring any parasites.
When it comes to feeding, the Phoenix isn’t too different from any other chicken. As chicks, you’ll want to give them a starter feed. This will contain a higher percentage of protein which helps them during their rapid growth.
They will need this starter feed until around 18 months old when they can transition to a standard feed. With an adult Phoenix Chicken, you can cut down on your feeding costs by allowing them to forage for their own food.
When it comes to health problems, Phoenix Chickens are comparable to other breeds of chickens. That’s because they suffer from numerous ailments and diseases that are common in chickens. The biggest diseases to look out for are:
- Coccidiosis – A disease caused by protozoan parasites (Coccidian protozoa). These occupy and damage a certain part of the intestinal tract.
- Fowl Cholera – A chronic disease caused by Pasteurella Multocida. It affects the chicken’s wattles, joints, sinuses, and other tissues.
- Avian Pox – this is a highly contagious disease because chickens that contract Avian Pox can experience two different types of conditions – wet or dry pox
Generally, there are numerous health issues and diseases that chickens can acquire. The best way to mitigate such health issues is by keeping their coop clean, quarantining new birds, and giving them a high-quality diet.
Reasons to Keep a Phoenix Chicken
It’s normal to get excited about the idea of raising Phoenix Chickens. But if you’re still unsure, we’ve put together all the possible reasons why keeping the Phoenix Chicken is a great option.
- Attractive – Thanks to its distinctive appearance, the Phoenix Chicken is considered a real beauty. This breed’s large tail feathers are among its most remarkable characteristics. For those looking for a beautiful chicken, you can’t go wrong with the Phoenix.
- Easy to Tame – Especially from chicks, this breed is very simple to tame. It’s preferable to handle them twice a day when they’re little, so they will gain a great deal of trust from you this way.
- Friendly and Docile – these chickens are also known for their friendly disposition, making them an ideal choice for backyard chicken keepers. They are also good with children, so are also great for young families.
- Rare – Phoenix Chickens are on the Livestock Conservancy watch list, meaning, there are fewer than 10,000 individual birds worldwide. Keeping them means you’re playing an important part in keeping the breed alive.
Reasons not to Keep a Phoenix Chicken
While they have their advantages, these chickens also come with their set of disadvantages. So, we’re also giving you a list of reasons why keeping them may be a bad idea.
- Low Egg Production – Before you get your expectations up, you should be aware that the Phoenix Chicken egg output is very low. If you’re dreaming of eating fresh eggs each morning, look for another breed.
- Not Cold Hardy – They aren’t cold hardy, making them more susceptible to the cold. This can make them difficult to keep for those that live in colder climates.
- High-maintenance – Like parrots, these chickens are kept up on high roosts to preserve their tails. This, along with their overall size, means they need plenty of care and attention, but also a very large coop.
The Phoenix is a wonderful chicken breed with a distinct and attractive long tail. Although they are high-maintenance and do not produce a lot of eggs, they’re friendly and easy to tame, making them excellent pets to have.
However, before you get one you need to ensure you have a large enough coop and are able to keep them warm on those freezing cold days. If that’s not a problem, then in keeping a Phoenix you’ll play an important role in keeping this breed alive.