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KOEYOSHI 声良鶏

The Beautiful Voice!

Koeyoshi Page One / Page Two




At first sight, one would think that Godzilla was actually a gamefowl!

 

The Koeyoshi has the deepest voice of the Japanese Longcrowers. This is due to the voluminous neck and vocal cords, plus the resonance created by its particular way of crowing: with its beak 3/4 closed! The effect is like a singer who sings nasally, passing the sound through the nasal cavities as well as through the mouth. In excellent Koe Yoshi, this sound is so soft and sonorous that it could be mistaken for a distant, low motor.

 

It is a ravenous eater! The Koe Yoshi, even though a rather docile bird, eats like a Shamo, which it resembles slightly. The Koe Yoshi's carriage should be near vertical when starting to crow, often lowering their wings to the ground as if to brace themselves for the stress of crowing their hearts out! When relaxed, their carriage is more horizontal, rather like a Cubalaya with its descending backline.

 

If you just weren't so delicate! I have tried for over two years to get chicks to grow or roosters to live, but they always deteriorate rapidly even if they get the slightest ailment. Here in Italy we have particularly virulent strains of coccidiosis which seems to reek havoc on the immune systems of both the Koeyoshi and the Totenko, often causing total collapse of vigour and inability to recuperate.

 

The hens have always survived and I now have two widowed Koe Yoshi!

Mr Andreas Brinkmann and Mr Andreas Weiss of Germany are to be commended in their dedicated efforts in breeding more vigorous birds, and has had levels of success. My stock came from Andreas Brinkmann's.

 

The first four illustrations on this page are from Knut Roeder's breeding station in Northern Germany and are excellent crowers, extreme distinctive in phenotype, but extremely weak. He has dedicated a lot of time and space to working with their improvement.

 

His particular line has not been offered officially for sale, but a price list was published by Knut last year in which he was asking exaggeratedly high prices. I know of know one that was able to buy some of his stock, it would be an excellent line to work with.


Please excuse the blurred image above - it's the only one I have of
both cocks and hens.

There are two or more lines in Europe at the moment, two of which are pathetically weak but have very nice voices. The third is much stronger, but have no particular ability to crow long. Andreas Brinkmann's birds average at about nine seconds, sometimes going as far as fifteen. Knut's line averages 15 and can go as much as 20, which is world-class among the Koe Yoshi.

 

The Koe Yoshi originate from the Northern districts of Akita prefecture in Japan and are well-known there. On the official web site of the Akita Prefectural Government, under Akita Monuments pages, the heading reads: Koeyoshi-Dori. They describe the voice as "elegant", "fluent", "solemn" and "strong". They also mention that the breed originated from the imported Tomaru and that around 1881 or 1882 the newly imported breed Plymouth Rock was crossed into it. They also refer to its gait as not unlike that of a samurai warrior.

 

A special note from this web site mentions that the "singing style" of the Koe Yoshi (Dori = chicken) has three stages:

1) the Dashi or beginning

2) Hari or "full of Life" and

3) Hiki or the finish.

 

As the Denizli is the official bird of the city of Denizli, the Koe Yoshi is the official bird of Kazuno city in the Akita Prefecture.

 

In Europe, the work of Mr Andreas Brinkmann and Mr Andy Weiss is perhaps the most important for the survival of this breed. They have dedicated themselves to the improvement of the health and overall vigour of their lines of Koe Yoshi, but do not have the length of crows as the weaker Roeder line possesses.

 

The president of the national Japanese Poultry Association, Mr Ito, is renown for his line of 20+ second Koe Yoshi. He won Guinness World book Record for the longest crowing poultry. There are lines of Denizli that crow longer, however, but have not been clocked or taken to these international competitions.

 

The sound file and the mpg file on these two pages are of superb crowers, demonstrating why this breed is called the Beautiful Voice.

 

Koeyoshi are very slow to develop and roosters need 12 - 18 months to mature. They are similar to many other pure-bred Japanese fowl in that many eggs are needed to be hatched in order to raise just a few birds to maturity. The mortality rate is high. In my experiences with Koe Yoshi chicks, they don't usually start crowing until nearly eight months old, and the Koe Yoshi is not a vigorous crowing in the sense that he crows continuously all day as is the case with the Denizli.

 

These birds, however, have a truly magnificent, very deep crow as well as a large, game-like muscular stature, massive legs and very pronounced dew laps. The hens have elongated dew laps partially covered in feathers as can be seen in the illustration above (please click on it for a larger view).

 

The head and beak of the line depicted here is fleshy, rich in folds and wrinkles and ferocious in expression. The eyebrows are quite prominent. The effect is like looking a feathered dinosaur in the face!

 

It is, however, very much the opposite in character. The flock that I studied and photographed in Germany, which were some of the first birds ever raised in Europe, was extremely peaceful, gentle and tame, running up to us with their gangly gait as we came near their pens.

 

The only colour that this breeds comes in is the above - a colour recognised in Japan, but not in Europe. It looks like a black-silver which is, genetically speaking, probably a type of Silver Wheaten and not BBSilver, which many in Europe would assume. It is also one of the only breeds of domestic fowl in which the rooster changes its plumage after the breeding season - as does the Jungle Fowl - called the Eclipse Moult. The Eclipse Moult is governed by a simple recessive gene, but is rare outside of wild Jungle Fowl.

 

Click below to hear a sound file of the incredible voice of the Koe Yoshi.

 

Photos below courtesy of Julia Keeling, Secretary - Asian Hardfeather Club. The photo below right depicts Mr. Ito, the president of the national Japanese Poultry Association.

 

 


 

Koeyoshi Page One / Page Two

 
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