The largest weight class of the Shamo breed
O-Shamo Page One / O-Shamo Page Two / Chu-Shamo
Firstly, names need to be explained, as they can be confusing. Although not a translation of the word, “Shamo” can be understood to mean “Game bird from Japan”. Therefore Ko Shamo means miniature game, not miniature version of the large fowl. Nankin Shamo means Game bird from Nankin. [The Japanese characters for “Shamo” can also be translated as “Gunkei”, hence the strange name of the Yamato game bird.]
The word SHAMO on its own refers to the large fowl, but that can be further divided into O Shamo (large size) and Chu Shamo (medium size). Both of these are the same breed, which comes in a variety of weights – all above 3kg (nearly 7lbs) being correct.
An extract from an article written in 1990
by Julia Keeling:
With any breed of animal or bird which was originally bred for a specific purpose but later developed for exhibition, certain attributes unimportant to their performance take on special significance. Exhibitors must be wary, when trying to achieve these points, that they are not exaggerated so much in importance that the true working type is lost (as in Scottish Terriers or English Bulldogs for example).
An Asian Game exhibitor must aim for certain eye, leg, and feather colour, angle of back and wing, stance etc, which have little bearing on working ability, but which define it as that particular breed.
Birds still bred for their original purpose and legitimately fought in Asia, South America and other parts of the world do not, of course have to adhere to this rigid standard of excellence, their excellence is tested in quite another way, and consequently they are not homogeneous in type or colour.
However, for a breed to be shown and judged, a standard must be written for the guidance of breeders and judges alike. Ideally a showbird should be correct in all the show points, but still possess all its original characteristics - temperament does affect carriage, and is certainly involved in 'type’.
(current in Britain 2011)
Classification: Asian Hardfeather. Large Fowl.
Egg colour: White or tinted
The Shamo is a Japanese bird of Malayoid type, originally imported to Japan from Thailand in the seventeenth century – the name being a corruption of Siam, the old name for Thailand. In Japan it was developed into a fighting bird of unmatched courage and ferocity. Its feathers are sparse but strong and shiny, and its powerful bone structure and well-muscled body and legs, coupled with its erect posture, make it an impressive and striking bird. Since its importation in the early 1970s the term ‘Shamo’ has covered all large fowl, but in Japanese classification, birds are divided into
Chu (medium) Shamo and O (large) Shamo.
Type and Carriage: General appearance fierce, powerful, proud and alert. Stance very upright
Body: Large and extremely firm with well-muscled abdomen.
This was taken from a small Japanese website.
Breast: Broad and full with deep keel.
Back: Long, broadest at shoulders, sloping down towards tail and gradually tapering from upper side of thigh. Backbone straight.
Wings: short, big, strong and bony, carried well down and close to the body, not showing on the back but with prominent shoulders.
Tail: carried below horizontal, length to give balance to the bird.
Head: Deep and broad with wattles and earlobes small or absent. Beak strong, broad and curved downwards, but not hooked. Eyes deep-set under overhanging brows. Comb triple and firm. Walnut comb rare – but also acceptable.
Neck: Long, strong-boned, slightly curved but almost erect.
Legs and feet: Legs medium to long – thick and strong with slight bend at hock. Thighs long, round and muscular. Shanks thick , strong and round. Toes four, long and well spread. Hind toe straight and firm on the ground.
Plumage: Feathers very short, narrow, hard and brilliant. Scant, and bare showing red skin at throat, keel and point of wing. Neck hackle feathers permitted to curl towards back of neck.
Handling: Extremely firm fleshed, muscular and well-balanced. Strong contraction of wings to body.
The general characteristics are similar to those of the male, allowing for natural sexual differences. Stance very upright, but it is acceptable for a female to be slightly less upright than the male.
Black/red is the most common colour seen. (The ‘red’ may be any shade from yellow to dark red, with wheaten or partridge females which can be any shade from cream to dark brown, with or without dark markings). Ginger, white, black, splash, blue and duckwing are all recognised, and no colour or combination of colours is disqualified.
In both sexes and all colours:
Beak yellow or horn.
Legs and feet yellow. Blackish overcolour acceptable in dark coloured birds.
Comb, face, throat, earlobes and any exposed skin – brilliant red.
Eyes silver or gold. Darker eyes acceptable in young birds.
Male 3kg (6lb10oz) minimum
Female 2.25kg (4lb14oz) minimum
[Chu Shamo – male above 3kg (6lb10oz) and under 4kg (8lb12oz), female above 2.25kg (4lb14oz) and under 3kg (6lb10oz).
O Shamo – male 4kg (8lb12oz) and above, female 3kg (6lb10oz) and above.]
Head study above of an award-winning O-Shamo. This bird was given to my son by a cocker from the Valle D'Aosta who has maintained lines from Japan, imported by way of Belgium. The posture is excellent, the beak is thick and strong and the triple comb, is even and firm. This bird weighs in the O-Shamo range.
|Scale of points
|Type and carriage
|Legs and feet
Lack of attitude. Poor carriage. Overlarge comb. ‘Duck’ feet.
A lot of breeders in Europe refer to names as "Koyama Shamo, Suzuki Shamo, Makino Shamo, Teramoto Shamo", etc. These are not to be seen as different types but are simply names of reputed Shamo breeders (strains). According Japanese sources there are only O-Shamo and Chu-Shamo (middleweight Shamo).
The Shamo is fought in Japan only in naked heels or blunted spurs but never with steel or artificial spurs. However in some parts of the world the breed is fought in steel. The Shamo is a well balanced breed combining size, weight, speed, power, stamina and endurance.
Source: > Mr.Yoshihisa Kubota (Secretary of the Japan Poultry Society) and Julia Keeling (Secretary of the Asian Hardfeather Club)
These next photos below are magnificent O-Shamo cocks from the extensive breeding programme of Julia Keeling, Isle of Man, British Isles.
O-Shamo Page One / O-Shamo Page Two / Chu-Shamo
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