The Ayam Cemani, the Lamborghini of poultry, has just pulled into the driveway. This lovely bird is a rare kind of Indonesian chicken, and its dark appearance has made it one of the world’s most unusual and enigmatic breeds.
From its metallic feathers to its onyx feet, this unique bird is all black. It even possesses inky internal organs caused by fibromatosis, a harmless genetic abnormality that causes excess melanin to infiltrate into the bird’s tissue. This happens in embryos, and the result is delightfully dark Cemani chicks. This rare ” Goth Chicken ” is entirely black from its feathers to its internal organs and bones.
Ayam Cemani has inspired Javanese folklore since the 12th century when this black chicken was considered a bird of the elite. Its charcoal-colored blood is rumored to be a delicacy of spirits that bring power and wealth, making this beautiful chicken a good luck charm. Now scroll down below and check the stunning pictures displaying the rare beauty of Cemani.
The eggs are medium in size and cream in color. The Ayam Cemani has a cyclical laying cycle, laying 20-30 eggs, then stopping for a while before continuing! They will lay roughly 80 eggs every year if they continue in this manner.
Having strong roots from Indonesia, this chicken has a black heart – literally! It is one of the few melanistic chickens known to man.
When asked how can we distinguish between normal and Kadaknath breed? Tara Prasad Pandey, owner of Madi Turkey Farm, Palpa, says, “Normal chicken do not contain black wattle and comb. This is the primary sign of the breed. But nowadays black chicken can be produced by a hybrid of other breed. So you must make sure that the internal part of the chicken is also black.” Revealing the tactic to identify whether the breed is pure or not Pandey added, “For this, you need to open the mouth of the chicken and if the inside of its beak is also black, be sure that you have Kadaknath.”Pandey’s farm has been producing Kadaknath chickens from past three years said.
Even though farmers have begun commercial farming of Kadaknath, it is not grown in Nepal. It is imported from India by farmers. Pandey claims to have begun his business by importing 50 eggs and now sells eggs and chicks from his farm. “Six months ago, I heard about the benefits of Kadaknath over the internet,” said Saman Tamang, proprietor of Ghising Organic Farm in Dhangadhi. As a result, I chose commercial farming. I brought 100 eggs from Madhya Pradesh, India, because the breed was not accessible in the country.” He currently has 60 Kadaknath on his farm, and he is looking forward to expanding his business as demand grows. The eggs are medium in size and cream in color. The Ayam Cemani has a cyclical laying cycle, laying 20-30 eggs, then stopping for a while before continuing! They will lay roughly 80 eggs every year if they continue in this manner.
The black pigment of the breed is the result of melanin deposition. External anatomy of the chicken is just like other normal chickens. The color of chickens in this breed varies from bluish black to dark black with irregular dark stripes over the back. The adults are also seen with silver and gold color spangled to its bluish-black body. Roosters are coated with shiny inky black feather weighing around 2 kg. Unlike normal rooster, they contain long sickle feather which makes them look like Kalij (pheasant). Similarly, the hen of Kadaknath weighs around 1.5 kg and their color is lighter than the rooster. Eggs and blood of this breed are darker than normal chicken.
However, beak, shanks, toes, and soles of feet are the brown. Kadaknath’s ability to lay eggs is weak as compared to normal chicken. Kadaknath lays around 100 eggs per year while normal chicken has ability to lay around 300 eggs per year. Likewise, they are not broody, so commercial incubator is used for chick production.
Roosters of the breed are less active and hence fertility of egg in this breed is comparatively low. According to Pandey, only 70 percent of eggs are successfully hatched during summer. The number decreases to 50 to 60 percent during winter. The price of Kadaknath’s meat and egg is three times that of a normal chicken. According to Pandey, a live chicken is only sold at Rs 1,000 to 1,500 per kg.