The Ayam Cemani chicken breed is the most mysterious breed there is. From their completely dark crown to the bottom of their completely dark feet they strike a stunning pose. Learn all about them so you will be able to decide if they would be a good addition to your flock.
If you are looking for a chicken breed to add some wow factor to your flock? The Ayam Cemani Chicken is it.
There is still much unknown about this breed, especially its origins and history. However, one of the most distinctive features of this chicken is its all-black coloration.
As chief of the black chicken breeds, the meat, its skin, beak, eyes, feathers, claws, tongue, and even the heart is black. Only the bones of the chicken are not black.
This is part of why it is an expensive and rare breed you will not find everywhere. If you want to know more about this mysterious breed, you have come to the right place.
Ayam Cemani: What You Need To Know
History Of Ayam Cemani Chickens
A Dutch colonist living in Java in the 1920s was the first to discover and document the Ayam Cemani chicken breed. After that, the breed began appearing in various parts of the U.S and Europe.
As you can imagine, the Ayam Cemani became highly popular because everyone was mesmerized by their all-black coloration.
|Size||Medium (Four to Six Pounds)|
|Purpose||Dual Purpose (Ornamental)|
During that time, the birds were selling for over two-thousand dollars. Of course, now the prices have gone down, and you can easily buy a single Ayam Cemani chick for around $50. You will still find it challenging to discover a hatchery that will supply these chicks.
If you want to purchase a breeding pair instead of chicks, you will be shocked to find prices begin at $5,000.
North American breeders are doing their best to refine the true Ayam Cemani breed and retain the all-black coloration through a stringent breeding program.
In Java, the bird has been traditionally used for ritual ceremonies and folk medicine. On the other hand, people in Bali use this breed for cockfighting.
People in Europe and America use the Ayam Cemani chicken as ornamental. So, the use of this bird will vary from place to place.
Ayam Cemani Egg Facts
|Egg Laying||Average (2/week)|
|Egg Color||Tinted or Cream|
Many people think Ayam Cemani chickens lay black eggs, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The breed lays a cream-colored egg with a slight pink tint. It will start laying eggs when it is five or six months old.
However, their egg-laying capacities are below average. They will lay only around sixty eggs per year. They will also lay these eggs in different cycles. There will be a gap of many months between each egg-laying cycle.
AC Chicken Features
|Comb Type||Single Comb|
|Number of Toes||4|
Like we’ve already talked about, the rarest feature of this breed is its all-black coloration. This is part of the reason most people use this breed as an ornamental chicken in their backyards or farms.
It would be difficult to free range such an expensive bird and risk predator attacks.
The black coloration comes from a fibromelanosis gene that leads to ultra-pigmentation of all the tissues.
Because of this, the breed accumulates an abnormal amount of melanin, which leads to an entirely black color on the outside and inside. You will notice that the Ayam Cemani chicken breed has longer legs when compared to other breeds.
The expected lifespan is between six and eight years but can be longer under the right conditions.
The Ayam Cemani chickens are also strong and muscular with close-fitting feathers. The breed is alert at all times and will always strike a confident pose whenever you look at it. However, the breed is not yet recognized by the American Poultry Association.
As of now, the U.S. Ayam Cemani Club is working towards a standard of perfection for this rare breed. As soon as the standard is perfect, the breed will become recognized by the American Poultry Association.
Ayam Cemani Chicken Characteristics
|Cold Hardiness||Hardy in winter|
|Heat Tolerance||Easily tolerates heat|
|Bears Confinement||Can tolerate confinement|
|Personality||Gentle and friendly|
Ayam Cemani chickens are friendly, docile, gentle, and intelligent. However, as in any breed, there are exceptions. Some people also say this breed can tend to be flighty.
The Ayam Cemani chicken is easy to handle and is one of the most low-maintenance chicken breeds out there. They are winter hardy, and can easily tolerate the heat making them the perfect breed for all seasons.
While they enjoy the ability to free-range, I would personally have a hard time risking it with such an expensive bird. Others do it with no problems. You have to decide what works for you. They do withstand confinement well if given enough room and a good diet.
Keep in mind they are not the ideal chicken breed to keep if you have a family. Although they are friendly, they don’t have a cuddly disposition. If a child should try to hold one, it may resist. This could cause harm to the child and the chicken.
Summary of Ayam Cemani: What you need to know
Poultry lovers have always been attracted to the Ayam Cemani chicken breed. They are beautiful, and they have an air of mystery and superstition around them, which intrigues people even further.
However, finding a quality Ayam Cemani chicken breeding pair at a reasonable price can be a challenge because they are rare. A good breeding pair starts at around $5,000!
A few hatcheries have just a few eggs hatch and the chicks cost around $50 each. You could order eggs for incubating, but that is also a risk because of the risk of low hatch rate.
If you are looking for an ornamental chicken breed to add more variety to your farm or backyard space, the Ayam Cemani chicken is perfect.
On the other hand, if you want a dual-purpose chicken for egg and meat production, the Ayam Cemani may not be the best choice for your goals.
As always, we’re here to help.