From Feathers To Bones - Goth Chicken Is Entirely Black

The world’s most unique chicken Ayam Cemani is not just dark but entirely black. Right from feathers to bones, Ayam Cemani is ...

10 months ago
From Feathers To Bones - Goth Chicken Is Entirely Black

The world’s most unique chicken Ayam Cemani is not just dark but entirely black. Right from feathers to bones, Ayam Cemani is completely black. Even its internal organs and muscles are inky colored. However, its eggs have a pleasant shade of cream.

This breed is indigenous to Indonesia. ‘Ayam’ means “chicken” and ‘Cemani’ refers to the village on the island of Java, where this breed originated. 

Source = Greenfire Farms

Paul Bradshaw of Greenfire Farms is a noted Ayam Cemani breeder. He suggests that this blackness is caused by genetics. He explained to one of the media agencies -

“The source of all this blackness is a gene mutation that emerged in Asia centuries ago and eventually made its way to Europe. The mutation produces about ten times as much melanin as you’ll find in a normal chicken.”

The black pigmentation of the Goth Chicken including black tongue, black bones and black meat is formed by the genetic fluke of duplication of two DNAs. 

This also causes Ayam Cemani’s feathers shine with iridescent greens and purples. 

Source = Greenfire Farms

Apart from being a biological wonder, Ayam Cemani has long been regarded as a spiritual creature. Centuries ago, these chickens were either kept by elites or used in rituals but never eaten on the Indonesian island of Java. Their unique color was thought to be a sign of other worldliness. People believed them as an emissary between human and supernatural world. They were rumored to be a delicacy of spirits that bring power and wealth, which made them a good luck charm. 

You might have also read about The World’s Only Brown Panda.

Source = Greenfire Farms

Since the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has banned the imports of live chickens from Indonesia, this breed has become more rare and expensive. Reports suggest that a newborn chick costs approximately $199 including shipping and handling. 

The Greenfire Farms in Northern Florida has somehow managed to bring the breed to United States. They use these chickens for ceremonies of another kind, such as supplying the chicken to the New York magazine for modeling in their holiday gifts issue. 

Source = Greenfire Farms

Ayam Cemani has also been reported to have been found in China, Sweden and Vietnam. There is also an Indian version of this breed, which is found in Madhya Pradesh area. It is referred as ‘Kadaknath’ here. 

What’s more interesting is that in spite of being reared in different countries, each chicken shows the exact mutation.
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