Black is a common color in the animal world. There are black bears, gorillas, black dogs and cats. But this Indonesian chicken breed known as Ayam Cemani may surprise you. The black color of ayam Cemani not limited to its feathers. Everything about this chicken is black – skin, beak, feather, tongue, claws, even its meat, bones and organs. Even bone marrow is black. Their blood, although not black, but very dark. Ayam Cemani so exciting and exotic that is referred to as the “Lamborghini of poultry”.
The word 'Ayam' means 'chicken' in Indonesian, and ‘Cemani’ translates as 'completely black' in Javanese. This exotic breed originated on the island of Java in Indonesia. She was first introduced to Europe in 1998, where it aroused great interest among connoisseurs of poultry. Dutch breeders have paid attention to a black breed of chicken because of the unusual appearance, and a genetic component. Ayam Cemani — some of the most expensive chickens in the world. One chick can cost up to 2,500$.
Breed get their black colouring from genetic features, known as fibromatosis, which contributes to the rapid increase of black pigment cells. The gene that causes fibromatosis is a mutation that existed in Asia more than 800 years ago. The mutation spread to other breeds of chickens, such as the Swedish Black Hen svart Hona.
In Asia, the black rock hens are very highly valued as we believe in its mystical powers. Their meat contains more iron, so it is helpful for women during and after pregnancy. Birds are sometimes sacrificed during the birth, or other special occasions. People believe that the sacrifice brings good luck. Some Asians believe that eating this black chicken will ease their conscience, and their crowing brings prosperity.
The only thing that is not black at Ayam Cemani are eggs that have a creamy color. But this breed make a very bad hen, because the eggs have to continue wearing artificially, with the help of the incubator.