You may think that this all-black chicken has been edited using photo manipulation software, but this animal is genuine.
The Ayam Cemani is the most extraordinary chicken on the planet. This bird isn’t just dark-colored; it’s entirely black, right down to its bones!
These birds are native to Indonesia, and their internal organs and muscles are black, but their eggs are creamy in color. They’re so stunning and unique that they’re referred to as the “Lamborghini of the poultry world.”
According to Paul Bradshaw, the proprietor of Greenfire Farms, a well-known and respected Ayam Cemani breeder, the reason for the chicken’s all-black appearance is genetics. “The cause of all this blackness is a genetic mutation that emerged in Asia centuries ago and eventually made its way to Europe,” he told Gizmodo. “The mutation produces about ten times more melanin than a normal chicken.” In addition to being a biological marvel, these remarkable birds have long been considered spiritual creatures. On the Indonesian island of Java, the Ayam Cemani were kept by the elites or used in rituals. Because of their distinctive coloring, they were never eaten, as it was seen as a symbol of their otherworldliness.
The Ayam Cemani chickens are black even as chicks. When exposed to bright sunlight, their feathers glow in iridescent greens and purples, which is a breathtaking sight. The Indonesian people have long revered these fowls as spiritual animals because of their stunning appearance.
According to Veronika Kusumaryati, a Ph.D. candidate in the anthropology department at Harvard University, traditional Javanese culture believes in the existence of good and bad spirits that can help individuals acquire power, reputation, and wealth. The natives offer Cemani chicken to the ghosts and spirits as they love the meat and blood of these chickens.
Due to concerns about the avian flu, the US Department of Agriculture has banned the direct importation of live chickens from Indonesia. However, Greenfire Farms in Northern Florida has managed to legally bring the breed to the country for aesthetic purposes. Paul Bradshaw, the owner of Greenfire Farms, remembered when they supplied an Ayam Cemani model for a New York magazine’s holiday gifts issue. The rooster was draped with million-dollar jewelry and trussed with a red ribbon, while it was photographed under bright lights. Although the attention didn’t bother the rooster, he was glad to return to his flock of hens in Florida.
The Ayam Cemani has a high egg production rate, laying approximately 60 to 100 eggs in their first year, with a typical laying cycle lasting for 20 to 30 eggs. After that, the hen will cease laying for three to six months. Despite their striking appearance, these birds are relatively easy to care for.
However, potential owners should be aware that these birds come with a hefty price tag. Greenfire Farms sells one unsexed egg for $199 plus shipping and handling, while juvenile males and females cost $400 each.
To see more images of this remarkable bird, check out the photo gallery below.
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