Have you heard about Ayam Cemani? Perhaps you may know it or not, black color is not an uncommon color in the animal world. Because so many animals are black like bears are black, gorillas are black; there’re breeds of dogs and cats that are black. But this Indonesian chicken breed recognized as Ayam Cemani takes the black color into a completely different realm.
The black color of Ayam Cemani is not limited to its special feathers and the color is all over and even on the inside. Interestingly everything of Ayam Cemani is black, like its skin, beak, plume, tongue, legs, and toenails; even its meat, bones, and organs, even bone marrow is black. The chicken blood, though not black, but extremely dark colored. Ayam Cemani is so remarkable and exotic that it is referred to as the “Lamborghini of poultry”.
The word “Ayam” means “chicken” in Indonesian, and “Cemani” translates to “completely black” in Javanese. This unusual breed originated in Java in Indonesia. They were introduced in Europe in 1998 by a Dutch breeder, where they drew substantial attention from poultry enthusiasts due to their appearances and genetic makeup.
Moreover; Ayam Cemani is one of the most expensive chickens in the world with a solitary bird costing up to $2,500. Ayam Cemani gets their black coloring from a generic trait recognized as fibromelanosis. That helps the proliferation of black pigment cells. The gene that causes fibromelanosis is a mutation that existed in Asia about over 800 years ago.
The mutation made its way to other chicken ranges, such as the Swedish Black Hen, or Svart Hona, which has the same fibromelanistic traits as the Ayam Cemani, and hereafter, as black as the Indonesian breed. In Asia, Ayam Cemani is highly liked chicken because their meat is thought to have mystical powers.
Their meat is believed to have rich in Iron, consequently helpful to females before and after childbirth. Birds are at times sacrificed during childbirth having faith in fortune will come to the laboring mother. The chicken is also sacrificed on other distinct occasions, as it is believed to be brought luck.
Moreover, many Asian people accept it as true that eating this chicken will comfort their conscience, and their crowing brings success. The chicken lays cream-colored eggs the only part of Ayam Cemani that is not black. Though, being poor sitters, they don’t roost and then the only way to hatch eggs is to incubate.