We took 4 years off from working with animals, but we are now back and excited all over again!
These chickens come from Indonesia and is considered sacred in its homeland, used for centuries in religious rituals. Imported relatively recently to the United States, this breed is extremely limited in numbers and can be a challenge to acquire.
Although some have referred to this chicken as the Lamborghini of chickens, to us, this is the ultimate Goth chicken...right down to its bones.
That's right. The feathers, which shine iridescent beetle green and purple sheen
in sunlight are black, but so is the wattle, comb, skin, meat, organs and bone marrow and bones. This is due to an excess of pigmentation caused by a genetic condition known as fibromelanosis.
This abnormal accumulation of melanin makes the skin and tissues appear black. This genetic trait is only carried by three other birds – the Silkie, the Svart Hona from Sweden and the Kadaknath from the Madhya Pradesh region of India.
The Ayam Bekisar originated from matching the green jungle fowl with some domesticated red jungle fowl.
Interestingly, this type of fowl has a very distinct crow, and was used by seafarers as foghorns on the boats – a practice still used today.
Ayam means chicken in the Indonesian language, but the name Cemani can either mean the ‘village of Cemani’ in local dialect or ‘solid black’ in Sanskrit.
They are thought of as good luck charms, with the blood and other parts of the bird being used in traditional medicine preparations.
The Ayam Cemani is said to have magical powers and can facilitate communication between the living and the spirit world. It is used as a sacrificial bird to please the gods, and as it is for the Gods, its’ flesh is rarely eaten in Indonesia.
A Dutch breeder named Jan Steverink first imported the Ayam Cemani out of Indonesia to Europe in 1998. Currently, this breed also resides in the Netherlands, Germany, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and now the United States.
The roosters weigh an average of 5 to 6 pounds, and the hens average 4 to 5 pounds.
Ayam Cemini can poor layers, which is probably why fertile eggs and chicks are difficult to find. Different sources claim you can expect the hens to lay 60 - 100, 80 - 90 or 120 -140 cream-colored with a pinkish tint, medium to large eggs a year.
A typical laying cycle lasts for about 20 to 30 eggs, then the hen will stop laying for three to six months.
The eggs are unusually large in proportion to the size of the hen’s body
Nope, no black eggs from them! Those pictures of thebird with black eggs are fake.
Cemanis in general seem to be a friendly and likeable bird. They are intelligent, gentle and docile – including the
Ayam Ceminis are hardy and easy to handle and best of all, low maintenance. Because of their black color, they easily absorb the sunlight, which helps them in cold, harsh climates.