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