Ayam Cemani Chicken: Breed Info, Lifespan, Eggs, Size, Color, Temperament, Pictures & More

If you are looking for rare black chicken breed, Ayam Cemani is one of the best to raise globally.

This is a unique chicken breed with black color skin, comb, beak, feathers, and leg etc.

These birds are unique in that they are typically black from the appearance of their internal organs. However, the Ayam Cemani blood is red. 

Here you will know detailed information about this black Indonesian chicken breed like history, varieties, lifespan, egg production, size, temperament, color, appearance, characteristics, care guide and FAQs.

Also read: 13 Best Japanese Chicken Breeds

History and Origin of Ayam Cemani Chicken

Black Ayam Cemani Rooster Standing
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Ayam Cemani Rooster Picture

The origin of Ayam Cemani Chickens is relatively unknown. However, it is mainly believed to have originated in Sumatra. 

The Ayam Cemani chicken breed is related to a small subsection of chicken breeds called Kedu, from central regions of Java.

Additionally, the Ayam Cemani chicken of Indonesia was believed to be created from matching of the green jungle fowl with some domesticated red jungle fowl. 

The process was very challenging since some were infertile. It is a descendant of the Ayam Bekisar chicken, which lives on a small Indonesian island. 

The name Ayam Cemani given to this chicken breed is in response to the place and the language from where it is believed to have originated in Indonesia. 

The name ‘Ayam’ means chicken in the Indonesian language, while ‘Cemani’ means either the village of Cemani in the local Indonesian dialect or ‘solid black’ in Sanskrit. 

The Ayam Cemani chicken breed is unique and rare. Some people believe that the chicken is a landrace bird. 

However, some evidence points out that the Ayam Cemani chicken was a developed breed from some Indonesian breeds. Also, this fowl has a characteristic crow, and therefore it was sometimes used as a foghorn by seafarers. 

The Ayam Cemani is a rare chicken breed. You will find it reared by people of wealth in its origin community. 

The wealthy people rear this rare fowl breed as a status symbol in the community. Those people take great care of them since they believe them to be good luck charms in Indonesia as they are adapted at fighting off evil spirits.

Ayam Cemani Cockerel or Pullet
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The blood and other parts of the Indonesian black Ayam Cemani were and are still being used in the preparations of traditional medicine. Further, this rare chicken breed is being used to facilitate communication between the living and the spirit world, since they believe it possesses magical powers. 

Therefore, the Indonesian people primarily use it as a sacrificial bird to please their gods; hence their meat is rarely eaten in Indonesia. These birds are rare and few globally. 

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It is believed that their total number is a few thousand. The first breed to Europe was introduced in the 1990s by a Dutchman called Jan Steverink.

Over the last few years, this rare chicken breed has become famous. The yam Cemani chicken breed has almost everything black in its body because of a dominant gene that leads to hyperpigmentation, making it completely black. 

All its internal and external organs except its blood are black. In the modern-day, the Ayam Cemani chicken breed is popular in the Czech Republic, Germany, the Netherlands, and Slovakia apart from its country of origin, Indonesia. 

Generally, in the modern-day, the Ayam Cemani chickens are popular for their eggs and meat in Indonesia. Many superstitious Javanese think these hens have mystical properties in their region. 

They are treasured in traditional medicine for treating cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, and they’re also employed in religious rites. 

Cockfighting is an age-old cultural tradition in Bali that is viewed as an ancient religious ceremony rather than a sport for pleasure. The Ayam Cemani is a decorative chicken breed in the United States and Europe.

Ayam Cemani Color Varieties

The yam Cemani chicken breed has almost everything black in its body because of a dominant gene that leads to hyperpigmentation, making it completely black. They have no color varieties. They are entirely black.

Ayam Cemani Lifespan

The black chicken Ayam Cemani is a hardy chicken. However, they are living creatures. Like other living creatures, health, and care are essential in determining their lifespan. The average lifespan of the Ayam Cemani chicken breed is 6 to 8 years. 

The Ayam Cemani chicken breed may surpass its average lifespan with proper care and healthy living conditions. Poor living conditions and diet may lead to a reduced lifespan of this rare and adorable fowl breed. 

These adorable fowl breeds can withstand both hot and cold temperatures, easily shaking off frigid circumstances as well as unbearable heat. 

As long as you offer adequate shade and cold-season shelter, you will find that your Ayam Cemani is a hardy breed that can withstand most weather conditions.

Ayam Cemani Temperament

The Ayam Cemani chicken’s temperament is often sociable and gentle. Additionally, they are quite alert and lively, as they are still closely related to their jungle fowl ancestors. 

They like free-ranging and have a lot of space. Because they are prone to anxiousness, they are not ideal as lap chickens. Ayam Cemani is typically quiet and passive with their flock mates, making them a good match for other active but non-aggressive breeds. 

However, any new chickens must be introduced to an established flock with extreme caution to avoid fighting, which can result in injury and, in rare cases, death to the birds. 

Ayam Cemani Hen Eggs Laying Age, Count, Egg Size, and Egg Color

Two Ayam Cemani in nesting box
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The Ayam Cemani chicken breed may take 5 to 6 months before mature enough to lay eggs. Ayam Cemani hens, unfortunately, are not known for their egg-laying abilities

They usually only lay one egg each week, for only 80 eggs per year. They have a reputation for stopping laying after long periods – they may lay twenty-five eggs and then stop producing for six months before restarting. 

This behavior does not always correspond to broodiness or molting, and it does not appear to be driven by anything in particular. If you are hoping to lay a fowl for egg production, then the Ayam Cemani chicken hen is not the one for you. 

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The Ayam Cemani hen produces rather large eggs compared to its average body size when it comes to egg size. The eggs laid by Ayam Cemani hens are always cream in color with a pale pink tinge. 

The idea of these fowl birds laying black eggs is a myth and not actual. The Ayam Cemani is a non-brooding breed of hen that does not sit well on her eggs. 

If you wish to raise chicks, you should use an incubator or place them beneath other brooding chicken breeds. When caring for the chicks, Ayam Cemani hens are good mothers who care well for their chicks.

Color, Size, Appearance, Characteristics of Ayam Cemani

Color

The Ayam Cemani chicken breed is typically black. This is due to the hyperpigmentation of the dominant gene in their body. Therefore, they have black feathers, legs, comb, and wattles. 

Size

The size of Ayam Cemani is considered moderate. Males with four and a half to six and a half pounds. 

With adequate care, nutrition, and living conditions, it is possible to grow somewhat larger. On the other hand, females typically weigh between three and four and a half pounds.

Appearance

The Ayam Cemani chicken breed has unusual glossy black feathers with iridescent coloring. Additionally, they have black comb, wattles, tongue, and even their internal organs are black. 

This is because of the dominant gene in their body that leads to hyperpigmentation (fibromelanosis). Additionally, these rare chicken breed compact, slim and muscular appearance. 

These birds are usually vigilant and hold themselves in an erect position. The feathers are close to the body, and the tail is upward high, creating a beautiful waterfall of feathers.

Characteristics

  • The Indonesian black Ayam Cemani feature black feathers, and they have a beetle-green iridescence in sunlight which is quite stunning, hence giving it a striking sight. 
  • The Ayam Cemani chicken breed is not among the large fowls. They are medium-sized birds. These breeds roosters weigh around 4.5 to 6.5 lbs, while the female chicken weighs between 3.5 to 4.5 lbs when fully grown.
  • The bird has a medium-sized physique that is thin, firm, and muscular. They have a medium back that slopes from the neck and a broad breast.
  • Black chicken Ayam Cemani have completely dark black color feathers, skin, eyes, neck, and legs.
  • The feathers of these rare fowls are closely fitted to their body.
  • These unique birds have powerful and muscular thighs, while they have four toes on each foot.
  • The tails of the Ayam Cemani chicken breed are moderately high in position.
  • As a game bird, Ayam Cemani is strong and muscular with close-fitting feathers giving them a confident pose, and they are always alert.
  • The chicken’s beaks and tongues, black combs and wattles, and even their meat, bones, and organs appear black. The Ayam Cemani’s blood is normal. The bird’s black hue is generated by excessive pigmentation of the tissues caused by fibromelanosis, a genetic disorder. This gene can be found in some blackbird breeds. 
  • Hens lay cream-colored eggs after that, despite being lousy setters and rarely hatch their brood. The average weight of an egg is 45 grams.
  • These game birds have strong and long wings.
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Ayam Cemani Hen Vs. Rooster

Ayam Cemani Hen Picture
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Ayam Cemani Hen Picture

The Ayam Cemani rooster is giant and more muscular than the hens. The roosters are heavier than hens since they weigh between 4.5 to 6.5 lbs, while the hens weigh between 3.5 to 4.5 lbs. 

Male chickens have large size comb, ears, and wattles as compared to females. The roosters have an odd and loud crow that they make all day, while the hens are quiet. 

As a result, roosters are not suited for keeping in areas where near neighbors can be offended by their constant crowing.

Benefits of Raising and Breeding Ayam Cemani chicken

There are multiple benefits of raising and breeding the Ayam Cemani chicken breed. They include:

  • They have a gorgeous, unique, and rare appearance.
  • Ayam Cemani produce decently sized cream-colored eggs.
  • They are docile and therefore making them easy to interact with and handle.
  • The Ayam Cemani chicken breed is exceptionally hardy to both cold and heat.
  • It can handle free-ranging in both settings with ease should you give them proper conditions.
  • This fowl is a pretty friendly and good-natured bird, despite having haunting and somehow creepy looks.
  • When you raise them in proximity to other birds, the Ayam Cemani chicken can tolerate confinement well.
  • They produce healthy meat and eggs that are rich in vitamins and proteins.
  • The Ayam Cemani chicken breed is brilliant.

Problems in Raising Ayam Cemani chicken

Despite the benefits of raising the Ayam Cemani chicken breed, there are various difficulties. Some problems include:

  • These unique birds are rare and exceptionally expensive. For example, one unsexed chicken can cost up to $200, while a sexed juvenile price is double $200. Therefore, only making these birds only for the wealthy and abled in the society.
  • They are poor egg layers.
  • They are easy fliers and, therefore, hard for confinement.
  • The American Poultry Association does not recognize them.

Common FAQs

Ayam Cemani Baby Chick
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Ayam Cemani Baby Chick Picture

Why is Ayam Cemani so expensive?

The Ayam Cemani chicken breed is so expensive because they are pretty rare and therefore very hard to obtain. Where they can be obtained, these birds are owned by the wealthy in the community, and they rarely want to part with them because of their valued belief in their homes. 

How rare is the Ayam Cemani?

The Ayam Cemani is very rare. It is believed that their total number globally currently is less than 4 thousand. Additionally, they are poor egg layers. 

Is Ayam Cemani and Kadaknath same?

The Ayam Cemani and Kadaknath are not the same chicken breeds. Their blood is different in color despite these fowls having the same color in appearance, meat, feathers, and bones. The blood of Ayam Cemani is dark red, while the blood of Kadaknath is black. 

Summary

The Ayam Cemani chicken breed is truly one of the rarest birds globally. These birds are hardy, and they can survive in all weather. Having prior information is quite beneficial when it comes to keeping these unique and rare bird breeds. 

With the above information, you will have a hassle-free experience keeping this unique and rare Ayam Cemani chicken in your home. 

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I am Bijaya Kumar and I have been raising chickens for the last 10 years. Backyard poultry farming has been our family business for the last 30 years. We raise multiple chicken breeds in their backyard.

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