Do you want to add some of the best black chickens to your backyard flocks? If yes, don’t worry about the unusual look of black chicken breeds.
Here, you will learn about the top 17 best black chicken breeds. Each breed has distinct characteristics, history, and appearance, making them a worthwhile addition to your backyard flock.
What Are Black Chickens?
Backyard poultry farming with black chickens is fascinating. Black chickens have black feathers, skin, bones, and internal organs in some breeds.
So what makes them special? The genes control it. A hereditary condition termed Fibromelanosis makes black chickens.
This mutation is rare, so these birds are fascinating and expensive. They are popular with poultry lovers due to their meat quality, laying capacity, and unique appearance.
Top 17 Best Black Chickens with Pictures (Big, Small and Fancy Breeds)
We hope you all enjoy the list of these black chickens. After reading this, maybe you select one or two of such black chicken breeds for your backyard flocks:
1. Black Shuman Chicken (Big Rare Breed)
The Black Shuman chicken comes from Bulgaria. Bulgarian Black and Shumen are other common names. It is named after Shumen, a northeast Bulgarian town.
This chicken breed is known for its dark black feathers, greenish-blue hue, and dual-purpose use. This black chicken is rare. Only 350 of this breed existed in 2013.
People love them for their unusual beauty and friendliness. Black Shuman chickens are medium-sized birds, with hens averaging 5-6 pounds and roosters 6-7 pounds.
The comb and wattles of a black Shuman are a bright red color. Their legs are slate blue and earlobes red.
This breed’s hens are strong foragers and thrive in free-range settings with little tendency to go broody.
Black Shumen hens begin laying eggs at roughly 6–7 months of age and produce approximately 150–170 eggs each year. The eggs are big and a light cream color.
When compared to other chicken breeds, the Black Shumen chicken stands out for its better flavor and quality black, soft meat. Their average lifespan is 8–10 years.
2. Black Valdarno Chicken (Big Rare Breed)
The United States has put this Black Valdarno chicken on the endangered species list because it is so rare. Now only a few backyard chicken breeders and hobbyists raise them.
Black Valdarno chickens are highly sought after due to their tasty and juicy meat. However, they are also bred for their stunning, black, iridescent feathers, which have ornamental values.
Their single comb, wattles, and face are all bright red in color. The earlobes are white and legs are clean slate blue.
In general, Black Valdarno hens begin laying eggs at about 6 months of age. They lay 170-180 medium-sized eggs per year. Chickens of this breed rarely go broody.
The meat is flavorful and soft, and they have their own unique flavor. Hens typically weigh around 5 pounds, while roosters are approximately 6 pounds.
Due to their docile and sociable nature, chicken farmers love them. They typically live between 6 and 8 years, which is quite good.
3. Black Orpington Chicken (Big and Broody Breed)
The poultry farming community has loved Orpington chickens for over a century. In the late 1800s, William Cook created this breed in England.
The Black Orpington is rarer than other colors. They are sociable and simple to tame, making them a great pet for households with young children.
These chickens can withstand temperatures much below freezing and continue their daily activities.
A single red comb, black feet, and black earlobes give Black Orpingtons their unique appearance. Feathers on roosters are a greenish black, whereas those on hens are glossy black.
The hens are renowned for their superior egg production. Black Orpington hens typically produce between 150 and 200 eggs annually.
The eggs are between medium and large in size, and the shell is light brown. These hens are good egg setters and hatch eggs.
Black Orpington chicken meat is delicate and delicious. Their meat-to-bone ratio makes them good meat birds.
For families with children, Orpingtons are nice and gentle. They are excellent foragers and can be allowed to free-range, but they also do well when confined.
The weight of the hens is 7-8 pounds, while the weight of the roosters is 10-12 pounds. Black Orpingtons live 8-10 years, making them long-lived.
4. Black Ancona Chicken (Fancy and Egg Layer)
The Black Ancona chicken is a beautiful domestic chicken breed that has become very popular. Because of their versatility, these chicken breeds are popular among people who keep hens at their backyard.
This poultry breed originated in the Italian city of Ancona. It became popular among farmers and home poultry keepers after being imported to the US in the late 19th century.
The Livestock Conservancy lists the Black Ancona Chicken as endangered due to its low population.
The Black Ancona Chicken has a distinctive black plumage with white spots, a red upright comb, and medium-sized white earlobes.
The legs and feet are slate or black. The chickens reach full egg-laying potential at around 5 months of age and are of a medium size.
This breed of hens is an excellent layer and annually lays between 200 and 220 white eggs of medium size.
Black Ancona chickens are a fantastic option for backyard chicken keepers who need a steady supply of eggs because they are not noted for broodiness.
The dark, rich, and flavorful taste of the Black Ancona Chicken’s meat is another reason for its high value. They are sociable and docile, and have extraordinary foraging instincts. Birds are wide-ranging and fly effortlessly.
Typically, females weigh between 4.5 and 5 pounds, whereas males can weigh up to 7 pounds. Black Ancona chickens have an average lifespan of 8-10 years.
5. Ayam Cemani Chicken (Small and Fancy)
The Ayam Cemani Chicken is a unique black plumage breed that is extremely unusual and exotic.
Its sleek, dark appearance has become it a status symbol in some societies. It is believed to have originated on the island of Java in Indonesia.
Locals cultivated the breed for use in religious ceremonies and for their meat, which was considered a delicacy. The Ayam Cemani was also thought to have magical powers and was used in many traditional activities.
There are just a few thousand Ayam Cemani chickens left in the world, making it one of the rarest chicken breeds. The breed is very popular with breeders and bird lovers, which has made the price of the birds skyrocket in recent years.
All of its distinguishing features—feathers, comb, wattles, and earlobes—are solid black. Furthermore, the black meat is delicious and soft.
In addition to being broody, the hens have a calm and sociable demeanor. The Ayam Cemani chickens are excellent foragers and enjoy living in spacious yards.
Roosters can get as heavy as 6-7 pounds, while hens average at 3.5-5.5 pounds. The Ayam Cemani Chicken can live for about 6 to 8 years.
This breed of chickens produces fewer eggs annually, between 60 and 100. The eggs of the Ayam Cemani chicken are of average size and a creamy color.
6. Black Silkie Chicken (Small and Fancy)
The Black Silkie chicken is another famous breed because to its soft, silky feathers that look like fur.
This breed was prized for its meat and medicine in China. The modern purpose for the Black Silkie Chicken’s existence is purely ornamental.
It is a bantam breed, with an average weight of 2-3 pounds. Silkies look different from other birds because of their black skin, dark feathers that resemble fur, and bright blue ears.
Their beaks and wattles are also black, and their feathers go all the way down to their toes. The hens are known for being good moms and caring for their young, but not for laying eggs. They typically lay 100 tiny, white eggs annually.
The temperament of a Black Silkie chicken is often quiet yet sociable. Backyard farmers like them since they’re easy to handle and good pets. Silkies are wonderful foragers that can live in small yards.
Their skin, flesh, and blood are all completely black, and the meat has a delicious flavor. Silkies meat and eggs are regarded as highly medicinal properties in Chinese medicine.
Due to their attractive appearance, mild disposition, and sociable nature, they are popular as pets. The Black Silkie Chicken is a good choice if you want to add something unique and interesting to your backyard flock.
7. White Crested Black Polish Chicken (Fancy Breed)
Originating in the Netherlands, the White Crested Black Polish poultry is a distinct breed. This chicken breed is known for its high head crest and lustrous black body feathers.
The black chicken breed was brought to Europe from Asia in the 16th century. Today, the White Crested Black Polish chicken is an uncommon breed in the US.
However, its unusual appearance and kind personality have made it popular among chicken fans. They are often exhibited or kept as pets.
The White Crested Polish chicken is easily identifiable by its red earlobes and characteristic V-shaped comb. Their legs are black and have no feathers. Each foot has four toes.
This breed’s hens lay 150 small to medium-sized white eggs annually. They start laying eggs at 6 months and are not good egg setters.
Unlike other chicken breeds, White Crested Black Polish chickens are rarely raised for their meat. The hens weigh 4.5 pounds and the roosters 6 pounds.
They have a kind and quiet personality, making them a popular choice for poultry farmers. White Crested Polish are also renowned for their ability to forage and adjust well to a free-range existence.
This little black chicken love to fly and go to high space in the backyard, which represents the free-ranging nature of this black chicken.
They have a life expectancy of between 5 and 7 years, but some may live longer with appropriate care. If you want to add a unique and friendly bird to your flock, this breed is a great choice.
8. Minorca Chicken (Rare and Fancy Breed)
The Menorca Island in Spain is the origin of Minorca chicken. People think that the breed came from Mediterranean chickens that the Phoenicians brought to the island.
The Menorquina or Catalan: Gallina de Menorca became famous for ornamental use in England in the 19th century. There are only a few hundred of these hens left in the world, making them extremely rare.
The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy considers the breed “critical”. Thus, this uncommon black chicken breed has gained widespread popularity.
They have a average tendency to lay eggs. The Minorca hens lay 150 big white eggs annually.
The Minorca Chicken has single type comb and a red face. They also have gray legs and big white earlobes. They are tall and slender, with roosters weighing approximately 9 pounds and hens weighing approximately 7.5 pounds.
Their thin, large, hanging wattles and earlobes are a big reason why they get frostbite so easily. The breed is recognized for its energetic and active demeanor, as well as its ability to forage.
Due to its medium-sized lean meat, the black Minorca Chicken is rarely raised for meat.
9. Kadaknath Chicken (Small, Fancy and Rare)
Kali Masi, or Kadknath chicken, is a popular black chicken breed. They have dark feathers, meat, and bones.
The Kadaknath Chicken breed originated in ancient India, primarily in Madhya Pradesh. The native tribes grew the breed for its meat, but the ruling class adopted it for its unusual taste and texture.
This breed was once uncommon, but it is now available at the majority of government poultry departments and hatcheries. This chicken is almost the same as Ayam Cemani.
People often raise Kadaknath chickens for their meat, which has a unique flavor, is soft, and has good nutrition.
Kadaknath chicken meat has therapeutic qualities and is said to be healthy. Its black feathers, black comb, wattles, earlobes and legs give it a distinctive appearance.
The hens lay eggs at 7-8 months and are average layers. They can produce between 120 and 130 eggs per year, with an average weight of 45 to 50 grams per egg. This breed of hens doesn’t go broody very often, but if they sit on their eggs, they make great moms.
Kadaknath Chicken meat is black and high-quality. The meat is low in fat and cholesterol, making it a good choice for saturated fat reduction. Kadaknath has several uses like it boosts resistance in the elderly.
Further, it has a rich profile that can assist curb asthma or tuberculosis. Therefore, it outshines the iron content that improves hemoglobin or RBC.
The Kadaknath Chicken is known for having a calm and friendly personality, which makes it easy to handle and grow. They are active foragers and are always quicker than other chickens when free-ranging.
The roosters can weigh up to 3.5 to 4 pounds, while the hens can weigh up to 2.5 to 3 pounds. The lifespan of the Kadaknath Chicken is approximately 6-7 years, making it a breed with a lengthy life span.
10. Sumatra Chicken (Big and Fancy Breed)
Sumatra chicken comes from Indonesia’s Sumatra Island. It is a rare black Asian chicken breed. It is believed that this chicken breed was introduced to the United States in April 1847.
Nowadays, Sumatras are mostly raised for show. This chicken breed has a gorgeous glossy black and greenish-purple shine.
The bird’s feathers are long and flowing, giving it an elegant appearance. In general, these chickens are not broody and produce only 100 little white eggs per year.
They are curious, energetic birds who enjoy foraging and adventuring. They need a peaceful and quiet setting because they are timid and quickly frightened.
The black meat of the Sumatra chicken is prized for its flavor and texture, and it is often used in Asian cooking.
The average weight of a Sumatra rooster is 6-7 pounds, while a hen weighs just 4-5 pounds. The average life expectancy of a Sumatra chicken is 7–8 years.
11. Croad Langshan Chicken (Rare and Broody)
The Croad Langshan chicken is a breed that came from China, especially from the Langshan region. It was named after Major F.T. Croad, the British consul who brought them to the UK in the 1870s.
The breed was developed by crossing native Chinese chickens with imported Cochins and Brahmas, resulting in a large and resilient chicken breed.
The black Croad Langshan chicken is famous for its appearance. They have a single red comb and wattles, and their black feathers shine in sunlight.
Their legs are black with four toes and red earlobes. The hens weigh 7.5 pounds and the roosters 10 pounds.
There are fewer than 500 annual registrations of the Croad Langshan chicken in the United States, making it an uncommon breed. They are good foragers and thrive in free-range habitats.
Langshan hens lay 140–150 big dark brown eggs per year. When they reach the 24-week mark, many hens become broody and begin laying eggs. The Langshan eggs are big, and the yolk is rich and tasty.
Its soft and tasty meat makes Croad Langshan chicken popular. The black type has dark, juicy meat that is often compared to that of game bird meat.
Chicken raisers like them since they can survive in both cold and warm conditions. They have a lifespan of 5–8 years if provided with clean water and a safe environment.
12. Crevecoeur Chicken (Big, Fancy and Rare)
Crevecoeur is another famous domestic black chicken breed. It originated in France in the nineteenth century and was called after a little village in Normandy.
It was first made for meat, but now people keep them for eggs and for exhibiting at chicken shows.
The Crevecoeur chicken is one of the world’s rarest poultry. The Livestock Conservancy now considers the breed to be highly endangered due to its declining number.
They are distinguished by their big V comb, black feathers, and red earlobes. They are also known for being calm and quiet, which makes them popular for backyard flock.
On average, a Crevecoeur hen will lay roughly 120 eggs each year. The eggs are medium in size and have a white to tinted shell. However, brooding is uncommon in Crevecoeur hens.
The meat from Crevecoeur chickens is also very good. Many chefs like the breed because of the high quality and tasty meat it provides.
They are resilient birds that are well-suited to foraging and free-ranging. The roosters weigh about 8 pounds and the hens weigh about 6.5 pounds. They have an average lifespan of 6-8 years.
13. La Fleche Chicken (Big, Fancy and Egg Layer)
La Fleche Chickens initially originated in France in the 1600s. They are often used for both meat and eggs. They were first raised to make meat and eggs, and they are known for their average egg production and excellent meat quality.
The La Fleche chickens look different from other chickens. They have a red V-shaped comb and wattles, and their earlobes are white. They have black legs and black feathers that shines.
Their rarity makes them a good choice for people who want to add something different to their balcyard flock. Most La Fleche hens lay between 140 and 180 eggs each year. The eggs are big, and the shells are white. This breed’s hens do not like to sit on their eggs for brooding.
The La Fleche chicken breed is popular due to its friendly disposition. They are curious and busy birds that like to forage outside for treats. They are adaptable to various living conditions, including free-range and confinement.
A La Fleche rooster weighs about 8 pounds on average, while a hen weighs about 6.5 pounds. Depending on their environment and care, they can live anywhere from 5-8 years.
14. Black Cochin Chicken (Big Breed)
Domesticated Black Cochin chickens can trace their roots all the way back to China. This breed arrived in the US around the mid-1800s.
This chicken is mostly produced for show purposes because to its distinctive appearance and traits.
Cochin chicken is unusually beautiful. Black feathers are fluffy and silky. This chicken has red earlobes, wattles, and a five-pointed single type comb.
The Black Cochin has slate-blue feathery legs. Black Cochins are large chickens; males can reach 11 pounds in weight and females can reach 8.5 pounds.
The Black Cochin hens lay good amount of brown colored eggs. They lay 160-180 medium eggs annually. The eggs of this breed are big and high-quality.
Black Cochin roosters and hens are calm, quiet, and sociable. This breed is additionally noted for excellent foraging quality. The Black Cochin is a hardy breed that can handle cold weather well.
15. Java Chicken (Big Breed)
Java chickens were developed in the early 19th century in the US. They were created in the Hudson River Valley of New York by breeding multiple European chicken breeds.
Java chickens are sturdy, adaptable, and friendly. There are only a few thousand of the breed left in the world, making it a rare one as well.
Glossy black feathers and bright red earlobes give the Black Java chickens a stunning appearance. They are noted for their toughness and disease resistance and feature a single comb and black legs.
Java hens are calm and friendly. They can adapt to different living conditions and forage effectively.
Additionally, Java hens lay good amount of eggs. They begin laying eggs at about 6 months of age and produce 150-180 eggs annually.
They lay medium-sized dark brown eggs. Additionally, Java hens are well-known for their broodiness and actively hatch their eggs.
Java chickens produce high-quality, delicious meat. Black Java chicken is valued for its dark, rich meat.
The Java roosters weigh between 8 and 9 pounds, while hens weigh between 6-7 pounds. Java chickens have a lifespan of about 5-8 years if lived in suitable condition.
16. Jersey Giant Chickens (Big, Meat and Egg Layer)
The Jersey Giant Chicken is a big breed of chicken that was created in the United States in the late 1800s.
It was made by mating Black Javas, Black Langshans, and Dark Brahmas. The intent was to develop a chicken strain that would be both productive in terms of size and meat quality.
It was in the early 19th century when black chickens were originally introduced to the United States from China, therefore their history dates back to then. The Jersey Giant Chicken was created in the late 19th century in Burlington City, New Jersey.
Due to its large size and high-quality meat, this breed quickly gained in demand. In 2001, it was considered critically endangered, however as of 2017 it has been placed on Livestock Conservancy’s watch list.
Because of its big size and high-quality meat, it is a favorite among commercial chicken farmers. The hens also lay good eggs, which are big and brown.
A single comb, wattles, red earlobes, and yellow legs. Hens weigh 10 pounds and roosters 13 pounds. Gentle and self-sufficient, these birds thrive in free-range surroundings.
The Jersey Giants hens start laying at 6 months and can lay 150-200 eggs per year. The hens love to go for brooding and lay large, light-brown eggs.
Large Jersey Giant Chickens are wonderful for meat production and free-range living. Backyard chicken keepers and homesteaders like its friendliness and egg production.
17. Black Austraorps (Big, Sturdy and Egg Layer)
People like Black Australorp chickens because they are friendly and calm. The Australorp hens lay 260 brown colored eggs every year.
They are raised for egg and meat production. Not only this the hens are broody in nature. They have rich, delicious meat.
Black Australorps have glossy black feathers with their bright red earlobes and comb are single type. They have black legs, and each foot has four toes.
The hens of this breed typically weigh between 6 and 7 pounds, while the roosters typically weigh between 8 and 9 pounds. Their average lifespan of Black Australorps is about 6-8 years.
Black Australorps are quiet and docile birds. They love exploring backyard and living in small spaces. Not only this they can handle freezing cold temperatures die to their hardiness.
Advantages of Raising Black Chicken Breeds
The health benefits of consuming black chicken breeds, such as the Kadaknath, Ayam Cemani and Black Silkies, have been established through research.
It has been found that the dark meat of these chicken breeds is particularly rich in carnosine, a chemical involved in protein synthesis and known for its antioxidant effects.
Black chickens exhibit a visually stunning aspect, characterized by their black skin, feathers, and bones. Thats why they are one of the unique collections in your backyard flock.
A variety of black chicken breeds are available, each with distinct appearances, advantages, and characteristics.
In terms of egg production, several black chicken breeds, such as the Black Australorp, have gained recognition for their notable capacity to produce a substantial quantity of eggs.
Additionally, black chicken breeds can be utilized for the purpose of healthy meat production. The Crèvecoeur chicken breed is renowned for its wonderful meat.
In terms of disposition, black chickens have a docile nature, making them suitable companions.
Additionally, the dark plumage of black chickens has a higher capacity for heat absorption, hence providing enhanced warmth for the birds in colder climates.
FAQs on Black Chicken Breeds
Do black chickens keep hawks away?
Hawks will stay away from black chickens like the Ayam Cemani and Silkie breeds. Hawks often think that these chickens are crows, which are their enemies. So, they stay away from black chickens, which naturally keep hawks away.
But it’s important to remember that black chickens don’t attack hawks. They may scare them away, but they don’t attack them. Hawks can also be kept away from chickens by making noise or having certain types of guarding dogs.
Do black chickens lay black eggs?
No, black chickens don’t lay black eggs. The existence of black chicken eggs is controversial. Black chickens include Kadaknath, Ayam Cemani, Silkies, Jersey Giant, and Sumatras. However, black chickens do not lay black eggs. They lay colored eggs. There are no black chicken eggs, however some birds lay colorful eggs. Only Emu eggs are black and greenish.
Are black chickens rare?
Yes, black chickens are rare. White, brown, speckled, and red chickens are more commonly found than black ones. The only reasons is that black is genetically ‘less likely’ than other colors. Most black chickens are multicoloured breeds not fully black. Black chicken breeds are all unique, although some are rarer than others.
Summary (Black Chicken Breeds)
Some black chicken breeds, like the Ayam Cemani and the Kadaknath, are quite rare due to their unique all-black appearance, including black skin, bones, and internal organs.
Raising black chickens can be a rewarding experience, whether you’re a seasoned poultry keeper or a beginner.
They’re not only beautiful but also offer various benefits, from nutritional value to egg-laying capacity. So why not consider adding some black chickens to your backyard flock?
- Oyster Shells For Chickens: Do Your Chickens Need Them? - 4 December 2023
- Isa Brown Chicken Breed Guide: Size, Variety, Eggs, Care & Pictures - 16 November 2023
- Chicken Bullying Sick Chicken: Reasons, Signs, and Solution - 10 November 2023