The Ayam Cemani Chicken breed was first emerged from Sumatra. Sumatra is one of the Island located in the west of Indonesia. The name of this chicken breed predicts a lot about its appearance as in Indonesian language “Ayam” means Chicken and “Cemani” means Solid Black. Thus, it is also known as the blackbird because of its coal-black colour both inside and outside.
The Parental breed of the Ayam Cemani chicken is not known, but many agriculturists associate it with a group of Chicken breeds called Kedu, from the Island of Java located in Indonesia. However, some agriculturist also believes that the Ayam Cemani is the Derivative of Ayam Bekisar Chicken which Belongs to the Island of Indonesia.
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Export to the other Countries
In past, the meat of the Ayam Cemani breed was rarely eaten by the people of Indonesia and they were first exported to Europe in the 1990s. Soon, after their export to Europe between 2013 and 2014 United States also imported these black fowls but unfortunately, the American Poultry Association didn’t recognize this breed.
Unlike other chicken breeds, the Ayam Cemani breed has a very interesting appearance. Their entire body is black even their eyes, feet, feathers and beak is solid black. Researches have shown that the Ayam Cemani breed possesses a dominant gene that causes hyperpigmentation in them, thus resulting in the black.
They do not have comb or crest on their head like other chicken breeds. Their lower limbs are also feather free and have 3 to 4 toes per foot.
Because of the black colour, the Ayam cemani breed was often labelled as a sacred bird by most of the people and was used in the process of wizardry. Some people believed that Ayam Cemani had some kind of supernatural powers and can serve as a link between the living and non-living world. The people belonging to the high society of Indonesia use to keep these fowls as a symbol of good look and prosperity in their houses. The Ayam Cemani breed was also used by some monks as a sacrificial bird to please their Gods. The blood and some organs of the Ayam Cemani chicken were also used for the preparation of medicines to cure acute diseases.
The Ayam Cemani chicken is medium in size and light in weight. The hen of this breed weighs around 3-4.5lbs which is about 1.5-2kgs and the rooster weighs around 5-6.5lbs, which is about 2-3kgs.
Egg-laying Capacity & Size
The Ayam Cemani is not very good in terms of laying eggs. Sometimes, they lay eggs and all of a sudden they will go off laying eggs for about 6-7 months or maybe 1 year. If they are laying eggs they will give you only one egg a week which means hardly 70 eggs per year which is not that appeased.
Despite their medium size, they produce quite large eggs which are creamy in colour and sometimes can also have slightly pink touch in them. The chicken of the Ayam Cemani hatched from the eggs are also black.
The Ayam Cemani is quite a tame bird. It is friendly and easy to handle. They can tolerate both heat and cold weather pretty well but only up to a certain extend. Though they don’t need much attention and maintenance poultry breeds show very less interest in keeping them in their fowl collection because of their low egg-laying capacity. The average life span of Ayam Cemani is 5-10 years.