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Ayam Cemani Chickens

| 10/29/2019 10:42:00 AM

What is the Ayam Cemani?

The Ayam Cemani is a unique breed of chicken.  If you've researched chicken breeds, then you've likely come across photos of this rare chicken. The breed is fairly new to the U.S. and is easily distinguished with its all black feathers, skin and meat. 

The breed was developed in Indonesia where it is kept by upper classes of society. It is thought to have magical powers and is quite valuable and sought after in Asian countries.

Why are Ayam Cemani all Black?

The Ayam Cemani are thought to be the result of crosses between domestic chickens and green jungle fowl.  Not all of these crosses will survive, but those that do sometimes have the dark pigmentation of the Ayam Cemani. 

Ayam Cemani are black due to excessive pigmentation.  This is called fibromelanosis.  Fibromelanosis is the result of genetics.  A bird must have two copies of the fibromelanosis gene to be a true Ayam Cemani.  Birds that only have one copy will appear darker than birds with no copy of the gene, but they will not be truly all-black.

It can be hard to breed Ayam Cemani as it can appear that a bird is a true Ayam Cemani when in fact there is only one copy of the fibromelanosis gene is present.

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