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Ayam Cemani is an uncommon and relatively modern breed of chicken from Indonesia. They have a dominant gene that causes hyperpigmentation (fibromelanosis), making the chicken entirely black, including feathers, beak, and internal organs.

Ayam Cemani
Cemani hen
Country of originIndonesia
  • Male:
    2.0–2.5 kg (4.4–5.5 lb)
  • Female:
    1.5–2.0 kg (3.3–4.4 lb)
Skin colorBlack
Egg colorTinted / white
Comb typeSingle
Cemani rooster


Ayam means "chicken" in Indonesian. Cemani refers to the village on the island of Java where this breed of chicken originated.


The breed originated from the island of Java, Indonesia, and have probably been used for centuries for religious and mystical purposes.[citation needed] The breed was first described by Dutch colonial settlers[1] and first imported to Europe in 1998 by Dutch breeder Jan Steverink. Currently, this breed of chickens is kept in the Netherlands, Germany, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic. Ayam Cemani may have also been brought to Europe by Dutch seamen.It is also known as karaknath in India and is found in parts of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.The word karaknath means god of vigour or shiva. [2] The Congolese Belgian philanthropist Jean Kiala keeps the largest collection in Africa with 250 breeding pairs. These are preserved in a breeding program by the African Ornamental Breeders Association (AOBA) in Kenya and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.[3]


Their beaks and tongues, black combs and wattles, and even their meat, bones, and organs appear black. The blood of the Ayam Cemani is normally colored.[4] The birds' black color occurs as a result of excess pigmentation of the tissues, caused by a genetic condition known as fibromelanosis.[5] This gene is also found in some other black fowl breeds.[6][7] The roosters weigh 2.0–2.5 kg and the hens 1.5–2.0 kg. The hens lay cream-colored eggs, although they are poor setters and rarely hatch their own brood. Eggs weigh an average of 45 g.[8]


The Ayam Cemani are commonly available in Indonesia, they are sold in the market according to their grade which depends on their size and the darkness of their meat and body. These chickens could range from $50 to $2500 depending on the quality and breed of the chicken. The most expensive is the Indonesian King breed which costs up to $2500.[9]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Lukanov, H. A. Genchev (2013). "Fibromelanosis in domestic chickens" (PDF). Agricultural Sciences and Technology. 5 (3): 239–246.
  2. ^ European Poultry Society Archived 2010-06-13 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^
  4. ^ "'Public Radio International's 'The World'". October 14, 2016.
  5. ^ Ai Shinomiya; Yasunari Kayashima; Keiji Kinoshita; Makoto Mizutani; Takao Namikawa; Yoichi Matsuda & Toyoko Akiyama (2012). "Gene Duplication of endothelin 3 Is Closely Correlated with the Hyperpigmentation of the Internal Organs (Fibromelanosis) in Silky Chickens". Genetics. 190 (2): 627–638. doi:10.1534/genetics.111.136705. PMC 3276631. PMID 22135351.
  6. ^ Dorshorst B, Molin AM, Rubin CJ, Johansson AM, Strömstedt L, et al. (2011). "A Complex Genomic Rearrangement Involving the Endothelin 3 Locus Causes Dermal Hyperpigmentation in the Chicken". PLoS Genetics. 7 (12): e1002412. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1002412. PMC 3245302. PMID 22216010.
  7. ^ Arora G, Mishra SK, Nautiyal B, Pratap SO, Gupta A, Beura CK, Singh DP (2011). "Genetics of hyperpigmentation associated with the Fibromelanosis gene (Fm) and analysis of growth and meat quality traits in crosses of native Indian Kadaknath chickens and non-indigenous breeds". Br. Poult. Sci. 52 (6): 675–85. doi:10.1080/00071668.2011.635637.
  8. ^ "Ayam Cemani". Archived from the original on 2014-10-29. Retrieved 2011-01-13.
  9. ^ "Market grows for thousand dollar chickens".