The all-black chickens, nicknamed the ‘Lamborghini of Poultry’, were his “most requested bird ever”. The chicken is named after a village (Cemani) in central Java.
Their beak and tongue, black comb and wattles; even their meat, bones and organs appear black. The blood of the Ayam Cemani, however, is normally coloured. The birds’ black colour occurs as a result of excess pigmentation of the tissues, caused by a genetic condition known as fibromelanosis and is also characteristic of Chinese Silkies, a black chicken treasured across China.
Collectors covet this bird because it’s beautiful, exotic and hard-to-get. The roosters weigh 2–2.5 kg and the hens from 1.5–2 kg. The hens lay cream-coloured eggs with a slight pink tint.
In the past individual birds in the United States of America have been priced at $2500.