RARE: Ayam Cemani Chickens
Ayam Cemani Chickens. Our homestead farm flock consists of several top quality solid black birds. This is not a cross breed. Our foundation stock is from the richer black lines a few top US breeders brought in from Indonesia and then took several yrs of selective breeding to get the coloring as rich black as possible throughout. If you have had this breed before from another line you will notice ours when compared are larger, stand taller and have bigger combs, and consistently are blacker pigmented. Many of our past chicks have received blue ribbons for the quality that years of selective breeding has created.
Ayam Cemani originate in Indonesia and are known to be black through out their bodies… black feathers, black skin, black comb and wattles, black flesh, black organs, black bones and all. The only thing that is not black is their blood, although it is much darker than average chicken blood. Their feathers are black as black can be with iridescent blues, like an oil slick, to the feathers in sunlight. This makes this breed one of the most beautiful chickens on the planet, hailing them as “The Lamborghini of Poultry.” The rarest and most sought after chicken breed on the planet!
In Indonesia, the all black chicken is known for their mystical healing powers due to their black hyper-pigmentation. The hens lay about 80-120 eggs each year. Their eggs are unusually large proportion compared to the hen’s body, making them a low feed cost breed with excellent egg laying capability. Although this is an all black bird and our breeding stock the blackest of black show quality birds, it is important to understand that not all Ayam Cemani offspring grow up to be solid black, even with solid black parents you will get throw backs with colored or diluted undertones in the feathering from time to time. We cannot guarantee the distribution of black pigment in the offspring you receive as each chick will turn out different. Every top show breeder will tell you that in general you will get 1 or 2 out of every 6 chicks that turn out extremely nice. The others may have mulberry undertones or a white toe or feather. I personally never breed anything but the best when I raise up chicks to choose from for our breeding stock.
Hardiness and Personality: Ayam Cemani are usually cold & hot weather hardy, low maintenance, tame and easy to handle. Many people train them to be therapy pets and even have them live in their home.
Ayam Cemani Breed info: Origin: Indonesia, Type: Standard Large Fowl, Size: Large (5-7 lbs), Rarity: Extremely Rare, Bird Color: Black, Egg Laying: Good (3-4/week, 80-120/year), Egg Color: Cream, Light Tan, THEY DO NOT NOW AND HAVE NEVER LAID BLACK EGGS. If someone is trying to sell you black eggs they are not Ayam Cemani eggs. Egg Size: Medium, Unique Feature: World’s Only All Black Chicken Inside & Out, Cold Hardiness: Ok Winter Tolerance, Heat Tolerance: Great Heat tolerance, Docile: Yes, Setter/Broody: Yes, Sometimes, Personality: Very human friendly, curious and docile.
The farm we received a few of our adults from sells day old chicks regularly for $100 for day old chicks and $1000 for each Juvenile bird. We offer the same quality chicks as they do for much less. Here you only pay $75 each for day old chicks and $250 for a juvenile chick. I also feel customer service is very poor in many of the other top breeders out there. There should not be any reason a seller can not get back to you within 24 hrs if you contact them before or after you receive your chicks and they should answer the phone when you call or at least return your messages. You have my promise we will be available for you. We also take much care when we ship our chicks. I can’t believe some people will ship chicks with only straw in the box and nothing else, in the end killing the chicks. Then they tell you to pay for shipping again so they can turn around and do the same thing again! We put food, grogel, bedding, and a heat pack in with every shipment. We give the chicks the best chance and give you 100% on our customer service.
Color: Are ALL Ayam Cemani the same deep black color? The answer is absolutely not. There are genes that when expressed uniquely or are not present can cause color that looks like it is bleeding through the black. The perfect black Ayam Cemani has 2 copies of the fibromelanistic gene and gypsy gene is expressed perfectly it also expresses the frbro gene correctly with being solid black. Not every bird will have 2 copies of the gene and if gypsy gene is not present that to can make a difference. Every bird expresses the Fibro gene differently. In many cases a bird with only one copy of the gene looks like it has two copies. When you are wanting to breed for future chicks and hatching eggs to sell you should only breed solid black birds with no color leakage and no mulberry coloring showing up, then you will get less offspring with color coming through. Yes a 0 or 1 copy Fibro Ayam Cemani can look solid black…. test breeding would need to be done to see how many genes each parent has. We only breed solid black parents that are top quality but like ALL breeders can have a few chicks show up with genes that cause some color. We are one of the few breeders that are completely honest about this. We usually throw in an extra chick or two since we can not guarantee every chick to be the perfect Ayam Cemani, If a seller says “all” their chicks are perfect black coloring I would research that seller / breeder and you will most likely find it to be untrue. In even the best breeding pair you will see about 30% of chicks hatch with a white toe or a white feather. So if you plan on getting into this breed you need to know several of the chicks you will hatch out will not be quality birds and will need to be culled. Culled does not mean killed, it just means put out of any breeding program. Even if you get hatching eggs from us some will most likely hatch with a white toe or feathering but some should look solid black. If you only want a couple of nicer quality birds I would suggest not getting eggs but to get solid black chicks or juveniles. I feel It is best to be honest and help those KNOW the breed enough to help them make good breeding decisions themselves. So no matter who you get your chicks from just know that some will be good for breeding and some best for the stew pot. Or if your just keeping for your own back yard flock and are eating the eggs then a little color just gives your pet chicken some character. A true black Cemani will have the oil slick type of iridescent green sheen on his black feathers in direct sunlight and this is not the color leakage we are talking about in this paragraph. The first birds that were brought into the US were not great quality and us breeders are still perfecting the “U.S.” line we have since it is very difficult to import any new birds because of import restrictions on poultry. When I see photos of the first U.S. imports I feel proud we have come as far as we have in getting many here to be solid black again through and through. We want only happy customers that want to keep coming back to us so if you are not 100% happy with your order I want to know so I can make it right with you. I am also available to talk to you unlike many sellers that just do not have good customer service and you never hear from again… I like to hear how the chicks turn out as adults so would love an update when your chicks are adults.
The Ayam Cemani Breeder’s Association is a good place to learn genetics on this breed and help you become the best breeder you can. I suggest visiting their site to research the breed. Never by chicks from someone that is not a member of the Ayam Cemani Breeder’s Association. If you get chicks from a ACBA member you know your breeder has stuck to ethical breeding practices for this breed and is highly thought of in the Ayam Cemani community. This will give you some assurance that your chicks are not sub par or a mix of some sort since ACBA has a Code of conduct and ethic rules every member must abide by or loose their membership.
Q & A:
Question: 1. Can a full breed Ayam Cemani have feathers on his legs?
Answer: The prefect leg is of coarse featherless on an adult Cemani but many chicks can hatch with down type feathers along the upper shaft or going down one side of legs. Most of the time this feathering goes away as the bird grows but even if not the bird could still be considered good breeding quality. If it has perfect coloring and to standard everywhere else this would be a good bird for breeding since leg feather gene breeds away quickly. If the chick only has it on upper leg or along outside shaft of leg this is still a good quality bird. As long as its not a profuse amount with the whole leg and feet covered by feathers. If a full feathered leg bird is bred to a bare leg bird it takes 2 generations to get rid of the feathering in offspring. If the feathering is minimal then you probably will get rid of it in just one breeding. I have 1 hen that has a thin line of tiny feathers going down the outside of her legs. She is exceptional in every way so that tiny line of feathers that are literally 2 to 3 mm long are not going to take away from her quality. Coloring and overall structure are the two most important factors when deciding the quality of your breeding birds. For instance A floppy comb isn’t perfect but can be bred out quickly just like a feather or two in a wrong location, but a short legged mulberry coloring or white on wings bird could be harder to fix. I personally do not breed a floppy comb, mulberry leakage colored birds or birds that have any areas of non pigmentation more than maybe 1 toe nail.
Question 2. Is a non black nail or white toe chick a consideration for culling?
Answer: In my experience hatching out eggs from top quality birds from the best lines I have seen about 30 to 60% will have some amount of white on them in every hatch. that includes a white toenail on up to white feathering here and there on the chick. This is how I feel about it and others might feel differently… I personally do not feel a chick that has a white toenail or a single toe that has a white tip is cull worthy. In many cases as the chick grows this will turn black. and if it does not it is still a solid black “inside” bird. So is much better a choice for breeding than one that has mulberry coloring. If a chick has a white toenail I still consider it a good quality chick but if a entire toe or several toes are white I consider it for cull. but if I had to choose between one that had a white toe and one with mulberry coloring I choose the white toe since mulberry is throughout the entire bird “inside”. If you order day old chicks from us some may have a white toe nail which I feel is still a good quality chick, we also sometimes throw in extras with white on them as warmer chicks free of charge. I had a female with a white toe nail I did an experiment with: I separated the white toenail girl out to do a experimental breeding and have found I hatched out the same percentage of white spotted, (akc areas of non pigmentation), chicks as with a solid black hen from all black parentage. So I have come to the conclusion the white spotted / lack of pigment gene is within genes of any Cemani and shows up in almost every hatch in one way or another. If you are planning on breeding Cemani and hatching any eggs please keep in mind you will have many chicks that are not perfectly solid black that you will need to find homes for or raise and eat.
Question 3. Is a bird with mulberry color bleeding through a bird to cull?
Answer: In my humble opinion I feel any breeding Ayam Cemani should be solid black with the iridescent coloring that is the breed standard. Mulberry is getting away from that and the mulberry undertones you see easily in the wattle and comb of some birds is a color that is throughout the inside organs of the bird as well. So you no longer have a bird that is the black inside and out as the suggested breed standard states. I feel your Roosters should be the perfect Ayam Cemani because you have so few of them over several hens. So your Rooster should be 100% of the breed standard. I would put a bird with mulberry in a pet flock that is not selling chicks or the dinner table. Mulberry coloring can show up in any hatch, even if you have no mulberry parents, this is not something a breeder can guarantee for and this color shows up as the bird gets older. It is not something you can see in a young chick. This is one reason why I tell people to get several birds to raise up and then choose the best ones to keep for breeding if that is your future goal.
Question 4. Is it ok to breed a pure breed Ayam Cemani to a different breed for a mixed breed flock?
Answer: Yes of course it is ok to breed your Ayam Cemani to other breeds but always be sure to tell anyone getting your chicks or eggs of the cross. Many breeders that breed full blooded Ayam Cemani will at same time have mixed eggs or chicks available because you can only test for proper fibro genes by breeding to a non fibro breed. So it is a sign the breeder is doing it correctly if they have other types of birds breeding to their Ayams. I personally breed my Ayam Cemani Cock to Americana and also Black Copper Maran hens. I chose those two bird types because their egg color and size is very different from the Ayam Cemani eggs so I can easily tell their eggs apart while still keeping them together. When I sell Ayam Cemani Eggs they are PURE Ayam Cemani fertile eggs and those eggs are white to cream colored medium sized eggs. When I have mixed breed fertile eggs they are the blueish green and darker golden brown large sized eggs. I sell both and you can order either group or some of each.
Question 5. Why do Ayam Cemani chicks cost so much, and why do hatcheries sell them for cheaper? Is getting eggs to hatch more economical?
So many people get this breed and then decide to stop breeding for it after the first year or two… Many people see the prices online and think it is a money maker to have this breed of bird… I have to tell those people you do not know the WORK involved until you get into it. If you just let any birds breed you will have all poor quality birds with noticeable white and mulberry coloring in just a few generations. around 50% or more of all chicks are not sellable quality in this breed unless you are wanting to sell poor quality along with good quality like the hatcheries do for cheaper prices. You may have decided to get eggs after looking at how much chicks cost… Keep in mind that a good breeder is culling a lot of chicks to get you one that is solid black, so they may have had 30 to 60% or more of the hatch not be selling quality. Hatcheries sell chicks cheaper because they do not look through chicks for quality and sell whatever hatches out. So if you get chicks from a hatchery they are not caring about the quality they are breeding or how many chicks you receive that have white on them or mulberry coloring. But a good Ayam Cemani breeder will pick out the nicest that hatch to sell and the rest they give away free or at a majorly discounted price, so they actually make a lot less then you think on them and this is the same you will see in your own hatches. In general a couple will be keepers and the rest will be culling quality. This goes for absolutely every hatch from even the most top quality birds. If you buy already hatched out chicks from a good breeder you will get chicks that are actually black and if you hatch out your own a few should be great quality but there is always a risk that only a few lesser quality chicks hatch out for you or if post office mishandled them or your incubating process isn’t great then you may end up with none hatching at all. So there is a risk in wanting to save money by hatching out your own. I have ordered a dozen eggs before from a breeder that is in high standing in the Ayam Cemani breeding community and only a couple of eggs hatched out and they both had white toes so it was a loss of hundreds of dollars. This can happen to anyone… So In that case I should have just bought a couple day old chicks for the same price that at least would have been all black. Cemani also do not lay as well as your egg laying breeds. They tend to lay maybe 5 eggs in a week for a month or two and then take a break for a month or so before starting to lay again and they do not lay well in the winter months. You have to weigh the pros and cons and decide for yourself what is best for you. We have both chicks and eggs for sale.
Egg care: at my home eggs are put on a egg turner sat on their side that it inside a wine cooler that keeps a steady temp of 60 degrees and humidity at 60 to 65%. We collect eggs about 4 days before ship date so you get the newest laid eggs. Any extra eggs might be a tad older.
When you get eggs to your home you can let them rest for a few hours if you like to allow for settling and coming to room temp if cooler outside. 6 hrs is sufficient. Then you should put them in your incubator. Do not turn for first 24 to 48 hrs. After that time you can turn them 180 degrees, 5 times a day or put on a automatic egg turner. On egg turner lay on side or set in turner pointy end down. I will say the less you open the incubator the better your hatch will turn out so auto turners are worth their weight in gold!
Incubating your eggs. There is the wet method and dry method of incubating. Dry method is 25 to 35% humidity until lockdown day which is 18 for chicken eggs, and then up to 65% for hatch. Please note Cemani can hatch from day 19 to day 22, but still lockdown on day 18. Wet method for Cemani eggs is 45% until lockdown and then 70 to 75% for hatch. Every incubator is different and even your home environment will change the outcome so its best to first practice on cheap eggs to get the perfect settings that work on your incubator before putting in more valuable eggs.
This website link below will take you to a page that will help you in your incubation of your eggs. Very informative on how to weigh and keep track of weight of eggs to make sure it is on track to loose the weight it needs to hatch. I would also like to suggest you keep an eye on the aircell and how it lines up with the following images since eggs that are collected over a period of days may start off with already having some weight loss to start with…