Ayam Cemani

The Ayam Cemani is a severely endangered species of chicken that is indigenous to Java, Indonesia. There, they are revered and offered as sacrifices. They are admired for their large amounts of melanin, which cover them from head to toe and even inside. These intelligent, brisk, and athletic birds are active. Learn everything there is to know about the Ayam Cemani, including their habitat, diet, and social structure.

Amazing Ayam Cemani Facts

Only about 3,500 Ayam Cemani exist worldwide.
These poultry are not recognized as a breed by the American Poultry Association.
In Indonesia, they are frequently offered as sacrifices and serve as a sign of riches.
Ayam Cemani doesn’t make a lot of noise other than when they have to go inside their coops for the night. They enjoy spending their days pecking at the ground and are energetic.
Breeders are forced to artificially incubate their eggs because the birds don’t like to perch on them.

Ayam Cemani photos

Where to Find the Ayam Cemani

Java, an Indonesian volcanic island situated between Sumatra and Bali, is home to these birds. In its home country, the Ayam Cemani is used for sacrifices and is referred to as a prestige symbol for the wealthy. They were, nevertheless, shipped to Europe and the US starting in 1998. You can occasionally find them from breeders abroad, however they are still incredibly rare. They scavenge the ground for food during the day while roving across meadows and fields.

Scientific Name

Ayam Cemani is a unique breed of chicken belonging to the genus and family Gallus. The Indonesian word for “chicken” is ayam, and the Javanese phrase for “completely black” is cemani. They are not officially recognized as a breed by the American Poultry Association (APA). On how these birds originated, there is disagreement. Some people think they were created, while others think the Ayam Bakisar breed, which is a cross between red and green jungle fowl, is where they came from.

Size, Appearance, & Behavior

Medium-sized chickens, Ayam Cemanis weigh between 3.3 and 4.4 pounds for hens and 4.4 to 5.5 pounds for roosters. Compared to other chickens, these animals are significantly faster, stronger, and more muscular. Their meat, organs, wattles, beaks, tongues, combs, bones, and wattles are all black or dark gray. They are completely black from head to toe due to hyperpigmentation. Their black feathers have an iridescent sheen that is silky and glossy and has hues of green and purple. The other characteristics of these chickens include a single comb, large wings, broad shoulders, and sturdy legs. The vigilant Ayam Cemani spend their days scratching the ground and wailing when it’s time to retire for the evening. They are typically unaffected by their surroundings since they are vivacious, intelligent, and adaptable. Nevertheless, they might rather reclusive and take their time interacting with other birds. They only crow once each day and are reliable flyers as well as relatively quiet birds.


What Does the Ayam Cemani Eat?

This species of chicken forages for food by pecking around its territory, just like other chickens do. The majority of its diet consists of grains, seeds, plants, insects, grubs, fruit, and vegetables. They frequently noisily protest when forced to go back to their coops since they prefer to spend the entire day roaming free on pasture.

Predators, Threats, and Conservation Status

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species does not include the Ayam Cemani. As a result, we are unsure of the precise conservation status of this species. But because of its small number and restricted range, this chicken is regarded by many as being highly unusual. The main danger to this species is avian influenza, which results in coughing, tiredness, fluid retention, and appetite loss.

What Eats the Ayam Cemani?

Ayam Cemani is vulnerable to predators such coyotes, foxes, birds of prey, raccoons, possums, skunks, and snakes much like other chickens. The young they produce and their eggs are particularly prey-friendly. Thankfully, though, they can blend in at night thanks to their dark tint.

Reproduction, Young, and Molting

Female Ayam Cemani can start egg production at a young age. They produce 60 to 100 eggs annually, laying one to two eggs per week. However, they are not renowned for being excellent egg layers and will cease to produce for weeks at a time. Additionally, they rarely hatch their own eggs, therefore hatching occurs artificially. Contrary to popular belief, their eggs are not black; instead, they are fairly large. They have a cream-pink tint. The typical life span of this chicken is six to eight years.


Unknown is the size of the mature Ayam Cemani population worldwide. Less than 3,500 of them are thought to be alive today, according to estimates. Their population is primarily concentrated in farms and breeding facilities.




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