The Ayam Cemani Chicken.
Black feathers & skin.

I get a lot of people linking to things on The Art of Doing Stuff Facebook page. Stuff they want me to see.

Most often it’s either about potato chips, chickens, or pizza.

On rare occasions it’s about something that doesn’t have to do with food. I don’t like those rare occasions. They make me itch.

Pizza can make you itch too but only if you eat it while sitting in a patch of poison ivy. Which would be worth it for even the worst piece of pizza.

So when Julie put up a chicken link on my Facebook page the other day I thought … Huh … a chicken link! Actually I said …. Huh! A chicken link! outloud and sprayed potato chips all over my computer.

What I opened up when I clicked on that link was a whole new world.

Allow me to introduce to you via Julie, via Geekologie …





This photo is not Photoshopped. This is what the actual chicken looks like. Every single bit of it is black.





This chicken’s skin, bones and organs … are black.

You might think it’s ugly. Horrifying even. A freak of nature. I love it.

The Ayam Cemani is a breed of chicken from Indonesia.  And I want one.

Which is a shame because you can only buy them in pairs.  And they’re $5,000 per pair.  Unless you do some REAL digging on the Internet in which case you can pick up a pair from Green Fire Farms for the low, low price of $1,999.

On the other hand a black Sharpie only costs a couple of bucks.




So. What do you think?  The Ayam Cemani.

Breathtakingly Beautiful or Shockingly Scary?



  1. maggie van sickle says:

    Beautiful creature and I can see why you would want one. I am not sure if I could eat one and I am curious about the colour of the eggs.

    • Jacquie O'H says:

      Eggs are brown. Check Kigigi their price has come down alot . You should be able to get eggs to hatch really cheap then all ya need is a silky hen to do the sitting for ya.

  2. Beckie says:

    I think it is stunning. Nature is amazing. It makes me wonder *why* they have turned completely, totally black.

  3. Jenny says:

    WOW! Black chickens and chocolate eggs. You are the goddess of chickendom!

  4. Karol says:

    Ew, ew! Total turn off on the black chicken meat.

  5. Su says:

    Yes beautiful alive… unappetizing dead…. color of the eggs??

  6. Isabel says:

    In Brazil we have african brazilian religions with rituals called macumba. Or magic, if you will. Well, most of the recipes call for a black chicken. So if the macumbeiros from my country find these, they will flip!!!!!

  7. Chris says:

    Funny, I just saw these for sale at the local market the other day for the first time. I thought they had dyed the skin for whatever reason. Didn’t see what they were charging in comparison to the regular chickens, mainly because they looked scary to me and not something I could see eating. The live ones, however, are quite beautiful.

  8. DanniJ says:

    Very beautiful and would make a handsome fellow for cuddles :)

  9. Tori says:

    There’s a blackened chicken joke in here somewhere…

    • Heather says:

      Tori, I was thinking the same thing. This gives new meaning to blackened chicken.

      I don’t think I could bring myself to eat that black meat.

  10. Jules says:

    I think I have a feather duster and some lampshades in those black feathers… but thinking of what I paid at Hobby Lobby, maybe they’re just dyed. Hey Clairol, does she, or doesn’t she? Only her hen-dresser knows! DEFINITELY get 2 of those beauties, they are just gorgeous! So majestic looking. I’d get two if my neighborhood would allow them, they totally match my decor!

  11. Linda J Howes says:

    Statuesque! It is nice to know they exist but I could live without one.

  12. jainegayer says:

    Beautiful!! I think you should go into business selling black chickens. No wait… it might be a success and you won’t have time for us anymore.

  13. Tigersmom says:

    Both! But as the idea settles in more to the beautiful. The iridescence is pretty spectacular.

    Not that I would eat it, but does anyone know what color the meat is and what it turns when cooked? I keep imagining it is black, too, and becomes a charcoal grey color. Not a pretty charcoal grey, more of a sickly version of a color I normally love. A sickly and very unappetizing version.

    Do they sell the feathers for a small fortune, too?

  14. Robin says:

    This is new for me. I’ve never wanted a chicken. Now I want a black chicken.

  15. Stephanie says:


  16. Karen says:

    I bet they still taste like…chicken!

  17. Kim C. says:

    Wow! Very majestic looking.

  18. Edith says:

    I have found a better offer in Switzerland: 3 CHF for a hatching egg, 20 CHF for a one-day-old chick, 44 CHF for a 12-weeks-old hen and 48 CHF for a 14-weeks-old rooster. So yes, you should establish a profitable export/import business between Europe and Canada!!! I have no idea how to take them overseas alive and kicking, but maybe some black magic could help ….

  19. Mandy says:

    Beautiful but $2000!
    We need to set up a profitable export/import partnership Karen!
    Have just googled and here in the UK hatching eggs £10 each, unsexed chicks £30, fully grown £50!

  20. Violet says:

    Stunningly gorgeous! But the photo of the dead chickens, scary as hell. Even putting aside the fact that I’m a vegetarian and could never eat anything I want to shnoogle, I have to wonder what sort of maniac would want to kill a $2,500 chicken? And what sort of other maniac would be willing to shell out that sort of money to eat one? People with more money than sense, I guess. If I had one of those chickens, I’d take it to the movies and let it share my birthday cake and it would sleep in a little wrought-iron bed. Hopefully one of them will see this and hitchhike to my house.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Violet, lol. I think the point is to buy the pair for $2,500 as breeders. And then keep them to continue hatching and breeding the black chickens, which you then sell. :) ~ karen!

  21. Suzy Ross says:

    I am gaga about Fresian horses who are black EVERYWHERE, so I can totally dig a black chick! I used to have two Austrailian black hens who would follow me around while I cleaned the horse stalls. They were named Amy and Ida and they always reminded me of Catholic nuns gathering up the skirts of their habits as they ran hither and yon. They were very involved in my day and left me an odd greenish colored egg when they had a mind to. Amy was the most gregarious of the two and followed me from stall to stall helping with cleanup. After all, I, with the rake, had “the worlds biggest chicken claw” Amy had ever seen. And she followed me everywhere. I adored them! I would never consider them for the broiler though. The roosters maybe, because they coukd be such heathens, but not the hens.

  22. peg says:

    oh my, I do love black. crazy beautiful.

  23. Ramona says:

    Stunningly beautiful!!!

  24. Kristin Ferguson says:

    Frickin’ awesome in every way except the price. Are they good layers?

  25. Amber says:

    wait, what?? black magic chicken??
    that’s not food, is it?
    And here I spent all day teaching my friend how to weld a chicken sculpture. Is something gonna come after me? evil Chicken-from-beyond-vengence-thingy?

  26. Meg says:

    obviously what you need to do, is get on the black chicken bandwagon and breed them.

    step 1: buy two chickens, step 2: let ’em do their thing, step 3: profit.

  27. Barbie says:

    Breathtakingly EXPENSIVE! You gotta really love you some chickens to pay that kind of money for two!
    HOWEVER….I do think they are beautiful yes……that being said……TO MUCH $$$$$$ me thinks anyway.

  28. Carla says:

    Alive they are beautiful. Dead they do indeed look like something we would throw out as past it’s prime.

  29. Denise says:

    Beautiful!!! Like a raven crossed with a chicken. Stunning!

  30. Anne says:

    I think he is gorgeous! You are into unusual things, maybe if you save up your pennies you could have a pair? If you only got the rooster, maybe your hens would help him produce hybrids. Naw, you need a matching pair.

  31. SeaDee says:

    Yes! Do it!

  32. Holly says:

    OMG – they are stunningly beautiful! But, I do know for a fact I couldn’t eat them. Gross. Can’t get past it. They almost look like wrought iron! Amazing.

  33. Gab says:

    Hi Karen, when we were kids in Indonesia we have nursery rhymes that goes something like “black chicken, white eggs” so although I never saw the eggs myself I imagine the eggs are white. Ah and also “ayam” means “chicken” in Indonesian. And the high price tag is because Ayam cemani is also a crucial part of many black magic practice… Goes back to the Majapahit Kingdom in Java many centuries ago. Or so I have been told…

  34. Lora says:

    Takes me breath away Beautiful…

  35. Grammy says:

    A stunningly beautiful bird. My first thought was ‘what do the eggs look like?’ Do you know? What a breathtaking sight that is. Speaking of which, when will we get to know how your own little dark ones are doing?

    • Grammy says:

      Never mind. I should have googled first. They are a pale green. Go figure!

      • Karen says:

        They’re supposed to be cream Grammy! Maybe your computer screen has some pesto smeared on it. ~ karen!

      • WENDY says:

        They are a creamy beige. I have four of them, but I didn’t pay for them, they were from a rescue I helped with. They are gorgeous birds. They are flighty and spook easy as well. I almost cried when I caught the first one during the rescue. They yell out and it sounds like HELLPPPP! Poor babies were getting picked off at night by predators. The owner left them when they moved and took the chicken coop door off and they were fending for themselves. I rescued a total of 29 birds. Turkeys, chickens, guineas, they were very scared when we got them. Took them almost a month to start laying eggs again. Most have all gone to other homes, but I still have 14 of different chickens that have become pets to me. Now, they are here until they died from old age. Great post, thanks for sharing.

  36. Lin says:

    Absolutely beautiful!..a sharpie would make a dull black, go for the pearlized black paint. lol

  37. kate-v says:

    He is beautiful! All I know is the local market wants quite a bit for those black chicken carcasses – but I thought they were silkie chickens. I never bought them because of the price – they are more expensive – but are supposed to be very healthy.

  38. Chris says:

    Very cool!

  39. Cred says:

    Beautiful! What an amazing breed.

  40. Patrick says:

    Beautiful! I want one! If only I could have chickens in Toronto.. And had 2 grand laying around..

  41. Sandra Mattina says:

    Wow! He’s so gorgeous! In the second pic…I see beautiful iridescent colours ….greens and purples…..I’d just want a few (or 1000)of those gorgeous feathers for my collection….does it lay black eggs Karen??!!….that would be damn cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  42. Auntiepatch says:

    NO! That’s just wrong!

  43. Ella says:

    Breathtakingly Beautiful!!!

  44. Lauren from Winnipeg says:

    Super cool! Goth chicken!

  45. becky says:

    I have seen these before. I am firmly in the shockingly scary camp.

    Besides, most people throw out meat when it looks like that!!

  46. Kailee H. says:

    What color eggs do they lay?

  47. Karen P says:

    It looks like fine art!

  48. Cathy says:

    Very iridescent.

  49. Nancy says:

    Breathtakingly beautiful and shockingly scary that someone would pay 2,000 bucks for a black chicken and then cook it for dinner.

  50. Teresa J says:

    Yikes! A can of black spray paint would be easier!!

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