The All Black Chickens (Ayam Cemani) Come to LFF

Posted on: February 26th, 2017 by

Ayam Cemani Chicks

Ayam Cemani Chicks

In the major shakeup of our chicken business last year we went from volume to rarity. When we first got chickens we started with run of the mill chickens purchased at the local farm store more than a decade ago. For a home flock these birds were ideal. We then started hatching our own to avoid having to purchase replacements. Eventually we started selling these chicks which were a mix of the different breeds we started with. We had pretty good luck but we soon noticed that others selling purebred chickens and different kinds of poultry were getting higher prices. So we got turkeys, quail, geese, guineas and ducks along with several flocks of purebred chickens. LFF 8-20-16 Ayam Cemani Chicks, Home (5)

We sold a lot of chicks. By selling chicks instead of eggs we made more money. Selling eggs in our area is hard as there is a lot of competition, and even if we could sell at a good price we could make more money by selling the chicks with just a modest extra investment in time and equipment. So several years of selling chicks commenced. We went from a single styrofoam Little Giant incubator to several, then eventually a large cabinet incubator and a fleet of plastic digital incubators. We were hatching hundreds of chicks a month through the summer.

Ayam Cemani Chickens

Ayam Cemani Chickens

While this worked the chicken chores were taking over the farm. We also soon realized we didn’t like certain types of poultry and had bad luck with others. Turkeys were easily my favorite but we had very poor luck hatching them for unknown reasons. Then problems with blackhead made us give up on turkeys. Guineas have their place, but when you reach a certain population of guineas they start to loose their appeal. Guineas are load, wild, and while they sell for a good price and are good at foraging they didn’t fit what we were looking for. LFF Embden GanderThe geese were awesome in certain ways but without a way to keep them from coming to the house they became a menace. While normally docile during breeding season they would attack my kids. As I mentioned before they thoroughly enjoy going to the restroom on concrete. I really think they hold it just so they can make it to the back porch slab. I would have to hose off the concrete daily. I will get geese again, but after I have a perimeter fence to keep them in the backyard.

Ducks sold well but were more work than 5x the number of chickens. They will make a mess of any water Muscovy Ducksource. It took more work maintaining the chicken tractor that had ducks than the other four tractors housing chickens. For some this may be worth it, or maybe the way you keep your stock is different enough to make it worth it, but for us it wasn’t worth it. So by by ducks.

I decided it takes as much work to keep a $100 chicken as a $2 chicken. While the initial investment is greater for the $100 chicken that is a one time expense and the pay off is for the rest of the time you keep that more expensive breed of chicken. While it is true that many expensive breeds are that way for a reason, many are expensive just out of rarity. These chickens are the ones to acquire if the demand for their eggs is great enough. This is where you can make more money in chickens than just about any other way. 8-20-16 Ayam Cemani Chicks, Home (2)

In my research I picked the most expensive chicken breeds I could find. Of these I picked ones with the best sources for a flock of chickens to turn around and sell hatching eggs from. Enter the Ayam Cemani, an interesting breed currently in high demand. During the spring of 2016 Ayam Cemani eggs were bringing $10+ each. I expect the price will drop and it may be just a fad, but there is enough time for me to turn around and profit from my flock of Ayam Cemanis. In addition to Ayam Cemanis I also started a flock of Bielefelder chickens and will pick a couple more rare breeds with enough interest to sell hatching eggs.

Ayam Cemani Plucked Whole Chicken

Ayam Cemani Plucked Whole Chicken

The Ayam Cemani is a very interesting chicken. From the comb to the toenails they are black. Even their mouth, bones, eyes and skin are black. Their meat is even dark to black. This interesting fact makes them a curiosity and even when the fad has ran it’s course and the price falls they will probably still bring a premium for years. As the price falls and they become more affordable it will open up the market to buyers that were not willing to pay the higher price earlier. This makes the Ayam Cenami an ideal breed for selling hatching eggs for. Ayam Cemani Rooster

Most of my Ayam Cemanis were from hatching eggs purchased on Ebay. It was the cheapest source of eggs, but it was also a poor source. Ebay is an ideal market for many things, but the dishonesty in the hatching egg market on Ebay is something to look out for. I purchased eggs that were a different breed than advertised, hybrids that were suppose to be purebreds and other downright dishonest sellers. I had to have Ebay step in three times to get my money back from these dishonest sellers. A rare occurrence in the hundreds of purchases I have made on Ebay. 99% of sellers on Ebay are good and reputable dealers, the hatching egg market seems to be one sector where the dishonest few are selling. That said I eventually did get some good stock, and even considering the problems the cost was less than half of anywhere else I could have acquired my stock.

So far the Ayam Cemani seems to be an okay layer and is hardy. They are wilder than other breeds of chickens I have had. They are also meaner to each other than other chickens I have raised. They are much harder to catch when loose. Overall they seem like a more wild chicken than our domestic breeds.

Ayam Cemani Eggs

Ayam Cemani Eggs

The myths:

Ayam Cemanis lay black eggs. This is completely false, Ayam Cemanis lay light brown to cream eggs. Any other color is a good indication you are not getting an Ayam Cemani from that egg. LFF DSCF0159

An all black chicken is an Ayam Cemani. In reality their are several breeds that have hyper-pigmentation like the Ayam Cemani. The Svart Hona is a Swedish chicken very similar to the Ayam Cemani that is also all black. There is also a silkie that is all black. The all black condition is from a genetic mutation called  fibromelanosis.

Purebred Ayam Cemani hatching eggs for sale

If the Ayam Cemani is something that sounds interesting and you would like to give them a try, well I now have them for sale. My Ayam Cemanis are laying well and I am selling hatching eggs from them. I will also be selling them on Ebay. But my prices here should be better unless you get a good deal on an auction.

 My price is $30 for six eggs, priority shipping is included in the price(continental US only). I will accept money orders, checks or paypal. You can contact me through the contact page to pay by Paypal or you can send a check or money order to:

Check the For Sale Page for egg availability

(please include a note on where to ship and what you are ordering, I sell many breeds of chickens)

All pictures on my post are of my flock. All eggs will be fresh and no older than a day when shipped. Until the rest of my flock comes online I can only ship a dozen at a time, so if you order more they will be coming in two separate packages.



2 Responses to The All Black Chickens (Ayam Cemani) Come to LFF

  1. Becky had this to say about that:

    Hi! Wow, I didn’t know the chicken side of your farm was so extensive! I don’t know what to say about the Ayam Cemani chickens. I think they look really cool, but I also know they’ve got no place in my barnyard mix. :) That said, I may buy some just for fun, some day. My local breeder, here in Manitoba, is selling their Ayam Cemani hatching eggs for $49.00 PER EGG. So, not yet.

    • JL had this to say about that:

      The Ayam Cemani is not the perfect farm chicken, but it’s unique qualities make it a hot commodity that at this time make it a good investment. I use mixed breed chickens for my families needs, I see these chickens as an investment.