Growing up on a farm, one of my favorite things to show my friends was the brilliant array of colored chicken eggs in the coops.
You probably know chickens can lay blue, green, brown, or white eggs.
But have you heard of black chicken eggs?
The bird notorious for laying those fabled black eggs is the Ayam Cemani chicken. But unfortunately, those black eggs are truly just a fable. The Ayam Cemani is a sight to behold with a black beak, black feathers, and even black meat and bones. But their eggs are not black, and there are no chickens who lay black eggs.
Although black chicken eggs aren’t, in fact, real, Ayam Cemani hens are all-black and have a fascinating story!
Read on to learn more about this breed of chicken, why they’re held in such high regard, and why and how the black egg rumor started.
The Truth About Ayam Cemani Chickens
Despite whatever disappointment you may be feeling about their eggs (which are cream in color), this is an incredible breed of bird.
Ayam Cemani quite literally means “completely black chicken.”
As such, this bird has a black comb and beak, black skin, and black feathers; they are entirely black!
Their exotic black appearance is truly beautiful and makes them a standout from the variety of colors we are accustomed to seeing in our chicken coops.
Perhaps the most amazing characteristic of this beautiful bird is the black appearance of their meat and bones.
This makes the bird a sought-after delicacy in high-end restaurants.
Not only is their meat expensive, but so are they!
These chickens are difficult to afford, especially for those of us keeping chickens on a small budget.
Hatcheries are currently advertising Ayam Cemani chicks for about $50.
To give you a form of comparison, a Barred Rock chick usually goes for less than $3.
What Causes the Black Color of Their Bodies?
You probably won’t be surprised to know it all comes down to genetics and genetic mutations.
The Ayam Cemani chicken has a form of hyperpigmentation known as fibro melanosis.
This kind of mutation in which extra melanin darkens the color of the bird’s skin, feathers, eyes, and even bones.
The one thing it does not change is their egg color, a cream shade for these birdies.
The Fun Story of the Ayam Cemani
These birds originate from Indonesia, where they are regarded as a powerful and mystical breed of chicken.
They are sometimes said to bring good luck to their keepers.
Chicken farmers who have experience with Ayam Cemani hens say they are docile birds and very friendly.
But legend says they hold a mystical power we can’t see.
Whether or not you believe these stories, this chicken breed remains fascinating and beautiful.
Are There Any Other Black Chickens?
There are no other birds quite like the Ayam Cemani, with black organs and flesh and feathers.
There is another breed called the Kadaknath chicken.
Unlike the Ayam Cemani, these birds aren’t raised commercially.
Their origin is in India, and they are highly uncommon birds.
They aren’t found in the United States, which is one reason you won’t see as many of them as the Cemani.
These are beautiful chickens but aren’t quite as impressive as Cemani chickens.
For one thing, their meat isn’t as heavily tinted black.
They are another gorgeous bird, though, and they have an interesting history.
If you’re fascinated with the genetics and history of thoroughly black chickens, be sure to spend some time reading about the Kadaknath chicken and the Cemani.
There are many other chicken types with black feathers but none with black meat.
And, again, there are, unfortunately, no chickens who lay pitch-black eggs.
Do Any Birds Lay Black Eggs?
No chickens can produce eggs with a black color for you.
However, the Emu is known for its outstanding eggs.
Theirs are an emerald color that edges toward black.
This is about as close as any egg gets to be pitch-black.
It might seem strange a myth about black chicken eggs would start here.
An emu is far from a chicken, after all.
And it isn’t as if you’re going to throw an emerald-colored Emu egg into your colorful egg basket.
How Did the Black Egg Rumor Get Started?
As with most social media trends, it is difficult to trace this one back to the exact starting point.
But we know pictures of black eggs made their rounds on Instagram and Google until these eggs had nested in many chicken lovers’ hearts.
These eggs were utterly fake, though.
There is no such thing as a black chicken egg, unfortunately.
While some people were heartbroken to hear the news, others still believe these eggs exist.
Some chicken owners have even been tricked into buying the expensive Ayam Cemani chicken, only to find out later they don’t even lay black eggs.
Of course, these birds are special and lovely for many other reasons.
But it is still extremely unfair to pay such a high price and experience a letdown.
Chickens With Colorful Eggs
Don’t let the truth get you down!
There are such wide chicken egg varieties out there to get excited about.
Unusual colors like blue and green are authentic and so beautiful!
If you’re looking to fill your egg basket with a rainbow of colors, look into some other varieties.
Take some time to find unique chickens who lay eggs of a dark chocolate color, lighter browns, or eggs with dark specks.
There are rainbows of egg shades if you are willing to search for them.
Are you excited about other birds that lay close to those black eggs?
With dedication, you will find some duck eggs that are dark in color.
Again, you won’t be able to find anything completely black.
But there are some dark shades to help you fill in your rainbow of eggs.
If you want to fill your chicken coop with birds of different colors, get excited!
There are so many beautiful birds waiting to join your flock.
Get a chicken with black skin or chocolate brown feathers.
Or check out this list of chicken breeds with dark brown eggs in our article at the link (with pictures)!
There is always something to look forward to when raising chickens, black eggs or not!
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