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Dec 2, 2016

The charcoal chicken

 Photos: Imgur
An all-Black Chicken
(Ayam Cemani)
Here's a bird that popped up all over the place this week, thanks to photo news service providers around the world.   It's nothing new, but the reaction to the photos would make one think this chicken is the first of its kind in the world, one never seen before.   The all-black Ayam Cemani chicken, from Indonesia, has a dominant gene that causes hyperpigmentation (Fibromelanosis), making the chicken entirely black; including its feathers, beak, skin, legs and internal organs.   Ahhh, but what about its blood you ask.   Its blood is red.   Ayam translates as 'chicken' in Indonesia and Cemani seems to translate as two things.   On one hand, Cemani is Javanese for 'completely black'.   On the other hand, Cemani denotes the village of origin for the bird on the island of Java.   Speculation is that the breed originated from Java, in Indonesia, and has probably been used for centuries in mystical and religious rites.   The Cemani Chicken is sometimes called the Lamborghini of chickens.   Prices outside of local Javan villages are reported to be as high as $2500 per bird, which aficioandos have apparently offered.   Premiums can be paid for chickens with magical 'black' blood, but such a thing would appear to be achieved only by adding things like like charcoal or squid ink to the bloodstream.   One report states that more than 25 avian breeds with fibromelanosis are known and almost all of them originate from southeastern Asia.   Ho hum.

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