Black meat chickens are a type of poultry that have black skin, flesh, bones and sometimes even organs. They are not separate species but rather a result of genetic mutations that affect pigmentation. Black meat chickens are considered a delicacy in some cultures and have various health benefits such as being rich in antioxidants, protein, vitamins and minerals.
In this article, we will explore 5 breeds of chickens with black meat: Ayam Cemani, Silkie, Kadaknath, Swedish Black, Langshan and Hmong chickens.
1. Ayam Cemani Chicken
This breed hails from Indonesia and is entirely black – feathers, beak, eyes, tongue, and even heart and blood! The only exception is its white toenails. The name Ayam Cemani means “all-black chicken” in Indonesian. These birds are dual-purpose and can be raised for both meat and eggs, with the meat being dark and tender and the eggs creamy or tinted. Interestingly, Ayam Cemani is also believed to have mystical powers and is sometimes used in rituals and ceremonies in Indonesia.
2. Silkie Chicken
The Silkie chickens originate from China. These birds have black skin, bones, and flesh but come in a variety of feather colors, such as white, black, blue, or red. Their feathers are incredibly fluffy and soft, almost like silk or satin, which is how they got their name. Unlike most chickens, Silkies have five toes on each foot. These birds are also dual-purpose and can be raised for both meat and eggs, but they’re also commonly kept as pets. The meat is said to be dark and sweet, while the eggs are small and cream or tinted. Silkies are known for their broodiness and maternal instincts, and they can even hatch eggs from other breeds or species.
3. Kadaknath Chicken
This is a breed of chicken that originated in India. These birds have black skin, bones, flesh, and organs but dark grey or iridescent green feathers. The name Kadaknath means “hardy” or “strong” in Hindi. Like the others, Kadaknath is also a dual-purpose breed that can be used for both meat and eggs. The meat is high in protein and low in fat and is said to have medicinal properties such as boosting immunity, enhancing libido, and curing asthma. The eggs are medium-sized and dark brown with high iron content.
4. Swedish Black Chicken (Svarthöna)
The Swedish Black or Svarthöna is a chicken breed that originates from Sweden. These birds have black skin, bones, flesh, and organs, but their feathers are glossy black or greenish-black. They are a rare and endangered breed, prized for their meat quality and flavor. However, they’re not the best egg layers. The meat is dark and juicy, with a gamey taste, and the eggs are usually cream or light brown and medium in size.
5. Hmong Chicken
This is a breed that originated in Southeast Asia. These birds have black skin, bones, flesh, and organs, but their feathers come in a variety of colors, such as black, red, white, or speckled. They get their name from the ethnic group that raises them. Like the others, Hmong is a dual-purpose breed that can be raised for both meat and eggs. The meat is dark and lean, with a mild flavor, while the eggs are usually small to medium in size and light brown.
Black meat chickens are not only unique in appearance but also have various benefits such as being rich in antioxidants, protein, vitamins and minerals. They also have different flavors and textures depending on the breed. If you want to try something different from the usual white-meat chicken, you might want to give these 6 breeds a try.