15 Black Chicken Breeds You Should Know About (With Pictures)

black ayam cemani chicken breed

It is a known fact that different chicken breeds come in a variety of amazing colors. Some are brown, black, lavender, blue, buff, red, etc. 

However, in this article, we will be looking at just the black chicken breeds.

There are many factors that determine the color of a chicken.

However, the two major color pigments in chicken genetics are red and black and other colors come from these two.

Nevertheless, despite their color, the black chicken breeds are quite a sight to behold.

If you would love to rare this breed, then here is a list of black chicken breeds you can choose from.

List of black chicken breeds

  • Ayam Cemani
  • Australorp
  • Silkie
  • Java
  • Jersey Giant
  • Sumatra
  • Orpington
  • Breda
  • Cochin
  • Langshan
  • Minorca
  • La Fleche
  • Svart Hona
  • Crevecoeur
  • Kadaknath

#1. Ayam Cemani:

ayam cemani

The saying black is beautiful best describes this hen.

Indeed, it is the true definition of a black chicken breed.

Why is this so?

This is because this chicken breed is totally black in its entirety.

Solely as a result of its melanistic gene which produces a high level of melanin.

Its beak, feathers, and even its internal organs are purely and absolutely black.

Interestingly in Indonesia where it originated from, they are assumed to have magical powers. 

Therefore some Indonesians use them in certain rituals as a means to communicate with spirits.

Nevertheless, these black chicken breeds became popular in the US and are sold for $200.

This chicken is quite a beauty to behold when its plumage shimmers a beetle green iridescence under the sunlight.

However, when it comes to egg-laying capacity, this black chicken gets an average score.

This is because it has a cyclical egg-laying behavior where it lays up to 30 eggs and then stops for a long while before starting again.

With this pattern, it can only lay approximately 80 medium-sized cream-colored eggs per year.

#2. Australorp:

black Australorps hen

Australians did a great job in creating this chicken breed from Orpingtons in the 1800s.

I guess now you know where the name Australorp came from.

Back then the Australians desired a bird that laid an excellent amount of eggs.

Therefore the quest to create one began.

Hence as an excellent egg layer, Australorp represents their success story.

Although this chicken breed comes in a variety of colors, its common variety is black.

Furthermore, these breeds of black chickens are quite docile and friendly and can easily get along with children.

As I mentioned earlier these black chicken breeds have an excellent egg-laying capacity.

Therefore if you are looking for a bird that can lay up to 4-5 eggs a week, then the Australorp bird is for you.

You may like to read our article about the Australorp Chicken Breeds to learn more about them.

#3. Silkie:

black silkie chicken

Covered in silkie feathers, the Silkie chicken is one lovely bird to add to your farm.

It is also a melanistic bird with black bones, skin, and meat.

Although silkie has silkie feathers, it is often susceptible to cold.

Therefore they require special attention during cold weather.

Its meat is thought to have magical medicinal benefits.

Despite the fact that they are not very good egg layers they are often kept for their brooding ability.

Typically Silkies can sit on any egg until it hatches and will be more than happy to raise them. Silkies can come in other color varieties however the black breed is common.

Lastly, these black chicken breeds are very friendly and also make good family pets.

There is so much that you need to know about silkie chickens; Check out this Breathtaking Silkie Chicken Characteristics That’ll Sweep You Off Your Feet.

#4. Jersey Giant:

black Jersey Giant

Truly, the name of this black chicken breed suits its size. The Jersey Giant is one of the largest birds in the history of birds. 

Originating from Jersey State it was initially bred for meat. However, it became a dual-purpose breed and can easily give you 3 large brown eggs in a week.

As much as they come in three different colors, the black breed is more common.

Despite their size, these black chicken breeds are gentle, calm, and easy-going and love to forage a lot.

Nevertheless, they tolerate confinement and will make a good family bird.

#5. Orpington:

black orpington chicken

Originally this chicken breed was purely black in color. 

Basically bred for both meat and eggs. As a dual-purpose chicken, the Orpington hen lays up to 4-5 eggs per week. 

If you are looking for a large bird to cuddle, Orpington is a sure option for you. 

Moreover, it is also calm and docile and can be bred in urban settings.

Conclusively, with its large size, it makes a good-sized table bird. 

Orpington chickens stand out in many different ways: See some of the Orpington Chicken Characteristics including their Origin, Breed Info, and Lifespan.

#6. Sumatra:

Ayam sumatra chicken

Originating from the island of Indonesia, the Sumatra chicken is occasionally found in the US.

These black chicken breeds are not bred for eggs. They are mostly kept for ornamental and exhibition purposes. In addition, they don’t do well as pets either, because of their unsociable nature.

Generally, the male breed is larger than the females and has flowing nails.

Although they are not very friendly they carry themselves with a regal demeanor.

#7. Java:

black Java chicken

Although this chicken breed has a very interesting name, it doesn’t come from Java.  

They were purposefully bred by Americans from breeds that came from the Far East.

Initially, Java chickens were popular chicken breeds on farms and homesteads. 

But in recent times their popularity has been replaced by other breeds because of their slow growth. However, one good thing about them is that their hens are quite broody and lay about 3 large eggs a week.

Furthermore, although it loves free range it tolerates confinement well.

They are quite docile and make good backyard chickens.

#8. Breda:

black Breda Chicken by Dr Waltz
Breda Chicken by Dr Waltz

This black chicken stands out in its look, and can easily be termed unusual or awkward.

It has feathered feet, no comb, and vulture hocks, and it’s known to have originated from Holland.

In addition, this bird has a large body and strong legs with a distinctive gait which can be described as paddling.

However, it is a rare breed that is sadly considered a critically endangered species worldwide.

They are also heritage breeds and therefore grow slowly. They do not reach their full stature until the second year.

Nevertheless, despite their unusual look, they produce up to 4 large white eggs in a week. 

#9. Cochin:

black cochin chicken breed

These sets of black chicken breeds are quite cuddly and make good lap chickens. 

Although they can produce 4-5 medium-sized eggs in a week they are not known for prolific laying.

These black chicken breeds were partly responsible for the hen fever that occurred in the UK and US in the early 1800s.

Nevertheless, in recent times they are mostly kept as pets.

Cochins have many feathers from head to toe and love to be cuddled by their owners.

Therefore if you are in need of a cuddly companion, Cochins are right there for you.

#10. Langshan:

black Australian Langshan chicken

This is a large black chicken breed that weighs up to 7lb with an amazing black shimmering plumage. Unlike cochin, they are not cuddly birds but can be quite friendly and docile.

Langshans can lay about 3 large dark brown eggs in a week. In addition, they are good flyers and love to forage. However the tolerant confinement as well.

As a result of breeding practices, this chicken breed was split into four different types namely; Croad, Modern, Australian, and German.

Croad is mostly found in the UK and Modern in the US.

#11. Minorca:

black Minorca-chicken-breed-information-and-characteristics

The next black chicken breed on our list is the Minorca chicken. 

This breed comes from the Spanish island of Minorca in the Mediterranean sea.

These birds are hardy birds that do well in warm temperatures and enjoy foraging. Also, they love to be in the company of humans.

Although Minorcas are dual-purpose breeds, they are mostly bred for their egg-laying ability.

This breed can lay up to 4 large white eggs in a week. Their eggs are the most amazing and largest white eggs among the Mediterranean poultry breeds. 

Black Minorcas are the most common colors that are available and although there are white ones they are rare. 

If you want to learn more about Minorca chickens, then read this article about Minorca Chicken Characteristics, Origin, Breed Info, and Lifespan.

#12. La Fleche:

La_Flèche chicken

You may be wondering why a bird bears such a name. Let me tell you why. 

This bird is a very rare and unusual bird that was found around La Fleche near Paris. This is a possible reason why it bears such a name.

Also, it has an arrow-shaped comb which earned it the nickname “the Devil’s bird”.

Now that you have seen where the name comes from let’s forge ahead.

Furthermore,  this chicken breed is an old landrace chicken that is all black in complexion.

They are not known to be prolific egg layers.

Nevertheless, they are mostly kept for exhibition purposes.

Sadly this bird is rare and also considered a critically endangered species.

#13. Svart Hona:

When translated from Swedish the meaning of Scary Hona is Black Hen. This black chicken is a true melanistic chicken breed. 

Their hens are very good mothers and lay about 2-3 eggs in a week which is approximately 250 eggs in a year. The eggs are white, not cream-tinted in color.

Furthermore, they are quite friendly birds and get along well with humans.

However, these chicken breeds are quite small in size and weigh about 3lb.

#14. Crevecoeur:

Crevecoeur chicken

Another black chicken breed that is also critically endangered is the Crevecoeur chicken. 

One thing you will notice when you come in contact with this chicken is the crest on their heads and beards.

Roosters have a V comb which is not easily noticeable due to their crest. Their hens do not lay plenty of eggs. Therefore they are mostly bred for their soft meat.

Generally, these black chickens are peaceful birds and do well in confinement.

#15. Kadaknath:

Kadaknath Chicken

Kadaknath is a very rare chicken that is rare to find.

However, it is a very good chicken for meat. 

This chicken breed has black organs, skin, beaks, and feet.

 Also, people pay huge amounts of money for its popular black meat.  This is because it is believed to have medicinal value.

Furthermore, Their hens are known to lay about 80-90 light brown eggs in a year.

Why are black chicken breeds black?

There are a number of reasons why black chickens are black. Most of them are black because of their genetic pigmentation. Nevertheless, some black chicken breeds we see are naturally melanistic. This means they produce a high amount of melanin which is responsible for their dark color.

Advantages of Raising Black Chickens

There are many advantages to raising black chickens. 

Some of these advantages include;

1. Show/ Ornamental purposes 

Contrary to most people’s opinion black is a beautiful color and most black chicken breeds are a sight to behold.

Therefore if you want to add more beauty to your backyard farm, then you may consider raising black chickens. 

3. Egg-laying abilities

Not all black chicken breeds are prolific egg layers. However, most of them lay a decent amount of eggs in a year.

4. Produce meat for the family:

Some black chicken meat is believed to have both magical and medicinal benefits.

Their meats are expensive yet people are willing to pay a good amount of money to purchase them.

Therefore raising these chickens can be one awesome way to make money.

Furthermore, black chicken meat is also believed to contain a high level of an antioxidant known as Carnosine.

This antioxidant is known to be beneficial to health.

6. They can be amazing pets:

The last advantage on our list is making use of some black chickens as pets.

Black chicken breeds such as Silkie and Cochin make amazing pets.

Therefore if you are looking for a chicken pet that is friendly, cuddly, and easily connects with humans.

Then you can opt for one of them.

Challenges of Raising Black Chickens

Although there are awesome advantages to raising black chickens there are also some challenges you should know.

Some of these challenges include;

1. They are hard to find:

Black Chicken Breeds are quite hard to find.

As I mentioned earlier some are already critically endangered.

Many of them, like Ayam Cemani, are very difficult to buy from local hatcheries.

Also in some areas, most of them are considered exotic breeds.

Therefore they have purchasing restrictions and are subject to certain laws.

2. They can be finicky:

In some areas of the world, some black chicken breeds are quite difficult to raise. In very hot climates, black chickens hold more heat than white ones. This is because of their color’s inability to reflect sunlight back. However, Minorcas are known to adapt well to warm temperatures.

Do black chickens lay black eggs?

Most black chicken breeds lay brown and white eggs. It is hard to see a black egg that is laid by any hen whether black or white.

Is there a black-skinned chicken?

Yes Absolutely! There are chicken breeds with black skins. 

Some of them include; 

  • Ayam Cemani
  • Silkie
  • Kadaknath

Why Are Black Chickens So Expensive?

Black chickens are expensive because most of them are quite difficult to find.


Looking at the above-mentioned black chicken breeds in this article, you will agree with me that they are great chickens.

Therefore if you want to spice up your backyard poultry, these black chicken breeds are up for selection.

We hope this article was beneficial to you.

Kindly check other recommended articles below.

Frequently Asked Questions About Black Chicken Breeds

  1. Is it safe to eat black chicken eggs and meat and do they taste differently?

    Most black chicken meats are said to have medicinal properties and I guess there’s nothing safer than that. Eggs laid by black chickens are also healthy for consumption.

  2. Where Can I Buy a Black Chicken Breed?

    Black Chicken Breeds are available on hatchery sites. You can also purchase them from private sellers. However, you should know that exotic breeds will be more expensive and difficult to find. Nevertheless, the common ones will most definitely be found where you find other chicken breeds.

  3. What breed of chicken is black?

    There are more than ten breeds of chicken that are black. Examples of black chicken breeds include; Ayam Cemani, Australorp, Silkie, Java, Jersey Giant, Sumatra, Orpington, Breda, Cochin, Langshan, Minorca, La Fleche, Svart Hona, Crevecoeur, Kadaknath.The above-mentioned breeds of chicken in this article are black. Take your time and go through them and choose the one that suits you best.

  4. Why are black chicken breeds black?

    Black Chicken breeds are black because of their genetic pigmentation. Most of the black chicken breeds we see are true melanistic. This means they produce a high amount of melanin which is responsible for their dark color.


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