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The Ayam Cemani Chicken Is The Ultimate Goth Animal

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The Ayam Cemani Chicken Is The Ultimate Goth Animal

If you went through a goth phase (or are still living in it) then chances are you would have loved all-black everything.

There's no doubt you would've had black eye shadow, nail polish, clothing and just a dark attitude to the world. What a time, eh?

But the perfect thing you could have surrounded yourself with during that phase would have been the Ayam Cemani chicken.

It's possibly the most goth thing on this planet because not only does it have black feathers, eyes and feet, but it even has black organs, meat and bones.

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Credit: Greenfire Farms
Credit: Greenfire Farms

The inside of the animal has been described as thought it had been 'marinated in squid ink' and National Geographic has suggested it could be the 'most deeply pigmented creature' found in nature.

Interestingly, while pretty much their entire existence is black, hens will lay cream-coloured eggs.

The bird, which is a rare breed found in Indonesia, get its gothic look thanks to an excess pigmentation of the tissues, which caused by a genetic condition known as fibromelanosis.

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There are several other species, Sweden's Bohuslän-Dals svarthöna, Vietnam's Black H'Mong and the Silkie, who share the Ayam Cemani's black insides.

Swedish geneticist Leif Andersson, told Nat Geo about how these four species all have the same 'complex rearrangement in the genome' that can be traced back to a single ancient chicken.

Credit: Kangwira (Creative Common)
Credit: Kangwira (Creative Common)

"What is interesting is that all chickens with this phenotype carry exactly the same mutation. It suggests that some humans saw these black birds and were excited about them, kept them, and sold them and they spread over the world," he said.

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Ayam Cemani chickens are suspected to have come from the island of Java and were first described in the history books by Dutch colonial settlers. However, it wasn't until 1998 that Dutch breeder Jan Steverink imported them to Europe.

The Ayam Cemani chicken is now being bred in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic on the European continent.

According to the Smithsonian, the bird has a bunch of hilarious nicknames, which include the 'world's most bewitching chicken', the 'Lamborghini of poultry', the 'Goth chicken' and the 'Sith Lord bird'.

It's difficult to get the bird in the US due to rules around importation, however Greenfire Farms, who are the most well-known American-based Cemani breeders, sell day-old chicks for $199.

Featured Image Credit: PxFuel

Topics: News, Interesting, Animals

Stewart Perrie
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