Having chickens roam free on your property is a serene sight to behold. What about a rainbow of chicken colors, or black chicken breeds? The color options available in a given chicken breed can vary widely.
Either way, this comprehensive list of black chicken breed varieties has you covered. If you’re in the market for black chicken breeds, look no further than these varieties.
You may also want to read about the best chicken feed.
Top 7 Black Chicken Breeds:
7. Swedish Black Chicken
“Svarthona” is another name for the Swedish Black chicken. It’s nearly identical to the highly prized Ayam Cemani in that both the inside and outside are completely black. A key distinction between this breed and its Indonesian counterpart is its ability to survive in colder climates.
Compared to the Ayam Cemani, this breed of chicken weighs only about seven to ten pounds, and its temperament is much better. In addition, it lays high-quality eggs. If you’re looking for a pet that will provide you with 150 eggs of cream color annually, consider the Swedish Black.
Sumatra chickens, another type of ornamental bird, can only be found on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. They are, however, dispersed throughout the country. This breed of chicken, like many others, comes in a wide variety of colors in addition to black.
Not the friendliest fowl, it makes sense that they were originally bred for combat. They are notoriously hostile to other chickens and even toddlers.
Their long tails make them beautiful to look at, but they are not good layers and their meat is too tough to eat.
The eggs laid by a Minorca hen are among the largest of any chicken breed, making them an excellent choice for egg production. This black and white breed has its roots in Spanish breeding.
Most noticeably, the Minorca has white earlobes that extend to the tip of its beak, making it one of the few birds in the world with such an odd appearance. This and the chicken’s overall fatty skin make it a poor choice for areas with low temperatures.
Large as they are, they have a poor flavor profile for a source of meat. However, beginning at 26 weeks of age, they will lay an average number of large white eggs.
4. La Fleche
La Fleche chickens, which have their roots in France, are useful in more ways than one. They are an unusual black color with a comb that mimics the shape of two horns on top of the head. Because of this, it is commonly referred to as “The Devil’s Bird.”
Meat from these chickens is excellent, but they take up to 10 months to reach their full size. The 200 eggs it lays per year, however, are a respectable yield.
3. Jersey Giant
This chicken breed is the largest purebred chicken in the United States, so the name Jersey Giant is fitting. Jersey Giants, on average, are heavier than 11 pounds. Although they are commonly bred for consumption, they also make excellent pets.
They are excellent meat producers and reliable layer hens. The average Jersey Giant hen can produce 150 oversized eggs per year. Because of their thick layer of fat, they thrive in colder climates but struggle in warmer ones.
2. Black Australorp
Even though black Australorp chickens are the most common, they actually come in a variety of colors. You’ll learn about the Orpington breed in a bit; the Australorp is just a hybrid version of the Orpington that originated in Australia. The birds are docile and friendly, much like their Orpington relatives, but they may be too submissive and prefer to hide. This breed is highly trainable, and can be made to eat directly from your hand.
These hens can produce as many as 250 eggs per year, making them ideal for commercial egg production. The most eggs ever laid in one year by any chicken breed belongs to this particular species. This breed is also suitable for raising for human consumption.
1. Ayam Cemani
Interesting name, isn’t it? This chicken has an Indonesian name because it was bred there. The fact that this chicken is completely black justifies its intriguing name. Everything about it is black: the feathers, the beak, the legs, and even the organs.
In Indonesian culture, this extremely rare chicken breed is regarded as a talisman of good fortune. Its high cost is a direct result of its extreme rarity. It is possible to spend $5,000 on a mating pair! A word of caution, though: some unscrupulous breeders may try to pass off a hybrid as a pure-bred Ayam Cemani.
About the same amount of meat and eggs can be produced from these chickens each year, despite their average weight of 6 pounds and egg production of 80 per hen per year.