Ayam Cemani Price: Unveiling the Expensive Phenomenon

This article is a summary of the YouTube video ‘Why Ayam Cemani Chickens Are So Expensive | So Expensive | Insider Business’ by Business Insider

Written by: Recapz Bot

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Iamsamani chickens are rare, expensive, all-black birds with high demand, while breeding and obtaining them pose challenges; their eggs are valuable, and breeders require special care for weak immune systems.

Key Insights

  • Iamsamani chickens are rare and highly sought after.
  • They are all-black due to a genetic mutation called fibromelanosis.
  • Breeding high-quality all-black chickens is challenging and expensive.
  • The cost to start a flock can range from $15,000 to $20,000.
  • Pink mouths and other undesirable characteristics can result from not having two copies of the genetic mutation.
  • High-quality roosters with completely black mouths can sell for $9,000 to $10,000.
  • Export restrictions make it difficult for breeders in the U.S. to obtain Iamsamani chickens directly from Indonesia.
  • The quality and price of Iamsamani chickens outside of Indonesia can vary widely.
  • Rare breed collectors and avian species enthusiasts are among the buyers of these chickens.
  • Iamsamani eggs are not black, despite the chickens' pigmentation.
  • Eggs are highly valued and can sell for up to $16 each.
  • Iamsamani chickens are kept as pets in Java and have mystical beliefs associated with them.
  • Somani chickens have weak immune systems and require special care.
  • The chickens are bathed weekly and provided with vitamins, vaccines, and adjusted feed.
  • Breeding healthy birds relies on shared knowledge and constant trial and error.
  • Chicken diets may include supplements like crushed chilies, dried soldier fly larvae, and oregano leaves.
  • Indonesian breeders feed their chickens a special mix of feed, including papaya and taro leaves.
  • A healthy Somani hen lays around 100 eggs per year, which is less than most laying hens.
  • Breeders prefer to incubate most of the eggs to maximize the chances of getting healthy chicks.
  • Roosters are more valuable than hens due to wider combs.
  • Prices dropped during the COVID-19 pandemic but have since rebounded.

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This is a rare Iamsamani chicken, and if everything down to its beak and tongue is black, a chicken can sell for up to $6,000, and its eggs can sell for up to $16 each. They are incredibly difficult to find, but if you can find a good one, then you hold on to them like gold. That means taking care of these chickens is a full-time job, but they’re rarely eaten.

So why do people buy Iamsamani chickens? And why are they so expensive? The story of Iamsamani chickens starts in Indonesia, but even here in Java, where the chickens are native, it still takes work to breed a top-notch all-black chicken.

The unique coloring of Iamsamani chickens comes from a genetic mutation called fibromelanosis. In other chickens, only certain cells release pigmentation. Fibromelanosis, however, causes nearly all the cells in Iamsamani chickens to release pigmentation, resulting in dark black feathers, beaks, bones, and even organs.

But this requires the right pair of chickens, which breeders in the U.S., like Rachel Stewart, are hard-pressed to find. To start a flock, you’re probably looking at $15,000 to $20,000 to get a good group of birds, the housing, and the feed, and everything that you need for them.

If a chicken doesn’t have two copies of the genetic mutation, it can end up with undesirable characteristics like white feathers, lighter toe pads, or pink mouths. You want to not ever have a pink mouth. You want to have, if not anything, an oyster mouth, which is like a grayish.

While most of her chickens sell for $2,000 or $3,000, Rachel says a high-quality rooster with a completely black mouth would go for $9,000 or even $10,000.

The Iamsamani chickens that weren’t bred on Rachel’s farm came from Indonesia, but not directly. Because of government restrictions on both sides, breeders in the U.S. can’t get their hands on these chickens easily. So what you have to do typically is find somebody in a different hub, a different country, that allows for you to import from them. So for example, my line was imported from Canada.

As a result of all the export restrictions, the quality and price of Iamsamani chickens outside of Indonesia can range widely. This is why chicks from different American farms are listed online for anywhere between $35 and $90.

But who exactly is buying these chickens? I’ve noticed that the people who purchase from us are rare breed collectors of different avian species. You think of it in comparison to an Amazon parrot. If you get a parrot, it’s going to cost you at least five grand, right? So these are rarer and more difficult to create in general than even a high-quality parrot.

Back in Indonesia, customers come from all over the world. Customers from Taiwan, Thailand, and the Netherlands come here to buy Iamsamani eggs from our farm.

Surprisingly, Iamsamani eggs aren’t black. Despite all the pigmentation in their bodies, the eggs they lay are a standard white color.

Here, Anar sells his best chickens for up to $6,000, sometimes to other breeders but mainly to Javanese locals, like Ari. On the island of Java, these chickens have long been kept as pets. Ari has spent 30 million rupiah, about $2,000, on two Iamsamani chickens. Some locals believe the chickens’ jet-black coloring allows them to travel between the human world and the supernatural one. Another mystical belief is that consuming the very first egg one lays will help you conceive a child. Although Iamsamani chicken eggs are highly valuable, breeders will give these first eggs away for free, either to couples in need or to healers like Fethiyatun. Here in the Temanggung Regency, Fethiyatun roasts the egg until it becomes a fine powder.

Despite being used for healing, Iamsamani chickens themselves tend to have weak immune systems. And if a chicken gets sick, its black color can fade and become dull. But keeping Iamsamani chickens healthy can get tricky, especially when there’s no official guide on how to breed them. So breeders rely on their shared knowledge, as well as constant trial and error, to breed healthy, high-quality birds.

The chickens are bathed every week. This helps prevent bacterial infections. The coops are sprayed down for the same reason. Spacious coops help create a stress-free environment, but also help maintain the chickens’ genetic lines.

A nurse also provides the chickens with vitamins and vaccines, and adjusts their feed as they develop. The chickens’ diet depends on their breeder. In New Jersey, Rachel adds special supplements to improve her flock’s intestinal health. One of the things that we have here is the crushed chilies. They go crazy for them. Chickens do not have the ability to taste spicy. So for them, that’s just like a really yummy additive. They do better to have extra protein. They just are a little bit hardier, and they lay better, you know, more eggs.

The form of protein that we use is dried soldier fly larvae. They are 36% protein, and they love them. Oregano leaves are antimicrobial and are super good for the chickens’ intestinal health as well. So we like to add that as well. So basically, they’re just getting something that smells like a huge pizza.

In Indonesia, a nurse feeds his chickens a special mix of feed twice a day to help them gain weight. He also likes to add papaya and taro leaves to their food.

A healthy Iamsamani hen lays around 100 eggs a year, which is only 40% of what most laying hens produce. These eggs can sell for as much as Rp250,000, or about $16. However, breeders prefer to keep most of the eggs because not every one is guaranteed to hatch. So, it’s more cost-effective to incubate the eggs and to maximize the overall chances of getting healthy chicks. More eggs also means more chances to breed high-quality, all-black birds.

Roosters are more valuable than hens because they have wider combs. Although the COVID-19 pandemic did cause prices to drop, they’ve now bounced back.

This article is a summary of the YouTube video ‘Why Ayam Cemani Chickens Are So Expensive | So Expensive | Insider Business’ by Business Insider