Indigenous to Indonesia, the Ayam Cemani may be one of the world's most unique and fascinating chickens. The chicken is black like the night entirely throughout its body, and yes, even down to the bone.
You may think that these Goth fowls' are still red on the inside. However, their internal organs and muscles are also mysteriously dark in colour. Its eggs, however, are still a light shade of cream. Even as chicks, these birds already have a dark black colour to them.
According to a noted Ayam Cemani breeder, Paul Bradshaw of Greenfire Farms, the black colour is due to genetics.
"The mutation produces about ten times as much melanin [black pigment] as you'll find in a normal chicken." As a result, the Ayam Cemani's feathers shine with iridescent greens and purples for a "riveting" effect.
These fantastic creatures have an otherworldly appeal due to their striking appearance. Centuries ago, on the Indonesian island of Java, these stunning black fowls were kept as part of rituals and were given a spiritual status which meant that these birds were never eaten.
The USDA in the United States is still currently banning the import of live chickens from Indonesia. But the Greenfire Farms in Northern Florida managed to bring the breed to the States and are solely used for ceremonies of another kind.
"We were asked by New York magazine to supply an Ayam Cemani model for their holiday gifts issue," Bradshaw said. He added, "after we flew him to New York, our rooster patiently allowed himself to be draped with million-dollar jewelry and trussed with a red ribbon while he was photographed under bright lights."
"He was unbothered by all the attention, and he soon jetted back to Florida for a happy reunion with his flock of hens. Ahh, the life of a supermodel."