Ayam Cemani hen with a few cream feathers.


Jul 5, 2014
Hi everyone.

Back in October the other half, our daughter and I made our twice yearly trip to the local rare breed auction. I was really excited as I had seen in the sale catalogue that there was a single Ayam Cemani pullet for sale paired up with a Rhode Island Red hen. (poultry can only be sold as same or opposite sex pairs or trios).

I know that there are a few Ayam Cemani keepers in North Wales so was desperate to see if this was a genuine bird. When we arrived we rushed straight over to that cage and sure enough there was a fine RIR and a Ayam Cemani pullet. we hung around for ages and it became clear that it was a buyers auction with fine pure bred birds going for low, low prices and no one seemed to be aware of quite what this pullet was and I got the cage for £22.

Now to my questions.

The Cemani pullet (Leena we call her) is very black. Black beak,legs,claws,comb,wattles,mouth,tongue and very dark eyes. Also most of her feathers are jet black with a lovely shine of green and purple that looks almost oiled. However she has a few dark cream feathers just behind her comb (those tiny ones) and a few of the shafts on her primary feathers are also a dark cream although the feathers themselves are black.
I can find very little information on imperfectly coloured Ayam Cemani chickens although there are mentions of pure bred birds with a few non black feathers and other things such as white claws or grey tongues. Is Leena likely to be a miss marked pure bred or a very black cross?
I was also wondering if it would be worth getting a good Ayam Cemani cockerel to see if the feather defect would breed out if she isnt a cross.
And also what are Ayam Cemani crosses like? Does any of the black feathering, black skin, etc, come through in crosses?

I don't breed chickens to make money, but for the pleasure of it and any of the few that I raise that don't go to other flocks we eat at about 8 months old after they have spent the summer out with the flock.
I have a mixed flock of pure and cross bred chickens, A Barnevelder cock and hen, A silver blue orange duckwing Brahma cock and a blue partridge Brahma hen, the RIR hen I mentioned, a Cream Legbar hen, 2 blue Araucana hens, 2 easter egger hens, a black Pekin hen, a Goldline hen and a Sultan Araucana cross pullet. I love the mixture of bird and egg colours and have hatched a few very beautiful cross and pure bred birds over the years, Last years best were a pure Brahma hen, white with all over black speckles and a Brahma x Legbar hen, white with slate grey and buff speckles all over. Both now a few streets away with a friends flock!
I don't have any Ayam Cemani but I have done a lot of reading and researching on them because I thought I would like to have some and breed them.

What I learned is that it takes A LOT of work in breeding and culling to keep that 100% black bird. I didn't want to be in a situation where I was needing to cull a lot and I didn't want to put any imperfect Ayam Cemani out into the breeding population so I decided against it for myself.

I say all of this to say, that yes, likely yours IS a full breed, just not SOP. And yes, you could get a Ayam Rooster and breed her and likely get some solid black off spring out of her but you would also get the "imperfect" ones as well.
Have got a couple of photos now, you can see all the pale feather shafts now she is wet from the rain (the cockerel disappearing into the house is Lovejoy) The chickens are mostly lurking in the coop at the moment and just popping outside for a bite to eat and a drink. Was having a good look at Leena earlier when she was out, The pale feather shafts are also evident on her breast and neck and really show up now she is wet. She has more of the tiny dark cream feathers under her chin. I

Her claws are not as pale as they appear in the pictures and the colour of both legs and claws seem fairly typical for the breed as does the pale edge to over hanging edge of the beak which is evident in even the best coloured birds.And as I said earlier, her mouth, tongue and skin are black. When she is dry and the feather shafts are hidden by the feathers themselves she looks amazing! I have taken the wet and looking her worst picture, but I love her just the same, although she is one of the shy hens and not much for being picked up, she is very gentle and fitted into the flock on her first day as if she had always been there. Oddly she has a high status within the flock for a bird of her size, age and personality. She hasn't moulted this winter due to being so young, so I am wondering if she will spring moult and if this will have an effect on her plumage.

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