List of Top Black Chicken Breeds: Only 20 Exist

Are you tired of searching for the perfect breed of chicken that not only stands out in appearance but also possesses desirable qualities? Look no further, as we introduce you to the list of black chicken breeds. These unique poultry varieties boast stunning jet-black feathers, evoking a sense of elegance and mystery. 

However, behind their enchanting facade lies a potential pain point that many poultry enthusiasts encounter. So we’re here to guide you through this intriguing journey, offering valuable insights and expert advice to help you gain more knowledge about this chicken breed. 

1. Langshan

  • Purpose: Dual-purpose
  • Average Weight: 7-10 lbs
  • Egg Production: 180 per year
Black Langshan

The Langshan chicken, a big black breed weighing up to 7lb, is versatile for meat and egg production. With feathered legs resembling leg warmers, they have a unique appearance.

Despite being endangered and rare, Langshans can be obtained from specialized hatcheries. Their calm and graceful temperament, along with their large size, makes them suitable for integrating into different flocks. They are known for their bright, intelligent eyes and a combination of independence and friendliness.

Langshans are prized for their delicious meat and abundant medium-sized brown eggs, known for their exceptionally dark shade.

2. La Fleche

  • Purpose: Dual purpose
  • Average Weight: 6.5 lbs
  • Egg Production: 200 per year
La Fleche Chicken

La Fleche, a unique black chicken breed named after its origin in Paris, France, is commonly known as the “Devil’s bird” due to its distinct appearance. This heritage breed, dating back to the 15th century, is critically endangered but gaining popularity for its exceptional meat quality.

La Fleche chickens are entirely black and have a comb that resembles two horns. However, they have a slow growth rate and take about ten months to reach full maturity. The hens of this breed typically weigh around 6.5 lbs.

These chickens are dual-purpose, suitable for both meat and fresh egg production. While they can be kept for ornamental purposes, they are known for their adaptability to confinement. However, they display wild behavior and are challenging to tame. La Fleche chickens thrive in warm climates but are not well-suited for cold environments.

As an old landrace chicken breed, La Fleche chickens retain undomesticated and feral tendencies. They are not highly docile and are primarily kept as exhibition birds. Although their egg-laying capabilities are not remarkable, their meat quality remains a standout feature.

3. Crevecoeur

  • Purpose: Meat production
  • Average Weight: 7 lbs
  • Egg Production: 120 per year
Crèvecœur Chicken

The Crevecoeur, another critically endangered black chicken breed, possesses distinctive features like wild crests on their head and beard. Roosters often have a V-shaped comb that their crest may partially hide.

Originally bred for their tender white meat rather than egg production, Crevecoeurs are known for their peaceful temperament and adaptability to confinement. Adding black Crevecoeurs to your flock can be a meaningful way to contribute to the conservation efforts of endangered chicken breeds.

By raising and breeding these rare and unique chickens, you can help preserve genetic diversity and ensure the survival of the Crevecoeur breed. Supporting breeders and organizations dedicated to conserving endangered poultry breeds can also have a positive impact on their long-term survival.

4. Cochin

  • Purpose: Dual purpose
  • Average Weight: 5 lbs
  • Egg Production: 150-200 eggs yearly
Black Cochin Chicken

The Cochin chicken, originally from China, became very popular in the 1800s during the “hen fever.” They have feathered legs and come in pure black and other colors. Cochin chickens are big, have lots of feathers, and have a specific kind of pea comb.

They also have a special feature called “frizzling,” which means their feathers curl and make them look even fluffier. Cochins are friendly and make great pets. They are also good at caring for eggs from other chicken breeds because they like sitting on them and keeping them warm.

In the United States, you can find both regular-sized and smaller “bantam” Cochins. Most Cochins are a buff color, but there are also black and white varieties called birchen. These chickens have a special history from the 1840s when Queen Victoria, who loved chickens, noticed them and made them famous.

These black chickens are like a big bundle of feathers from their heads to their toes, which makes them fascinating and loved by many people.

5. Minorca

  • Purpose: Ornamental/egg production
  • Average Weight: 7-9 lbs
  • Egg Production: 120-200 per year
minorca chicken

Minorca black chicken breeds have distinctive features such as pale red faces and large white earlobes, contrasting with their all-black feathers. They are relatively large and agile birds, needing a spacious chicken coop to meet their requirements. The roosters can weigh up to 7 pounds.

Although they are sizable, Minorcas are not usually raised for meat because some people find their meat dry and tough. However, they are excellent egg layers, and they have friendly and sociable personalities, making them a wonderful addition to backyard flocks.

6. Orpington

  • Purpose: Dual-purpose
  • Average Weight: 10 lbs
  • Egg Production: 150-300 per year
black Orpington chicken

The Orpington black chicken breed was created in the late 1800s to hide the dirt and pollution in the air at that time. They quickly became popular because they lay lots of eggs and are good for eating.

Orpingtons are like the typical farm chickens from England: chubby, happy, and calm. They don’t rush around unless there’s food involved. The hens lay many big brown eggs, about 4-5 each week.

These chickens are big, soft, and cuddly, which kids love to hold and snuggle. They usually like being around people if they are raised to be held and petted. Black Orpingtons are calm and gentle, so they don’t make much noise, which is good if you live in a neighborhood.

With their nice looks, friendly nature, and quiet behavior, black Orpingtons are a great choice for getting eggs and having them as pets. They can easily adapt to living in the city and being handled to fit in well in a backyard or with a family.

7. Breda

  • Purpose: Dual-purpose
  • Average Weight: 5 lbs
  • Egg Production: 180 per year
breda chicken

The Breda is an extremely rare black chicken breed. Only a few breeders have them in the United States, and even in their homeland of Holland, they are considered rare. Sadly, this breed is critically endangered worldwide. In the past, Bredas were popular during the Civil War but eventually disappeared and became extinct in the country.

Bredas have a unique and strange appearance. They don’t have a comb, and their beak looks like that of a crow. They also have vulture hocks and feathers on their feet, which gives them a distinct way of walking that looks like paddling. While most of their feathers are black, sometimes they have white feathers mixed in.

In terms of how they act, Bredas can be shy at first but become lovely and friendly once they trust you. Because they are a heritage breed, they grow slower and won’t reach their full size until their second year.

8. Silkie

  • Purpose: Ornamental
  • Average Weight: 4 lbs
  • Egg Production: 100 per year
black Silkie Chicken

The Silkie chicken is known for its special and unique qualities. People keep them mostly because they look different and make great companions rather than producing things like eggs. Like the Ayam Cemani breed, Silkies have black skin, organs, and muscles.

Silkies are not famous for laying lots of eggs, but they are good at being mothers. They are happy to sit on any eggs and are very good at taking care of baby chicks.

Silkies can come in different colors, and black is pretty common. But their feathers don’t lock together tightly, so they can get cold and wet easily. If Silkies get wet, it’s important to dry them off or use a hair dryer to keep them comfortable and healthy.

9. Jersey Giant

  • Purpose: Meat production
  • Average Weight: 11-15 lbs
  • Egg Production: 150-200 per year
black Jersey Giant Chicken

The Jersey Giant is a chicken breed that lives up to its name by being the largest among other chicken breeds. They are calm and gentle, making them a dominant presence in barnyard flocks. Originally bred in the United States as a meat bird and an alternative to turkeys, they have become known for their size.

Despite their big size, Jersey Giants are easygoing and don’t require much effort. They need a slightly larger space in the run and coop. They make great pets and are good at laying eggs. These black chickens lay around 150 eggs yearly and can also be used for meat production.

They can handle cold weather well because they have extra body fat to keep them warm. However, they may struggle in hot climates, although they can adapt to living in semi-confined spaces without problems.

While Jersey Giants can weigh up to fifteen pounds, it’s important to know that hens usually weigh less than roosters. Their ability to handle cold temperatures and calm temperament makes them a good choice for backyard flocks.

Read also: 20 Best Giant Chicken Breeds ( For Meat + Egg Production)

10. Australorp

  • Purpose: Dual-purpose
  • Average Weight: 5-7 lbs
  • Egg Production: 250 per year
Black Australorp chicken

Australorps are chickens in different colors, but the black ones are especially popular. These black chicken breeds are a mix of the Orpington breed from Australia, and they are easy to find and in high demand. Black Australorps have a nice and gentle personality, although they can be shy. Some of them even have hints of green in their feathers.

If you want a black chicken as a pet, the Black Australorp is a great choice. They are not only beautiful to look at, but they are also very loyal. You can even train them to eat from your hand, showing how much they trust and like you.

Black Australorps are also really good at laying eggs. They give you a lot of big brown eggs every week. One Australorp holds the record for laying the most eggs in a year! They can also be raised for meat because they have good-quality meat.

11. Sumatra

  • Purpose: Ornamental
  • Average Weight: 4 lbs
  • Egg Production: 100 per year
sumatra chicken

The Sumatra chicken comes from islands in Indonesia like Java, Borneo, and Sumatra. People still have them there today. In the United States, this chicken is mostly kept for looks and showing off, not for practical reasons.

The male Sumatra chickens have long tails that flow beautifully, and they act proud and royal. The female chickens are smaller and don’t have long tail like the males.

It’s important to know that Sumatra chickens are not very friendly or sociable with people. They have more of a wild and independent personality, like game birds, rather than being friendly or social like other chickens.

12. Java

  • Purpose: Dual-purpose
  • Average Weight: 9 lbs
  • Egg Production: 150 per year
java chicken

The Java chicken is the second oldest breed in America. It was created by breeding chickens brought from the Far East. Javas used to be common on many farms, but they became less popular when the poultry industry started focusing on fast-growing chickens.

However, Javas are still a great choice for homesteads. They are good at finding their food and enjoy roaming freely, although they can live in confined spaces if needed. Javas lay about 3 large brown eggs each week and are known for being good at sitting on eggs and taking care of chicks.

Javas can have black or black and white feathers that look shiny green when the sun hits them. Even though they are not as common in commercial settings, Javas are still charming and valuable to homesteads that want self-sufficient and heritage chickens.

13. Ayam Cemani

  • Purpose: Dual-purpose (meat and eggs)
  • Average Weight: 4-6 lbs
  • Egg Production: 80 per year
Ayam Cemani Chickens

The Ayam Cemani is a completely black chicken breed. They have a special melanistic gene, which gives them black skin, feathers, organs, and even bones.

In their home country of Indonesia, Ayam Cemanis are highly respected and used in ceremonies because people believe they have magical powers and can communicate with spirits. They were introduced to the Western world in the 1990s.

Since then, Ayam Cemani chickens have become very popular in the United States, and individual chickens can cost up to $200. However, they are not known for laying lots of eggs. They have a pattern where they lay about 30 eggs and then take a break before laying again. In total, they usually lay around 80 cream-colored eggs per year.

Even though they don’t lay many eggs, Ayam Cemanis continue to fascinate people because of their unique appearance and mystical reputation. Their striking black color and cultural significance make them highly desired in the world of chickens.

14. Swedish Black

  • Purpose: Egg production
  • Average Weight: 5-7 lbs
  • Egg Production: 150 per year
Swedish Black Hen

Swedish Black chickens are stunning birds, just like Ayam Cemanis. They have a genetic mutation that makes their bones, feathers, skin, and tongues black. However, Swedish Black chickens are smaller than Ayam Cemanis and are even harder to find.

Even though they are rare, Swedish Black chickens are excellent at laying eggs and have a more calm and gentle personality than Ayam Cemanis. These black chickens are known for being friendly and adapting well to living with people. They are calm and usually lay around 150 cream-colored eggs per year.

15. Ancona

  • Purpose: Dual-purpose
  • Average Weight: 6 lbs
  • Egg Production: 180 per year
Ancona chicken

The Ancona chicken breed, originally from Italy, is a special kind of chicken that is good for both meat and eggs. They have beautiful black feathers with white tips, making them look cool. Their eyes are a special orange-red color.

Anconas come in different sizes, from small to medium, and there are two types: regular and small-sized bantams. They have nice, clean, bright yellow legs with some black spots. Their beaks are yellow with black stripes, which makes them look even more unique. Anconas like to be active and explore outside, especially when looking for food.

When it comes to laying eggs, Anconas are good at it. They can lay up to 180 big white eggs every year, even during the winter. They are friendly and get along well with other chickens. Anconas are not hard to take care of and are great for people new to raising chickens and want them in their backyard.

16. Black Shumen

  • Purpose: Dual-purpose
  • Average Weight: 5.5 lbs
  • Egg Production: 150- 180 per year
Black shumen hen

The Black Shumen chicken breed comes from Bulgaria, specifically the Shumen region. It was made by mixing local black hens with Minorca chickens, creating a unique chicken.

These black chickens are not common and may disappear in the future. They have black feathers, red earlobes, and red eyes. Even though they lay small cream-colored eggs, they are usually grumpy and aggressive.

They don’t like to sit on their eggs, even though some say they lay around 150-180 eggs yearly. They also tend to be jumpy but grow up faster than other kinds of chickens.

Because they are rare and in danger, people in Bulgaria are working hard to protect the Black Shumen chicken breed.

17. Hamburg

  • Purpose: Dual-purpose
  • Average Weight: 4 lbs
  • Egg Production: 220 per year
Hamburg Chicken

Hamburg black chicken breeds are special and lively chickens that have existed since the 14th century. They are known for their shiny black feathers, grayish blue legs (except for the Black variety), and reddish-brown eyes.

The Black Hamburg breed likely started and became popular in England many years ago. It then spread to other parts of Europe and came to America in 1882. Although we don’t know where the Hamburg breed originated, many people think it got its name from the city of Hamburg in Germany.

18. Kadaknath

  • Purpose: Dual-purpose
  • Average Weight: 4 lbs
  • Egg Production: 80 per year
black chicken Kadaknath

The Kadaknath is a rare black chicken breed from India. It comes from the Dhar and Jhabua regions of Madhya Pradesh and is called Kali Masi, which means “fowl with black flesh.”

Kadaknath chickens are mainly raised by tribal communities in Madhya Pradesh. The meat of these chickens has many health benefits and can boost immunity. It is rich in iron and various vitamins like phosphorus, vitamin B1, B2, B6, B12, vitamin C, vitamin E, and niacin, which are good for overall health.

The eggs of Kadaknath chickens used to treat serious illnesses like diabetes, hypertension, and arthritis. That’s why this breed is highly sought-after in India. However, Kadaknath chickens usually lay only about 80 eggs per year. Even though they don’t lay many eggs, the special qualities of their meat and eggs have made the Kadaknath one of the most valued chicken breeds in India.

19. Svart Hona

  • Purpose: Dual-purpose
  • Average Weight: 5-7 lbs
  • Egg Production: 250 per year
Svart Hona

The Svart Hona, also known as the Swedish Black Hen, is a rare chicken breed with black feathers covering its whole body. It is unique because its bones, meat, eyes, comb, legs, and feathers are all black. Originally from Sweden, the Svart Hona is a great breed for producing eggs and meat.

To be healthy and happy, these chickens need enough space to move around and lay their eggs. They do best in larger flocks with lots of room to explore. With proper care and the right living conditions, the Svart Hona can show off its ability to produce lots of eggs and good meat.

Why are Some Chicken Breeds Completely Black?

Certain chicken breeds possess the fascinating feature of being completely black, including their feathers, beak, comb, flesh, bones, and even internal organs. This distinctive trait is because of a genetic condition called fibromelanosis.

Fibromelanosis occurs due to a complex mutation in a group of genes responsible for pigmentation. This leads to an excess deposition of melanin throughout the bird’s body, resulting in an all-black appearance. Importantly, this condition does not harm the chicken, and it does not affect its lifespan or overall health.

Some well-known all-black chicken breeds that exhibit this trait are Ayam Cemani, Silkie, and Kadaknath. Their unique pigmentation sets them apart, and they are rare and exotic. While their meat, organs, and bones are also black due to the fibromelanosis mutation, it does not impact their taste or nutritional value compared to other chicken breeds.

Advantages of Raising Black Chicken Breeds

While raising black chicken breeds may not differ significantly from raising other types of chickens, there are a few potential advantages that might come with raising these unique birds.

  • Novelty and Aesthetics: Black chickens, particularly breeds like the Ayam Cemani and Silkie, are distinctive and often considered more attractive due to their unique appearance. Their exotic looks can add diversity and interest to your backyard flock.
  • Cultural and Culinary Significance: In certain cultures, black chickens are highly prized. For example, the Kadaknath breed from India is well-known for its high protein and low-fat content. In Chinese medicine, Silkie chickens are believed to have medicinal properties and are often used in soups.
  • Egg Production: Some black chicken breeds, such as the Black Australorp, are famous for their excellent egg-laying abilities. The Australorp holds the world record for laying 364 eggs in 365 days.
  • Hardiness: Many black chicken breeds are hardy and adaptable to various climates and environments. For example, the Jersey Giant can withstand colder temperatures.
  • Temperament: Black chicken breeds like the Australorp and Jersey Giant are docile and friendly in nature, making them great for families and hobby farmers.
  • Meat Quality: Some black chicken breeds, such as the Ayam Cemani and Kadaknath, have superior quality meat, often fetching a higher price in the market. This can be advantageous if you are raising chickens for meat.
  • Rarity and Value: Due to their unique pigmentation, black chickens are often rare and can have a higher market value. This could benefit those looking to sell hatching eggs, chicks, or adult birds.

Challenges of Raising Black Chicken Breeds

  • Cost: Completely black chicken breeds like Ayam Cemani, Silkie, or Kadaknath are often more expensive to purchase than more common breeds. This is due to their unique appearance, rarity, and the higher demand for them in certain markets.
  • Availability: These breeds are not as widely available as common breeds like the Rhode Island Red or Sussex. It might be more difficult to find these chickens for sale, especially if you want to buy them locally.
  • Breeding: Because these breeds are unique, maintaining their specific traits requires careful and selective breeding. If you’re planning to breed these chickens yourself, this can pose a challenge and requires some knowledge of genetics and chicken breeding practices.
  • Regulations: Depending on where you live, there may be regulations or restrictions regarding the ownership and breeding of exotic chicken breeds. It’s important to understand the local regulations before deciding to raise these birds.
  • Health Management: Though generally as healthy as other breeds, black chickens like the Ayam Cemani and Kadaknath may require specific attention to their diet and environment to ensure optimal health and development. Also, because their black feathers make it difficult to spot parasites like mites and lice, regular check-ups are important.
  • Market for Selling: If you’re considering raising these breeds for sale, whether for meat, eggs, or live birds, consider that your potential market might be limited. Not everyone is interested in black chicken meat, and the market for live birds is often niche.


What is the most common black chicken?

The most common black chicken breed is the Black Australorp. Originating from Australia, the Black Australorp is a highly popular and widely recognized breed known for its black plumage.


Black chicken breeds are unique and beautiful chickens that come in different varieties. They have black feathers that make them stand out. When these black chickens are part of a group, they bring a special kind of elegance and excitement. That’s why people want to have them and take care of them as part of the chicken community.

Amelia Quinn

Living a self-sufficient lifestyle and raising chickens has been my passion since childhood. Over the years, I've realized this dream and gained valuable hands-on experience. Today, I am committed to empowering beginners and dreamers alike, help them navigate their own journey towards self-sufficiency and poultry farming.

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