A-Z List of Black Chicken Breeds: 18 Types (With Pictures)

If you’ve been looking for a unique chicken breed that stands out from the rest, look no further! We’ve rounded up eighteen black chicken breeds that make a great addition to any home flock.

Featuring the world’s most expensive chicken- and some breeds even have black bones, organs, skin, and meat!

A-Z List of 18 Black Chicken Breeds

1.) Ancona: The Friendly & Outgoing Italian

ancona black chicken breed.

The Ancona chicken breed is a dual-purpose breed that originated in Italy. These chickens are known for their beautiful, striking black feathers and orange-red eyes. Although it is not an entirely black bird, it is primarily black and has white tips on its feathers.

Ancona is small to medium-sized and comes in standard and bantam varieties.

Anconas have clean, bright yellow legs with a few black mottles. Their beaks are yellow with black stripes, which adds to their personality. They are active birds that love to forage and explore the outdoors.

Anconas can lay up to 180 large white eggs annually, making them great egg layers, even during winter.

These chickens are friendly and outgoing birds that get along well with other poultry breeds. They do not require much maintenance or special care, making extraordinary backyard chickens for novice chicken keepers.

2.) Black Australorp: Iconic Heritage & Impressive Layer

black australorp chickens and rooster.

The Black Australorp is an iconic heritage chicken breed that originated in Australia. It is a dual-purpose bird, which is suitable for both egg and meat production. These birds can produce serious eggs- reportedly laid 364 eggs in 365 days!

This black feathered bird has a stately presence and a calm nature, making it an ideal breed for novice chicken keepers.

The Black Australorp was created by crossing the Rhode Island Red with the Black Orpington. The result was a medium-sized chicken with deep mahogany-black feathering, yellow legs, and reddish eyes. 

The hens lay large brown eggs and can be pretty docile around people if well-handled when young. The roosters are known for their impressive size and have long tail feathers, which they proudly display during courtship rituals.

Australorps are hardy birds that can withstand most climates but do best in temperate regions with mild winters. They are excellent foragers who love to spend time outside scratching through the dirt, looking for bugs and seeds to eat. 

Because of their calm temperament, they can often be seen peacefully cohabitating with other breeds in communal flocks without causing any trouble or aggression between group members.

3.) Ayam Cemani: The World’s Most Expensive Chicken

ayam cemani all black chicken breed up close.

Are you looking for something unique and fascinating? Look no further than the Ayam Cemani chicken! These birds are unlike any other chickens you’ve ever seen – they’re all black, from their feathers to their bones!

Ayam Cemani is native to Java, Indonesia. It’s a relatively small bird with a deep black color that can be seen from head to toe. The name “Ayam Cemani” means “total black” in Indonesian, perfectly describing this remarkable breed of chickens. 

One of the few things not black is their cream-colored eggs. 

This unique chicken breed is highly sought after for its striking appearance and its rumored mystical powers.

The Ayam Cemani is an incredibly expensive breed ($2,500 to $5,000 per bird) due to its rarity and difficulty in successfully breeding them. However, they make lovely additions to any flock, providing eye-catching beauty and endearing personalities.

4.) Black Shumen: The Grumpy Bulgarian

The Black Shumen chicken is an older breed originating in the Shumen region of Bulgaria. This breed was developed by crossing local black hens with Minorca chickens. 

These black chickens are a rare and threatened breed- distinguished by their black plumage, red earlobes, red iris, and production of small-sized cream-colored eggs.

Black Shumen chickens are generally grumpy birds that are aggressive, do not like egg-sitting (although reported to lay 150-180 eggs annually), and are flighty. However, they mature quickly compared to other breeds. 

Due to their rarity and risk of extinction, conservation efforts are in action by breeders in Bulgaria to help preserve them.

5.) Breda: The Netherland Bird With No Comb

The Breda chicken is a unique dual-purpose heritage breed originating in the Netherlands. It was first recognized in the country centuries ago, but its origins are unknown. It is believed that the breed was developed in the Netherlands, although some sources say it could have been brought to Europe from North America.

Unfortunately, they are not popular in the United States and are only commonly seen in the Netherlands.

The Breda chickens come in colors other than black, including blue and splash colors.

They’re smaller standard-sized birds, about the size of Ameraucana and Legbar chickens. In addition, they have feathered feet, which help protect their legs from cold temperatures, and they also lack a comb flesh making them even more resistant to the elements.

The hens are reliable producers of white and delicious eggs. Breeders report that they lay around 180 eggs per year. Plus, they have lovely temperaments.

 While the origin of this breed is a subject of debate amongst poultry experts, it’s an undeniably majestic bird. 

6.) Cochin: Shanghai Buddies, But Not Big Layers

cochin black chickens in grass.

The Cochin is a black chicken breed of sizeable domestic chickens first brought to Europe and North America from China in the 19th century. They quickly became popular due to their soft, fluffy feathers and large size. 

Initially known as “Shanghai Birds” or “Cochin-Chinas,” they were first discovered in the Province of Shantung, north of Shanghai.

Despite their popularity, Cochin chickens are not known for having reliable egg production. On average, these birds lay about 150-200 eggs yearly when not brooding. Their eggs are light brown and slightly smaller than those of other breeds. 

They also have a lower hatching rate than other breeds due to their extensive breeding for exhibition purposes. 

Cochins can make excellent companion animals, but if you’re looking for a chicken to provide eggs regularly, there are better choices.

7.) Hamburg: 14th Century Bird With Unknown Orgins

hamburg hens

Hamburg chickens are a unique, plucky poultry breed with origins dating back to the 14th century. They are characterized by their glossy black feathers, grayish blue shanks (except in the Black variety), and reddish bay eyes. 

The Black Hamburg breed was most likely developed and refined in England, where it was a popular for many centuries. Eventually spreading to other parts of Europe before arriving in America in 1882.

Although, the exact origin of the Hamburg breed is unknown, it is said to get its named from teh Germany city Hamburg.

8.) Jersey Giant: Largest Black Chicken Breed Available

black jersey giant chickens and rooster.

The Jersey Giant is an American breed of chicken developed in the late 19th century in Burlington County, New Jersey. It is the largest black chicken in the US and probably the world.

The hens lay large brown eggs, while roosters are famous for their large capons and roasting chickens. They have an angular shape with a single comb and black feathers with willowish highlights.

Jersey Giants are known to lay around 150-200 eggs per year. Although, despite their high egg production rate (for such large chickens), they have low egg quality, which may be an issue if you’re looking to use your eggs commercially or sell them in farmers’ markets, etc.

They are cold hardy, calm, friendly birds that get along well with humans and chickens. They do well on the range and in large backyards or farms.

9.) Kadaknath: Highly Nutritious, Completly Black Chicken Breed

kadaknath black chicken

Kadaknath is a rare Indian breed of completely black chicken originating from Dhar and Jhabua in Madhya Pradesh. It is known as Kali Masi, meaning “fowl having black flesh.” 

The Kadaknath chicken is reared mainly through tribal communities in the Bhil and Bhilala districts of Madhya Pradesh.

The meat of the Kadaknath chickens has many health benefits, including increased immunity. It is also rich in iron and other vitamins that can help improve your overall health, such as phosphorus, vitamin B1, B2, B6, and B12, vitamin C, vitamin E, and niacin. 

In addition, the eggs from the Kadaknath chickens have been used to treat severe illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, and arthritis- making it one of India’s most sought-after poultry breeds. But, unfortunately, they only usually lay about 80 eggs per year.

10.) La Fleche: Excellent French Mothers

La Fleche chicken standing

The La Fleche chicken is a rare and unique French breed of dual-purpose domestic chicken with black plumage and a full, well-curved tail. 

Originating from the département of La Flèche in France, this breed was created by crossing Black Spanish, Crevecoeur, and DuMans bloodlines. 

La Fleche chickens are well known for their v-shaped comb – often referred to as a ‘Devil’s Head’ – red wattles, white earlobes, and their wild foraging nature.

These chickens are known for their fine meat quality and are still served in many restaurants today. They also provide a fair amount of eggs (140-220 per year) and are excellent mothers, making them great for raising chicks.

11.) Langshan: Surprising Purple-Tinted Eggs

black croad langshan chickens

The Langshan is a unique breed of chicken originating from China. It was first imported to England in 1872 by Major F.T. Croad, bred with other breeds such as the Croad and Modern Langshans, and original Black Langshans.

This large and active bird has black or metallic green feathers, red wattles, earlobes, and white skin with full breasts and ample white meat. 

They are known for their friendly nature and dark brown and purple-tinted eggs, making them ideal for meat production and egg laying (150 yearly). 

12.) Minorca: The Island Bird With Large Chaulk-White Eggs

black minorca chicken rooster
Minorca Rooster

The Minorca chicken is a breed of domestic chicken originating in the Mediterranean island of Menorca, Spain. However, it is thought that these chickens may have originated in Africa and were taken to Spain. 

The Black Minorca originated on the island of Minorca and was kept for producing large, chalk-white eggs and ornamental purposes. 

True to their island roots, the Minorca thrive in warm, sunny environments and have huge wattles that allow their blood to circulate better through their bodies. Called initially Red-Faced Black Spanish, the Minorca is the largest and heaviest of all Mediterranean breeds. 

This breed has been around since the 1780s and was accepted into the American Standard of Perfection in 1874. These chickens are still prized for their large eggs and beautiful feathers.

13.) Orpington: Breeding Stock for Black Australorp

orpington black chicken breed

The Orpington breed originated in the late 1800s. It was first bred by William Cook of Orpington, Kent, England, who crossed Minorcas, Langshans, and Plymouth Rocks to produce a handsome black chicken.

The main traits of the Buff Orpington are:

  • Buff color plumage.
  • Fast growth rate.
  • High egg yield.
  • Suitability as a meat bird.

Orpington chickens are gentle, docile, and patient birds that make great backyard pets.

On average, Orpington hens are excellent layers, making them great for northern areas where temperatures can drop below freezing during winter. 

These chickens also enjoy dust baths regularly to prevent infestations from occurring on their feathers or around their vent area. With the right environment and care, Orpingtons make excellent backyard chickens.

14.) Black Silkie: Puffy Rockstar Chickens With An Extra Toe

black silkie chicken breed

The Black Silkie chicken is an incredibly unique and attractive breed with several defining characteristics. They have blue earlobes, black meat, skin, and bones, along with five toes on each foot, whereas most chickens commonly only have four. In addition, their plumage is very silky and fluffy, with a profusion of hair-like feathers all over. 

This rare genetic mutation of hyperpigmentation known as fibromelanosis is believed to have first arisen in China.

They are known for their sweet nature and charm, making them highly valued amongst chicken breeders. In addition, they are a trendy choice for backyard chickens due to their low maintenance requirements and unusual rockstar-like appearance compared to other breeds.

15.) Sumatra: Rare & Exotic Breed

black sumatra rooster

The Sumatra chicken is a beautiful, rare breed that originated in the islands of Sumatra, Java, and Borneo in Indonesia. 

It was first imported to the United States in the 1800s for fighting purposes. Today, they are mainly bred for their beautiful feathers and show-worthy qualities.

This breed is known for its unique black plumage with iridescent blue and green highlights on its wing and tail feathers. The comb is single and rose-like, which adds to the overall beauty of the bird. 

16.) Svart Hona: Swedish All-Black Chicken

The Svart Hona is a rare breed known for its striking black feathers from head to toe. Its bones, meat, eyes, comb, legs, and feathers are all black. 

This breed originated in Sweden and is also called the Swedish Black Hen. 

They are an excellent dual-purpose breed with good egg and meat production capabilities. However, these chickens need ample space to roam around and lay their eggs, so they do best when kept in large flocks with plenty of room to move around. 

17.) Valdarno: Black Italian Chicken With Flavorful Eggs

The Valdarno is a breed of black chicken from the lower part of the Valdarno valley. Located in Tuscany, Italy. 

The plumage is an intense black with green highlights, and their character is proud and exuberant. The skin is a delicate white, and the legs are fleshy and shorter than some other breeds. 

Today, this unique breed is becoming increasingly popular among backyard hobbyists as it produces large eggs with dark yellow yolks that are considered to be exceptionally flavorful or nutritious compared to other varieties of chicken eggs.

18.) White-Crested Black Polish

polish white-crested chicken perched on pole.

The White-Crested Black Polish is a unique and beautiful breed of chicken. They boast a complete body of greenish-black feathers, with a white crest on their heads. 

This ornamental Dutch chicken breed dates back to the late 1600s, having been featured in many paintings by various artists. The Polish are known for being docile yet flighty and lay small white eggs. 

Although they may not be prolific layers, these quirky birds will surely bring a smile to anyone’s face when they see them.

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Davin is a jack-of-all-trades but has professional training and experience in various home and garden subjects. He leans on other experts when needed and edits and fact-checks all articles.