The usual chicken eggs placed on the dining table are colored white, cream, and brown. Have you ever come across dark-colored chicken eggs?
What are chicken breeds that lay black eggs? Unfortunately, there’s no chicken breed that lays black eggs. Only Emu, a bird that is one of the dinosaur’s living relatives, lays eggs that are almost black. If you look at this bird’s egg from a distance, it’s black. But the actual color is dark green if you’re close to it.
Based on a study, the egg color of the chickens depends on their genetics and breeds. That’s why there’s a uniformed egg color among the chickens of the same breed.
Another interesting tip to determine the egg color of the chicken is by looking at its ear lobes. To give an example from this perspective, it follows that white ear lobes mean white eggs.
Table of Contents
Is There a Black Chicken?
There are several black chickens like Kadaknath, Ayam Cemani, Silkies, Jersey Giant, and Swedish Black.
However, these black chickens do not lay eggs that are black in color. They lay eggs in different colors.
Only some species of birds create colored eggs, but there are no black chicken eggs. Only Emu’s eggs are black with a greenish tint.
Black Chicken Breeds
Kadaknath is the original black chicken breed. It’s also called ‘Kali Masi,’ a Hindi word that means having black flesh. The tribal people in India believe that it’s a sacred animal, so they use it as a ritualistic sacrifice and offer it to the Goddess Kali during the celebration of Diwali.
The meat of Kadaknath has lower fat content than the other breeds. Thus, its population declined due to high demand and consumption.
To counter the breed’s extinction, the Indian government launched a Poultry Breeding Program with the participation of 500 families.
This chicken is not formally recognized by the American Poultry Association, an organization that promotes Standard Bred Poultry and the progress of poultry knowledge in North America.
Nonetheless, you will only see a geographical indication tag authorized by India on its meat. It doesn’t lay black eggs but brown ones instead.
|Appearance||Grey black with a greenish tint on the feathers|
|Lifespan||About 12 years|
|Weight||Male (1.8-2 kgs); Female (1.2-1.4 kgs)|
|Place of Origin||India|
|Characteristics||Calm, gentle, docile|
|Lay Black Eggs||No|
‘Ayam’ means chicken in Indonesian, while ‘Cemani’ is a Javanese term that refers to ‘something that is all black.’ There are several black chickens, but Ayam Cemani is unique because its blackness is up to its internal organs. The only exemptions are dark red blood and a grey tongue.
Everything about it is black, including its claws, beaks and eyes, and feathers. It happened because this chicken has the case of a genetic mutation called fibromelanos.
It’s hyperpigmentation that spreads all over its body. However, it lays cream-colored eggs.
The unusual coloring of Ayam Cemani made it sacred for Indonesian natives. It’s considered as a provider of fortune to its owner. Moreover, its meat is also loved by many.
So, it’s one of the expensive chicken breeds not only in Indonesia but in international markets as well.
Even though this chicken is popular, it hasn’t been recognized by the American Bantam Association and American Poultry Association yet.
|Appearance||Black all over except for the blood and tongue; turquoise hint on the tail and neck of the male|
|Weight||Male (2-2.5 kgs); Female (1.5-2 kgs)|
|Place of Origin||Indonesia|
|Characteristics||Docile, friendly, intelligent|
|Lay Black Eggs||No|
Silkies are adorable with their fluffy black plumage and unique feather pattern that poofs. Its feet are also covered with feathers.
That’s why it’s one of the most popular ornamentals and show birds. You may also keep it as a pet since it’s small, fluffy, calm, and friendly.
It has black skin and bones, but its meat is dark greyish blue. The color of its eggs differs as they’re cream-colored or tinted. The meat is not only a delicacy to some places, but it’s believed to have medicinal properties.
In the US, you can acquire a bantam size of Silkies. The regular-sized species can be found in other parts of the world.
|Appearance||Black, fuzzy feathers; black skin and bones; dark greyish blue meat; five toes|
|Weight||Bantaw: Male (0.9-1.4 kgs); Female (0.4-0.9 kg)|
|Place of Origin||China|
|Characteristics||Calm, friendly, trusting|
|Lay Black Eggs||No|
This chicken breed is originally from the United States. It’s considered an alternative for turkey because it’s one of the largest chickens that can weigh up to 6 kilos.
Jersey Giant proves to be a great egg producer as it can produce around 150 extra-large, brown eggs per year.
Since it’s docile, easygoing, and gentle, it’s also good as a pet. It can withstand cold weather because it warms itself through its body fat. Therefore, it’s the boss of the barnyard flock.
|Appearance||Square bird; short tail; flat back|
|Lifespan||Around six years|
|Weight||Male (5.9 kgs); Female (4.5 kgs)|
|Place of Origin||United States of America|
|Characteristics||Docile, friendly, mellow|
|Lay Black Eggs||No|
The coloration of Swedish Black is similar to Ayam Cemani as the same hyperpigmentation occurs in their bodies. But the former is smaller than the latter, and it’s not easy to find. It lays cream-colored eggs.
When it comes to temperament, Swedish Black is more docile than the Ayam Cemani.
The Sweden government regards this chicken as a landrace breed and national treasure. Its eggs can be white, off-white, and creamy.
This breed naturally developed over time after the Swedish Association for Landrace Breeds stored Svart Hona genetics in the gene bank.
Swedish Black is rare even to its place of origin. Believe it or not, there are more or less 400 of them in Sweden. But they reached the United States as the importation began in 2012.
|Appearance||Green and purple sheen on feathers|
|Lifespan||About 10 years|
|Weight||Male (2 kgs); Female (1.5 kgs)|
|Place of Origin||Sweden|
|Characteristics||Quiet, friendly, easy to train|
|Lay Black Eggs||No|
Emu: All You Need To Know About Black Chicken Eggs
Emu’s eggs are nearly black with a greenish tint. Emu is the second largest bird on Earth. Its eggs are bigger than chicken eggs. They have a height of 5 inches and a width of 3 inches.
Their usual weight ranges from 400 to 650 grams. One emu egg can be compared to 8 or 12 pieces of chicken eggs.
Emu eggs are black from afar, but if you take a closer look, they’re in the darkest shade of green. Therefore, they’re just nearly black. A piece of Emu egg costs $30 since it’s scarce.
An emu can lay around 25 eggs per year. Laying eggs is done by emus in winter, and it takes place every three days.
An Australian farmer said these eggs taste like chicken eggs as both animals are fed with grains. Both of them have eight essential amino acids. Although the yolk of an emu egg is paler than the chicken egg, the flavor is richer.
Emu eggs are 68% unsaturated fat and 31% saturated fat. Based on the paper made by Warale and colleagues, an emu egg is composed of 51.14% dry matter, 35.84% fat, 15.54% protein, 1.78% ash, and 0.63% carbohydrate.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Eat a Black Egg?
As mentioned, only emu eggs are nearly black. They’re edible with a taste that is not too far from chicken eggs. However, you can’t finish eating a single emu egg in just one sitting because it’s equivalent to 10 or 12 pieces of chicken eggs. One emu egg can feed about six people.
You can cook and eat the emu’s nearly black egg the same way with chicken eggs. You can fry, make an omelet out of it, or other dishes that involve eggs. However, it takes patience when you boil it as it can take one hour and forty-five minutes.
What Does a Black Egg Mean?
Only emus can lay nearly black eggs, but you will find some eggs that are color black inside despite the white shell covering. You may think about Century egg if you’re familiar with it. It becomes black inside through a curing process that lasts for weeks or months.
It’s a different story if there are black spots in eggs because it means they’re bad. You have to get rid of them as the black color is a sign of bacterial or fungal contamination.
What Do Black Eggs Taste Like?
Emus are the only birds that produce almost black-colored eggs. The inside is the same as chicken eggs with the yolk and white parts. The taste of these two eggs is similar, but emu eggs have a richer flavor.
What is the Rarest Egg Color?
Guillemots are seabirds that produce odd-shaped and pointed eggs with an unusual color. The white, yellow, or green base is topped with brown or black blotches and spots. Thus, it’s the rarest egg color.
What is an Egg Fart?
An egg fart is also called fairy eggs, cock eggs, witch eggs, dwarf eggs, or diminutive eggs. It’s a teeny weeny egg that is laid by normal-sized hens. You will find only white parts or just a single yolk.
This situation usually happens to young hens that lay their very first eggs.
The black chickens don’t lay black eggs as the egg color depends on genetics. As presented, they have the usual egg colors such as white, brown, and cream. Only Emus have nearly black eggs with a greenish tint.
So far, no chicken breed can produce black eggs, and more research and study are needed to make it happen.
List of Sources
Warale, R. H., et al. (2014). Emu Farming: An Alternative to Indian Poultry. Trends in Veterinary and Animal Sciences.
Munn, D. (2013). Why are chicken eggs different colors? Michigan State University.
Silkies. ACS Distance Education.