In addition to their striking looks, however, adding black chicken breeds to your free-ranging flock can actually protect you from hawks!
Raising chickens in your own backyard can be both fun and challenging, especially if you are looking for more breeds to add to your chicken coop to expand your flock.
Checking for different breeds of chicken involves different considerations, that in addition to their ability to produce abundant eggs, you should also consider their color.
Along with white, gray and red chickens, black chicken breeds are also becoming popular among backyard flocks owners, especially because they appear bold and stylish, which sets them apart from the rest of the flock.
Hawks are afraid of crows, in fact, crows will often attack hawks. So much so that we try to encourage crows to roost on our homestead.
It is said that hawks will confuse your black chickens with crows and so won’t attack your flock!
In fact, since we’ve added a good number of black chickens to our flock we haven’t had a hawk strike, even though hawks nest in the woods around us and fly over all the time!
If you want to know more, here are the different types of black chicken breeds to check out!
For more backyard chicken posts, check out:
- 7 Chicken Breeds with Feathered Feet
- Top 12 Heritage Chicken Breeds
- 13 Creative Ways to Save Money on Chicken Feed
Black Chicken Breeds
1. Ayam Cemani
The Ayam Cemani chicken is a rare breed of chicken that not only has black skin and solid black feathers, but also has black internal organs, including the heart!
Native to Indonesia, this breed is not only bred for meat and eggs, but also used for special occasions due to people’s belief that it possesses magical powers, including communicating with the dead and bringing good luck.
Commonly bred on the island of Madura, Sumatra and Java, the Ayam Cemani is a highly respected breed of chicken that is considered a good luck charm.
It was in 1998 that this rare chicken breed was introduced to Europe and then to the United States.
Due to its interesting and unique appearance, this black chicken became popular in no time, which is one of the reasons it is an expensive chicken breed.
As for their average weight, it can reach between 4 and 6 lbs and can produce 80 eggs per year.
The Orpington black chicken breed is one of the easiest breeds of chicken to rear in the yard, not only because of its soft, thick, fluffy feathers that allows them to easily adapt to cold weather conditions, but also because they are good foragers.
Compared to other breeds of chickens, they feed less and can be good at finding their own food.
Originally from England around the nineteenth century, the Orpington black chickens are generally bred for egg production as they can lay between 150 and 300 brown eggs per year.
With an average weight of 10 lbs, these gentle black Orpington chickens are also good at guarding their hens at night, making them great pets.
And unlike the Ayam Cemani, these buff orpingtons do not have an all-black body color due to its white skin.
But what sets the Orpington chicken apart is its magnificent black plumage.
If it is a dual-purpose bird you are looking for, the black Australorp is a good choice!
It can produce high-quality broilers and lay up to 250 extra large brown eggs per year.
It is also good to make them pets as they are gentle, sweet, loyal, and can be shy sometimes.
You won’t have a hard time training this chicken breed.
The Australorp is the Australian hybrid of the Orpington breed, and it comes in several feather colors, but the most popular is the black shade.
Originally from Spain, this breed of chicken should not be raised in cold climates.
While there are many different types, the Black Minorca, also known as the Red Faced Black Chicken, is the most popular show breed due to its pale red faces.
It is energetic, graceful, and suitable as an ornamental breed due to its appearance.
It is one of the largest breeds of chickens at an average of 7 pounds, making it the largest of the Mediterranean breed.
Despite its large size, this breed does not seem intimidating. In fact, it’s a friendly chicken.
Between meat quality and egg production, this one is raised for its 120-200 large white eggs per year depending on the strain.
There are some that can produce up to 230 eggs per year!
They are definitely good egg layers.
However, its meat lacks texture and flavor and is therefore not ideal for meat production.
Cochins are a heritage breed imported to England from China in the 1800’s.
They’re famous for their sweet personalities and excellent mothering abilities.
(If you don’t want to mess with incubating eggs and taking care of baby chicks, definitely add some cochins to your flock.)
What sets them apart from all other black chicken breeds is their magnificent fluffy black plumage and unique feather pattern that makes them one of the most popular show birds.
So if you want a great choice for a pet, this is a great addition!
However, raising silks has a few considerations, especially their living conditions.
They are fully feathered down to the feet, so you need to be careful if their feet are wet to avoid problems.
6. Swedish Black
Some people have confused Swedish black chickens with Ayam Cemani because of their many similarities.
This is because this black chicken has the same genetic mutation as Ayam Cemani, meaning they have completely black bones, feathers, tongue and skin.
The most important distinction between the two is their size.
Swedish black chickens are much smaller and difficult to find.
They are good layers and can lay up to 150 cream-colored eggs per year, the reason why they are bred for egg production.
They can weigh up to 5-7 pounds and are generally friendly and calm.
The sumatra chicken is a magnificent looking chicken due to its shiny black plumage that covers its entire body.
It is originally from Sumatra, Indonesia, but is also bred in Java and Borneo.
It is commonly used for ornamental purposes and has an average weight of 4 lbs.
Sumatra chickens are known to be friendly birds, but ironically they are quite aggressive in the yard.
The reason is that it was once bred as a fighting cock.
It has excellent flight skills and is able to lay up to 100 eggs per year with one medium-sized white egg per week.
These are the different types of black chicken breeds that you can find in the market these days.
There are even more, but I suggest doing more research before making a decision.
For more details, you can also consult the American Poultry Association for the different breeds of chickens grouped by type and place of origin.