The breed originated from the island of Java, Indonesia and have probably been used for centuries in religious and mystical purposes. The breed was first described by Dutch colonial settlers and first imported to Europe in 1998 by Dutch breeder Jan Steverink. Their beck and tongue, comb and wattles, even their meat bones and organs appear black, The blood of the Ayam Cemani is normally colored. The birds' black color occurs as a result of excess pigmentation of the tissues, caused by a genetic condtion known as fibromelanosis. This gene is also found in some other black fowl breeds.
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