The Kadaknath Chicken is one of the blackest chickens you will ever see. It is even sometimes called Kali Masi, which means a bird with black flesh. However, these birds don’t only have black skin. They are literally black from top to toe, inside and out!
Their color makes them one of the most elegant-looking chickens out there. Furthermore, it is a color that fits them perfectly, as these fowls are one of the toughest chickens you will ever encounter. They require little maintenance and have been known to survive even under the worst living conditions.
This article will cover
- Background and History of Kadaknath Chicken
- Breed Standard and Appearance
- Personality and Temperament
- Kadaknath Chicken Egg Laying
- Health Issues and Care
- 3 Tips for Raising for Kadaknath Chickens
Background and History of Kadaknath Chicken
You have probably heard of these birds one way or another. For the past years, they have made headlines on numerous occasions. They are probably one of the most talked-about chickens of all time, so before we delve into more recent news, let’s take a look at these birds’ history.
The Kadaknath Chicken is an Indian breed known for its distinctive black meat, making it unique among other chicken breeds in the country. It originated in Madhya Pradesh and has been mostly bred by the local tribes. They are not only a part of these people’s history but their current lives as well.
Over the years, these chickens have proved themselves over and over again. They are not only your ordinary productive fowls. In addition to their produce, they also offer many benefits and advantages. Due to all of these, their popularity suddenly surged. However, with this fame came downsides.
First, it proved to be detrimental for this breed. As the favor for these birds increased, their number quickly decreased. Demands were outrageously high and were far too big for the numbers of the Kadaknath Chicken to satisfy. Countermeasures were quickly put in place by officials and the locals to prevent the Kadaknath Chickens from going extinct. Efforts are still in motion today.
Additionally, scams and shams suddenly popped up here and there. You can read more about it here. These deceptions have affected many. Mirroring preservation efforts, attempts have been made to try and stop these trickery.
Recently, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh quarreled over these chickens as the two states both applied to get a geographical indication tag for the Kadaknath Chicken. In the end, the former won this claim battle.
All of these seem like it’s just the start of the Kadaknath Chicken’s fame. There is little doubt that this popularity will go away any time soon, and their history will only go richer as time goes by.
Breed Standard and Appearance
Probably the most prominent feature of the Kadaknath Chicken is how black it is. The most common variety of this breed is black from head to toe, the only contrast being the different shades of black on different parts. Even if you were to examine these fowls’ insides, it’s still black.
They are fibro melanistic chickens like the Silkie chickens. Fibromatosis causes hyperpigmentation which makes these birds elegant and beautiful.
There are three variants of the Kadaknath Chicken. The first, the Jet Black Kadaknath, which is probably the most prominent of the three, is all black. The other two are also affected by fibromatosis, but the Penciled Kadaknath sports white feathers around its neck, while the Golden Kadaknath has gold feathers displayed on its scruff.
The black plumage of these birds gives off a beautiful turquoise glow that adds to their elegance. Their single comb tops their sophisticated look.
In terms of weight, it is pretty much in the middle of the scale. The females could weigh around 1.5kg, while the males could weigh up to 2.5kg.
Personality and Temperament
With their black coat, it would be reasonable to think that these birds would be aggressive. You might think that they are chickens always looking for trouble. However, you know what they say, don’t judge a book by its cover!
The Kadaknath Chickens are known to be one of the calmer breeds. You could expect that they won’t bother other birds or cause trouble just for nothing.
Usually, they are said to be alike with the characteristics of the Cemani. Keeping that in mind, we can also expect the Kadaknath Chickens to be gentle and docile birds. If you look closely, these chickens have a soft gaze compared to the fierce look of the more aggressive types. More than anything, they look like they would prefer to mind their own business.
Overall, it seems you could say that personality-wise, the Kadaknath Chickens are likable. However, this is just an addition to the many positive qualities of these birds.
Kadaknath Chicken Egg Laying
The egg color of the Kadaknath Chickens is cream, but sometimes it looks closer to a brown shade. When it comes to size, it is on the larger side.
These birds are average when it comes to egg-laying. They can give you around 80 to 120 eggs per year. The exact number would depend on the chicken and the nutrients it is getting.
These birds are not good setters, as rarely do they go broody. On one hand, you won’t have a hard time collecting their eggs. On the other hand, you will have some problems if you want to hatch them. You need some help either from another hen or from a machine.
Health Issues and Care
The Kadaknath Chicken is undoubtedly one of the healthiest and most robust breeds out there. They are resistant to a lot of ailments and illnesses that affect chickens. In addition to that, it can also survive some of the harshest conditions out there. Conditions that would immediately negatively affect the other breeds.
With that said, these chickens are pretty much independent in that they don’t need much. You can leave them with minimal provisions, and they would do just fine. However, if you’re looking to raise these birds, we do hope you give them the care they most certainly deserve!
Furthermore, they are also a hardy breed. They’re one of the few that can survive all sorts of conditions. As we said earlier, despite that, we do hope you don’t forget to give them the necessities when summer or winter rolls in. Give them shade and keep them hydrated when it’s hot and give them warmth when it starts to get cold.
Unlike other breeds, the Kadaknath chicks already display these traits to an extent. Furthermore, they grow up and develop quite fast.
When it comes to maintenance, these birds are undoubtedly one of the easiest breeds to handle.
3 Tips for Raising for Kadaknath Chickens
It’s hard to find these birds outside of India. However, if you find yourself in the South Asian country, or the opportunity to breed these birds somehow arises – hopefully, soon – then here are some things that might help you in raising these beauties.
- Right Bird: Make sure you have the right bird! As stated earlier, a lot of scams and shams have appeared. Keep in mind that the Kadaknath Chickens are hard to come by, especially outside of their home country. Right now, it is unlikely that small farmers would be able to get their hands on these fellas. Double – or even triple–check your sources.
- Egg Production: They’re not the best layers around, so if ever you’d want to take care of these birds and be able to hatch some chicks, you would need to help them. Make sure you give them greens to aid in the unborn chicks’ health. Don’t forget to give them some calcium as well to help with the eggshells.
- Help Them Adjust: If ever you’ll get a chance to take one of these birds home, make sure you help them adjust on your coop. Chances are, they were in a very different environment before. This might be the only time they would need some extra help.
There is no doubt that it ranks among the easiest birds to handle, and at the same time, it is also on the list of most productive chickens. This bird is known for so many things. It is an amazing table bird, and at the same time, it could also give off a decent number of eggs. Its meat and egg are delicacies, but they can also be a healthy alternative with many medicinal values.
Today, it is not a question of want. A lot of people would love to be able to take care of and raise these beauties. However, there are several restrictions and constraints right now.
Currently, it’s hard to come across these chickens as they are only mainly bred in their home country. All the more, be able to breed and take care of these lovely critters. However, we, and many others, hope that one day they would be more readily available to other parts of the world.
Joseph Hudson has been raising chickens for over 15 years. In 2018, he completed the Agriculture & Natural Resources program at Mt. San Antonio College. He currently raises over 1400 chickens on his 7.5-hectare farm. He keeps sharing his experience on raising healthy and happy chickens on Chicken Scratch The Foundry.