Chickens are a huge part of our diet. We not only eat their meat but also eat and enjoy the eggs they lay. Although there are a great many chickens around the world, did you know some of these chicken breeds are more expensive than others? In fact, some of these chickens can cost up to thousands of dollars!
From rare genetics to exclusive lineage, their value lies in scarcity and exceptional traits. In this article, we will unveil the most expensive chicken breeds in the world! Let’s get into it.
1. Ayam Cemani — $2,500
When discussing costly chicken breeds, one breed stands out: the Ayam Cemani. Not only is it the most expensive, but it also possesses exceptional qualities that make it truly unique.
The Ayam Cemani is highly valued due to a rare condition called fibromelanosis, which causes an excess of dark pigment. This results in the chicken’s meat, feathers, and even bones appearing entirely black. This striking appearance has earned it the nickname “Lamborghini chicken.”
Originating from Java, Indonesia, the Ayam Cemani is considered an exceptionally rare breed.
When it comes to their dietary preferences, Ayam Cemani chickens are not picky eaters. However, they do require a higher protein diet than most other chicken breeds due to their rapid growth rate.
Besides their taste and scarcity, Ayam Cemani chickens are renowned for their health benefits. The meat of Ayam Cemani chickens is well-regarded for being rich in protein and low in fat compared to other chicken breeds. This makes it an excellent choice for individuals looking to boost their protein intake and maintain a healthy diet. Additionally, Ayam Cemani eggs are thought to provide a range of health benefits.
For a healthy pair of this breed, expect to pay a whopping $5,000 (or $2,500 each)!
Despite their popularity among backyard chicken enthusiasts, the Ayam Cemani breed has yet to be officially recognized by the American Poultry Association.
2. Dong Tao — $2,000
Dong Tao, originating from Vietnam, is renowned for having the most delectable meat among all chicken breeds. However, the demand for these chickens is so high that breeders struggle to meet the demand.
One look at the Dong Tao chicken, and you’ll immediately understand why it’s so distinctive. With its enlarged, scaly feet resembling something out of a legend, this rare breed is often referred to as the Dragon chicken. In Vietnam, Dong Tao chicken feet and legs are considered a prized delicacy, further contributing to their exclusivity.
These chickens love to eat crickets!
Once reserved for royalty and ceremonial offerings, Dong Tao chickens are now served in upscale restaurants catering to the wealthy.
Despite their popularity, Dong Tao chickens are incredibly rare. They are susceptible to changes in climate and require more care compared to most other chicken breeds. Their slow growth rate also contributes to their high price.
They are not far behind Ayam Cemani and are priced at $2,000 for a single pullet, making them the second most expensive chicken breed in the world!
3. Deathlayer — $250
The Deathlayer is known for its exceptional egg-laying ability, with hens laying eggs until their very last day, unlike most other breeds that stop laying after a maximum of three years. This makes them highly productive and a popular choice for those seeking laying hens. Originally hailing from Germany, Deathlayers are known for their high yield.
When it comes to appearance, Deathlayer is truly captivating. With its tight cushion comb, stunning iridescent greens and purples in its majestic tail, black feathers, and striking black doll eyes, it easily stands out among the most beautiful chickens in the world.
Regarding diet, the Deathlayer enjoys feasting on Japanese beetles, watermelons, and mealworms. Thanks to recent imports, Deathlayer chickens are now available in the United States.
One of the main factors contributing to their steep price is their rarity. Pullets (young hens), in particular, are in high demand and often difficult to find for purchase. If you come across one, be prepared to pay up to $250.
4. Liege Fighter — $150
The Liege Fighter, true to its name, is not only one of the most expensive breeds but is also known for its aggression. Unfortunately, this chicken breed was historically famous for cockfighting due to its combative nature.
These chickens can grow to twice the size of American game fowl, with their weight primarily composed of muscle. Their impressive appearance is further accentuated by their exceptionally large feet, which rival those of a turkey. The Liege Fighter’s feathers are also stunning.
This breed originates from Belgium and is classified as a game fowl. One of the main reasons behind their hefty price tag is their giant size.
Today, Liege Fighter roosters are more commonly utilized to protect hens due to their aggressive behavior. However, despite their aggression towards predators, farmers find that these birds are friendly towards their human owners.
If you’re interested in owning this powerful breed, be prepared to invest between $55 and $100 for a chick. On the other hand, Pullets tend to be more expensive, with prices around $150.
5. Orust — $100
The Orust chicken, originating from Sweden, is an incredibly rare breed that is on the verge of extinction.
This unique breed is believed to have originated from the Orust Islands. Unfortunately, today, the global population of Orust chickens has dwindled to less than 4,000, and even today, they remain in danger of disappearing completely.
Orust hens are small birds with distinctive black and white speckled plumage. The roosters may display traces of gold in their neck feathers.
Living in fishing communities, Orust chickens adapted to eating whatever was available, often consisting of fish scraps. Despite their challenges, these birds are good egg layers and can produce over 150 eggs in a single season. Each egg typically weighs between 45 and 50 grams.
The high price associated with Orust chickens is primarily due to their extreme rarity. Acquiring Orust chickens is quite a challenge since they are considered one of the rarest bird breeds. Finding them available for sale is highly unlikely. But if you do happen to stumble upon them, expect to shell out around $100 for a single chicken.
6. Olandsk Dwarf — $100
Another costly and incredibly rare chicken breed is the Olandsk Dwarf. It is named after the island of Oland (Sweden), where it comes from.
The appearance of the Olandsk Dwarf does not follow a standard, resulting in various feather plumages within the breed. However, the most common look features a white base with splashes of red, black, and gray. If you order chicks of this breed, don’t be surprised to receive different colored ones.
Being one of the smallest laying breeds, the Olandsk Dwarf is perfect for backyard hobbyists, and they require less food compared to full-sized chickens.
There are several reasons behind the high price tag of this breed. Firstly, they are extremely rare. At one point, it is believed that only fifty of these chickens existed in the entire world! Although their population has increased since then, they are still considered endangered.
Secondly, the Olandsk Dwarf’s small size is completely natural. They are classified as landrace chickens, meaning they have developed without human intervention or selective breeding.
Due to their extreme rarity, Olandsk Dwarf pullets can cost up to $100 and are generally not readily available.
7. Swedish Black — $100
Sweden seems to have a knack for producing some of the most expensive chicken breeds! Among them, the Swedish Black chicken stands out as a popular choice in northern states thanks to its ability to adapt well to the cold climate. These chickens are known for laying eggs even during the winter months.
Like the Ayam Cemani, the Swedish Black chicken owes its black color to a genetic mutation called fibromelanosis. This condition leads to excess dark pigment production, resulting in the chicken’s black appearance. However, when the sun hits their feathers, you may notice reflections of purple and green.
These birds are excellent foragers, demonstrating the skills honed over generations of free-range living enjoyed by their ancestors.
The high price of the Swedish Black chicken is primarily due to its rarity. According to a national poultry census in Sweden, there are fewer than 500 Swedish Black hens in existence. To put it into perspective, this breed is even rarer but less popular than the Ayam Cemani, making it one of the rarest chicken breeds worldwide. As a result, they can be sold for as high as $100.
8. Pavlovskaya — $86
Originating from Russia, Pavlovskaya chickens have an intriguing history. According to Russian folklore, these birds were believed to be the result of crossing a grouse with a chicken. Another legend suggests that the breed has royal lineage, tracing back to the hens of Catherine the Great.
However, the true documentation of Pavlovskaya chickens can be credited to the scientist Peter Simon Pallas, who named them after the rural locality in Russia where they were first observed.
Pavlovskaya chickens possess a unique and beautiful appearance. Notably, they have crown-like feathers adorning their heads, and their feet are covered with feathers that resemble shoes.
Although not primarily sought after for meat or egg production, people are drawn to Pavlovskaya chickens due to their distinctive look and rarity. It is discouraged to consume their meat or sell their eggs for consumption, as efforts are currently underway to preserve this breed.
The prices for Pavlovskaya chickens can vary depending on the seller, but many farms ask for approximately $86 per bird.
9. Serama — $70
The Serama chicken is a captivating and highly valued breed known for its unique characteristics. This relatively new breed originated in Malaysia and has quickly gained popularity among chicken enthusiasts worldwide.
One of the most notable features of Serama chickens is their small size. In fact, they are often considered the smallest chicken breed globally, standing between 6 and 10 inches tall.
Serama chickens come in various colors, with white and black being among the recognized options in different poultry associations. They can also have different feather types, with the Malaysian standard accepting only chickens with normal feathers that are held tightly to the body.
The main reason for the high price of Serama chickens is their small size. When purchasing Serama chicks or adult birds from breeders, the cost depends on factors such as quality, age, and gender.
On average, a Serama chicken can cost around $70, with females typically being more expensive than males.
10. Bresse — $30
The second to last most expensive chicken breed on our list is a unique one. When it comes to Bresse chickens, it’s all about the meat. These exceptional birds are specifically bred and raised in the eastern region of France known as “Bresse,” from which they derive their name.
Following a carefully regulated diet and living conditions overseen by the government, these birds are transformed into exquisite dishes served in upscale restaurants. For centuries, the Bresse chicken has held the reputation of being the most delicious chicken breed in France.
Distinctive features of Bresse chickens include a vibrant red comb atop their heads, medium-sized and compact bodies, and legs with a steel-colored hue. Their feathers can display various colors, such as white, black, blue, or gray, although white is the most common. These chickens also have large, round, and alert eyes.
It’s worth noting that if you come across a Bresse chicken in the United States, it may be a different breed known as the American Bresse.
The high price associated with Bresse chickens primarily stems from their rarity. They are often referred to as the “queen of chickens” due to their exceptional meat quality.
While finding a Bresse chicken to purchase can be extremely challenging, it is not entirely impossible. Expect to pay around $30 for a pullet if you manage to find one.
11. Brahma — $25
These birds are truly massive, with hens reaching up to 14 pounds and roosters weighing up to 18 pounds. Brahma chickens have a distinctive appearance characterized by a large head with a slightly overhanging brow, giving them a formidable look. They also have a pea comb and a short yet powerful beak.
The high price tag of Brahma chickens can be attributed to a few factors. Not only are they recognized for their unique appearance and substantial size, but they are also valued for their practical qualities.
Brahmas are renowned for their exceptional hardiness, making them highly resilient chickens. Furthermore, they are known for their ability to lay beautiful large brown eggs.
Aside from their impressive physical attributes, Brahma chickens also have wonderful personalities. They are known for their calm and non-aggressive nature, making them an ideal choice for families.
During the 1800s, the popularity of Brahma chickens soared in England. They once cost up to $150 for a pair! Nowadays, you can expect to pay around $25 or more for a Brahma chicken.
Summary of the Most Expensive Chicken Breeds in the World
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The photo featured at the top of this post is © Hoang Quoc Phuong/Shutterstock.com
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