15 Expensive Chickens: What’s The Most Expensive Chicken Breed In The World?
$2 for a 1-day old chick? Pssh. That’s nothing compared to these high-ballin’ chickens. Considered as the “Rolex” in chicken communities, these 15 most expensive chicken breeds will make your jaw drop (and your wallet crying).
It couldn’t be THAT expensive, right? Nay-nay. One chicken breed sold more than a secondhand car! There’s even a highly-coveted rooster that crows like it’s watching a comedy sitcom…on repeat!
Ready your savings because today we’re going to take you for a spin to the world of Bling Empire – chicken edition.
- 1. Ayam Cemani
- 2. Ayam Ketawa
- 3. Brahma
- 4. Bresse
- 5. Deathlayer
- 6. Dong Tao
- 7. Kadaknath
- 8. Liege Fighter (Luikse Vechter)
- 9. Olandsk Dwarf
- 10. Orpington
- 11. Orust
- 12. Pavlovskaya
- 13. Serama
- 14. Sussex
- 15. Swedish Black (Svart Hona)
- What’s Next: Where to Buy Expensive Chicken Breeds?
1. Ayam Cemani
They say beauty is only skin deep, but that doesn’t apply to this expensive chicken. The Ayam Cemani chicken is one of several chicken breeds prized for a genetic mutation that leads to fibromelanosis, or hyper-pigmentation. The Ayam Cemani chickens don’t only have black feathers, but they also have black skin, black organs, and even black bones! (1)
“The Ayam cemani chicken may be the most deeply pigmented creature on earth. Not only are the bird’s feathers, beak, comb, tongue, and toes a striking, blue-ish black, but so are its bones.”
Originally from Indonesia, chicken breeders imported the Ayam Cemani to Europe in 1998 (2). From there, they have made their way to the US. The bone-deep blackness makes the Ayam Cemani chicken one of the most expensive chicken in the world. Eight years ago, Greenfire Farms had Ayam Cemani at $2,500 (3).
Luckily for you, you can get a day-old, unsexed Ayam Cemani chick for $149 (4). Though, don’t be surprised that these animals’ prices fluctuate. Many breeders command higher prices especially if they are in stock.
2. Ayam Ketawa
No rooster is more famous for its crow than the Ayam Ketawa chicken or Laughing Chicken. Many people claim it sounds like a laugh. You can watch this video and see for yourself what you think of this loud chicken.
If after watching this video you think you need an Ayam Ketawa chicken in your coop to wake you up every morning, you can buy a baby Ayam Ketawa for $99 (5).
Don’t confuse the Ketawa with the Cemani. Both expensive breeds have “Ayam” in their names because it translates to “chicken” in Indonesian. And, The Ayam Ketawa isn’t a black chicken – it’s a loud chicken.
Chickens breeds rise and fall in popularity just like anything else that is trending. Back in the 1850s, an American farmer sent 9 Brahmas to Queen Victoria. Suddenly the breed became so popular they spawned “hen fever,” causing the price to skyrocket up to $150 for a breeding pair (6).
Since then, Brahmas have remained popular chickens in the world. And with good reason. Brahmas are large birds making them excellent for meat. An average rooster can weigh 10 lbs, and sizes much larger have been recorded.
Although bantam size Brahmas also exist.
They are also excellent layers, especially in winter. Their peak laying season starts in October, when many other breeds’ egg production begins to decline. And you don’t need to worry about them in the cold. The unique furry feet help keep them warm, though they don’t do well in the cold and damp (6).
It no longer costs $150 for a breeding pair. You can have your feather-footed friend for around $5 for a day-old Dark Brahma chick (7).
Have a question about raising Brahma in your chicken coop? Check out our Brahma Chicken Breed Guide to learn more about Brahmas.
If you think everything tastes like chicken, you’ve probably never tasted Bresse chicken. I know I haven’t because it is among the most expensive chicken in the world. Culinary connoisseurs claim it is the best-tasting chicken in the world. Michelin star chefs and French Presidents covet this chicken meat, and one can cost as much as €40 (around $48) per kilo (8).
You can’t raise a Bresse chicken just anywhere. Like champagne or Parma ham, Bresse chicken must come from the Bresse region in France. The French are very proud of the breed and can trace its history back to the 1500s (9).
“Its fame spread in the 19th century aided by the fact that the breed of white chickens (the Bresse de Bény variety) it is produced from matches the colors of the French flag — blue legs, white body, and red comb.”
They love this chicken so much that it’s the only breed certified by the AOC – Appellation d’Origine Contrôllée.
If you are dreaming of Bresse chickens but don’t live in France, don’t despair. American breeders have imported the breed, which is now referred to as the American Bresse. This expensive chicken breed is still heavily sought after, so the birds don’t come cheap even if they can’t be certified Bresse chickens.
You can expect to pay $29 for a day-old American Breese chick (10).
With a name like “Deathlayer,” you would expect we’d be talking about a metal band rather than a chicken. But this chicken is named for its prodigious egg-laying ability. While it is perhaps an exaggeration to say Deathlayers lay until the day they die, they certainly lay until they are quite old.
The breed originated in Germany over 400 years ago and was first imported to the US in 2016 by Greenfire farms. Once a popular chicken breed, Greenfire farm states now there are only about 1500 Deathlayers registered in Germany (11).
If you are looking for a beautiful and exotic egg layer to add to your flock, you will need to pay $100 (11).
6. Dong Tao
The Dong Tao, or Dragonlegged Chicken, is native to Vietnam. This expensive chicken, like the Bresse, comes from one particular town near Hanoi called Dong Tao (12).
Dong Taos are easily recognized by their larger than average feet. The feet require extra care to meet the standards demanded by buyers willing to pay the birds’ highest price.
Dong Toa chicken feet can be as large as a human wrist and are considered a delicacy in Vietnam!
Not only are the feet special, but the meat on the Dong Toa is considered the best-tasting chicken in the country. Traditionally, these chickens were served to the king during the New Year’s Festival of Tet. Now you don’t need to be royalty, but you still need to be rich because a prime quality Dong Tao can sell for upwards of $2500 a pair during Tet (13).
The Kadaknath is an Indian breed that is similar in many ways to Ayam Cemani. Kadaknath’s black color is also a result of hyper-pigmentation that comes with fibromelanosis.
People claim the black meat is extra nutritious and high in protein, with healing qualities. These claims have caused the Kasaknath chicken to gain popularity among India’s health food crowd, driving up the prices. Now it is the most expensive chicken in the country (14).
Unfortunately, you can’t get Kadaknath chickens locally. You will have to go to India to try this black chicken meat.
8. Liege Fighter (Luikse Vechter)
The Liege Fighter is a Belgian breed; another European import brought to the US by Greenfire farms. The Belgians originally bred this gamefowl for cockfighting, and it shows. One of the largest breeds out there, Liege Fighters can reach 2.5 feet tall and weigh up to 12 pounds (15). Their feet are epically large, and they sport enormous spurs.
They can be an excellent addition to your flock. Liege Fighters are friendly towards people despite their fearsome name and appearance. The hens lay a good number of cream color eggs.
How much is a Liege Fighter? $99 per bird (15).
9. Olandsk Dwarf
This tiny Swedish chicken is a true bantam chicken rather than a miniaturized bantam of a larger breed. The Olandsk Dwarf comes from the island Oland in Sweeden, and people think it descended from English garden hens. The breed nearly became extinct in the 1980s (16), and it is only because of the work of determined breeders that we have these little beauties around today.
In 1989, there were only 50 Olandsk known in existence. Now the breed is making a comeback.
If you are looking for an all-around good breed, check out Orpingtons. These chickens are popular with backyard chicken keepers because of the good looks and docile personalities. But Orpingtons are more than just a pretty face.
Buff Orpingtons are not expensive. But other varieties like the Blue Orpington can set you back $27.99 per chick (18). To learn more about this dual-purpose chicken, check out our Orpington Chicken Breed Guide.
If you are looking for a beautiful and rare bird to add to your flock, take a look at the Orust chicken. Originating on Sweden’s rugged coasts, this landrace breed has striking black and white coloring even down to their polka-dotted feet (19).
Like many of the breeds on this list, the population declined until the breed nearly became extinct. Now conservationists and breeders are working diligently to restore the gene pool and save these stunning birds.
If you add an Orust to your flock, they aren’t just ornamental. Orusts are excellent egg layers, and the roosters are very protective of their flocks. Another quirk of this unusual breed is that the roosters’ wattles turn iridescent violet color when the birds are agitated.
An Orust’s price can vary from one hatchery to another. But, you’re looking around $30-150 per bird (19).
This expensive chicken breed went extinct in the 1980s (20). However, a dedicated team of backyard chicken keepers set out to painstakingly resurrect this iconic Russian chicken.
They studied old photographs and stuffed samples from museums and decided on a breed standard. Then the hard part began. They worked with mongrels descended from Pavlovskayas and looked for birds with the distinctive feathered feet and flat crest that characterized the breed in the past (21).
To own a Pavlovskaya chicken, you’re looking anywhere from $20 per egg to $86 fully-feathered bird (20).
Seramas are tiny birds with a sizable price tag. Like the Olandsk Dwarf, the Serama is a true bantam breed with no larger equivalent. But the Serama isn’t just small. It’s the smallest breed of chicken in the world (17).
The adorable micro Seramas weigh less than 9 ounces. Even the most strapping Serama rooster is under 19 ounces. What’s even more fascinating is their small stature matches their personality. They have a friendly disposition, making Serama chickens popular house pets.
Want a Serama? You can get an unsexed Malaysian Serama chick for $79 (22)
As its name suggests, this chicken breed originated in Sussex (17)
Many chicken keepers love the Sussex chicken because of their looks alone. They come in many color variations, but the Speckled Sussex is the most popular.
While the Sussex is less expensive than some birds, they aren’t the cheapest birds out there either. A Speckled Sussex Started Pullet will put a $115.50 dent in your wallet (23). Learn more about these beautiful chickens in our Speckled Sussex Chicken Breed Guide.
15. Swedish Black (Svart Hona)
We’re capping off our list of the most expensive chickens in the world with the Swedish Black hen – another expensive black chicken.
The Svart Hona is another Swedish breed first imported to the US by Greenfire Farms. This all-black bird is thought to be a distant cousin to the other all-black chickens on our list, though the exact relationship is unclear. What is clear is the Swedish Black, as it is known in the states, has the same hyper-pigmentation as Kadaknath and Amya Cemani chickens.
There are relatively few of this breed in the US, so like other rare and exotic chickens on this list, it will cost you to add this black beauty to your coop. How much? $99 (24)
What’s Next: Where to Buy Expensive Chicken Breeds?
Check out our list of the best online hatcheries and see if you can snag one (or more!) of the most expensive chicken breeds in the world.
The most expensive chicken breed that you can buy is the Ayam Cemani. A day-old Ayam Cemani will cost you about $149 – with a minimum quantity order of three chicks. So, that would be $447 – shipping is not included. As mentioned above, Ayam Cemani is highly sought after because of its all-black plumage, comb, meat, and bones. There is also a huge demand for these Indonesian-native birds, making them more expensive than other breeds.
The Kadaknath chicken is so expensive because, like the Ayam Cemani, it has black meat, bones, and feathers. Its high price tag is also associated with its slow maturity rate. Unlike other broiler breeds that mature around 45 days, it will take almost a year (6-8 months, to be precise) for a Kadaknath chicken to reach its ideal weight (25).
Black chickens are expensive because of their rarity. Black chickens, like the most expensive chicken breed, the Ayam Cemani, are not prolific egg layers. While some breeds lay as many as 250 eggs a year, Ayam Cemani can only lay 60 eggs! On average, an Ayam Cemani hen can lay an egg a week and then stop laying for long periods.
They are also not the best mothers. Ayam Cemani hens are unlikely to go broody and sit on the eggs for you. Many breeders use incubators to sustain hatchability. Thus, increasing the prices even further.
- This chicken has black bones, organs, and meat: Here’s why. Retrieved from: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/article/why-black-chickens-fibromelanosis
- Ayam Cemani. Retrieved from: https://www.poultryclub.org/breeds/chickens/rare-soft-feather-light/ayam-cemani/
- This $2,500 Chicken Is The Lamborghini Of Poultry. Retrieved from: https://www.businessinsider.com/most-expensive-chicken-2013-9?international=true&r=US&IR=T
- Feather Lover Farms Line Ayam Cemani Chick (Unsexed). Retrieved from: https://featherloverfarms.com/collections/baby-chicks-for-sale/products/feather-lover-farms-ayam-cemani-bloodline-chick
- Ayam Ketawa “Laughing Chicken” Chick (Unsexed). Retrieved from: https://featherloverfarms.com/collections/baby-chicks-for-sale/products/ayam-ketawa-laughing-chicken-chicks
- Brahma Chicken. Retrieved from: https://livestockconservancy.org/index.php/heritage/internal/brahma
- Dark Brahma Chickens. Retrieved from: https://www.purelypoultry.com/dark-brahma-chickens-p-1465.html
- Why is this chicken so expensive. Retrieved from: https://www.sbs.com.au/food/article/2019/07/18/why-chicken-so-expensive
- Bresse is best: How to eat the world’s most expensive chicken. Retrieved from: https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/bresse-chicken-france/index.html
- American Breese. Retrieved from: https://greenfirefarms.com/american_bresse.html
- Deathlayer. Retrieved from: https://greenfirefarms.com/deathlayer.html
- Dong Tao Chicken – A Rare Expensive Delicacy in Vietnam. Retrieved from: https://vietnam.vnanet.vn/english/dong-tao-chicken-a-rare-expensive-delicacy-in-vietnam/220605.html
- Dong Tao Chicken. Retrieved from: https://www.domesticforest.com/dong-tao-chicken/
- Kadaknath Chicken Breed Information. Retrieved from: https://www.poultryindia.co.in/kadaknath-chicken-breed-information/
- Liege Fighter. Retrieved from: https://greenfirefarms.com/liege_fighter.html
- Olandsk Dwarf Chicken. Retrieved from: https://www.sugar-feather.com/product/olandsk-dwarves/
- Storey’s Illustrated Guide to Poultry Breeds Complete. Retrieved from: https://archive.org/details/Storeys_Illustrated_Guide_to_Poultry_Breeds_Complete/mode/2up
- Blue Orpington Chicken. Retrieved from: https://www.californiahatchery.com/Blue-Orpington-Chicken_p_250.html
- Orust Chicken. Retrieved from: https://countryegghatchery.com/Orust-Chicken-p219705691
- Pavlovskaya Chicken. Retrieved from: https://www.sugar-feather.com/product/pavlovskaya-chicken/
- The Pavlove Chicken Breed. Retrieved from: http://www.aviculture-europe.nl/nummers/15E01A11.pdf
- Malaysian Serama Chick (Unsexed). Retrieved from: https://featherloverfarms.com/products/malaysian-serama-chicks-straight-run
- Speckled Sussex Started Pullet. Retrieved from: https://www.cacklehatchery.com/product/speckled-sussex-started-pullet/
- Swedish Black Hen. Retrieved from: https://greenfirefarms.com/swedish_black_hen.html
- Ayam Cemani hens are unlikely to go broody and sit on the eggs for you. Retrieved from: https://english.sakshi.com/news/telangana/kadakhnath-chicken-price-hyderabad-what-makes-it-so-expensive-131322
Tana grew up around island farms and pine forests. Her love for nature lead to her degree in Biology and mission to lessen her environmental impact. Now she grows food in her backyard and shares what she learns from Eco Peanut with others.