last update : 18-09-05 08:57:20

Cemani1.jpg (49318 bytes) 

This page was created as a starting point for the development of this rare poultry breed.


I first encountered Cemanis on one of my journeys to Indonesia, where I met the descendents of pak Tjokromihardjo, an important breeder of Cemanis in Dutch colonial times.  Pak Tjokro has crossed original Cemanis with local Ayam Kedu, creating ayam Kedu Cemani. The original Cemanis are believed to originate from Sumatra, but are now extinct. My intention is to breed more or less original Cemanis and introduce them in the Netherlands as exhibition birds.

Cemanis in the Netherlands

Between 1998 and 2000, I have visited Indonesia frequently, as a poultry husbandry consultant. During each trip, I paid a visit to the family of pak Tjokro, and we discussed (among others) the amazing features of Ayam Cemani. It resulted in a gift of hatching eggs, which again resulted in a small flock of Cemanis in my backyard.  

Pictures on the next page.

breeding goals 

My intention is to breed chickens that resemble the original Cemani. They should be as black as possible. It should show the purest form of melanism, meaning that just about everything is black. Next to this, the breed should become viable again, meaning that hatching results  and feather quality should improve.  To be accepted as an exhibition bird, first a "standard of perfection" will have to be written. This standard is based on the limited information that is available in Indonesia about Cemanis, through a book by Frans Sudiro.

I have received some valuable contributions on the possible genetic backgrounds of Cemani and Sumatra, which can be read here.


On March 7th 1999, I had the opportunity to visit the village of Beji, where some farmers make a living of breeding Cemani's. Here's a report. A similar story was printed in  Gatra magazine some time ago.

Read the text that was published at feathersite


Cemani links:

at feathersite


gatra magazine, (or on the next page)

intisari magazine, (or on the next page)

more links

literature on Cemanis :

beternak ayam cemani - by Sudradjat

aneka ayam ras dan piaraan - by Frans Sudiro