The Swedish Black Chicken

We will not bother you with the typical Dutch yellow lady drink “De Zwarte Kip”.
Our society has friendly bonds with several poultry associations in Europe and in this special case also with Sweden. From our Swedish friends we received at their last visit to Holland numerous brood eggs of specific Swedish poultry. One of those was even of a very rare race, the Swedish Black Chicken.
What surprised us the most, this chicken has the same characteristics as the Ayam Cemani – it means jet-black chicken – and she comes from Java and Sumatra in Indonesia. The Swedish variant has a bit smaller constitution. The peculiarity of this chicken is: Everything is black, really everything, the eyes, comb, feathers, skin, and meat. But very peculiar, she lays white eggs!

Legends about the Black Chicken
Also in Asia the pure Ayam Cemani is rare. Many of them have been crossbred and actually are Ayam Kampong, black village chicken. For a pure Ayam Cemani one pays a considerable price by the way. You notice this when you visit a good restaurant in Singapore and study the menu card.
Apart from the fact that the Ayam Cemani has its tasty side, in Asia people say that eating this chicken puts one’s consciousness at ease. She also is a sacrificial chicken, during childbirths the Black Chicken is sacrificed to wish for a successful delivery. The same happens with people that are seriously ill. Finally she is used by the well-to-do by means of “sacrificial services”, for example by construction companies at official openings of office buildings or hotels.
But a chicken with black feathers is in our country also not guarded against legends. I mention a couple of them:

  • Black cocks have connections with evil spirits
  • If a black cock crows, this brings prosperity
  • If a black chicken crows, one should fear misfortune

During cock-fights one should never lead a complete black cock to battle. If the cock kicks the bucket at the fight, than the owner will lose his life.

History
From the Ayam Cemani it is well-known that it existed already for ages in both Sumatra and Java. Initially the Dutch VOC seamen were not willing to eat suchlike black fleshy chicken. And in Europe one still is shivery and leaves the nibbling of for example a Silky to the Asians.
How the Swedish Black Chicken came over to Europe still is big mystery. Could the powerful maritime company VOC that had numerous contacts in both Africa and Asia be the solution? It even might be the reason that this chicken unconsciously got the nickname little VOC chicken. The Swedes assume that Dutch seamen imported this poultry race from Mozambique to Sweden.
Than remains the question: Did there live domestic black gallinaceous birds in Africa? The poultry historian Houwink mentioned the existence of Negro poultry. All in all, the origin of the Swedish Black Chicken remains to be wrapped in mist.
It remains very peculiar that, if we assume that the Swedish Black Chicken is a descendant of the Ayam Cemani, she, despite of the cold climate in Sweden, adapted so tremendously, especially because she has so few down.
All racial characteristics are preserved, this is a compliment to the Swedish poultry dabblers, but as earlier mentioned, they well are smaller build than the Ayam Cemani, but in spite off this she is a graceful chicken.
It is worth mentioning that what fertilisation is concerned the Ayam Cemani does not excels, on the other hand the Swedish Black Chicken possesses an extreme vitality, 98% is normal.

Character
It is a true spectacle to see the VOC/Ayams. You can see that they are born from wood chicken. They are acrobats in bushes and trees. If you let them grub around the house or farm, the fox has no chance at all, because at night they sleep as high as they possibly can. They are double-quick, extremely alert and for sure not shy. And they are very affectionate to their guardian.
They rush at full speed to their keeper, in particular to eat mixed grain. All in all a little wood chicken you will enjoy a lot!

 

EPS-Newsletter January 2010

EPS friends, the platform wishes all of you a very good and successful poultry year.

European Poultry Society
The entry of an increasing number of foreign poultry amateurs is the reason we recently changed our name in European Poultry Society and adapted the styling of our website accordingly.
News and our NPS activities will from now onwards be standard published in three languages so that all our friends can be reached optimally.

Animal killings
Despite the government, after the heartrending bird flu crisis of 2003, had promised the citizens not to kill healthy animals anymore, we are confronted at the moment with the killing of healthy animals. This time it is the goats, victim of the fight against Q- fever. Again thousands of healthy animals are victim of mismanagement in The Hague, where Ministers and civil servants involved did not learn anything from recent history. Q-fever took place in our country already in 2007 and reveals it self as the most concentrated in the world.
Cause:
Without prejudice our government keeps supporting the extensive
livestock industry by allowing them the starting of mega livestock farms,
whether this concerns pig, goat or poultry farms. Our country actually houses more than 300 million livestock animals! In ever swelling cases these animals are preventively treated with all kinds of antibiotics. No, the policy to keep allowing the extensive livestock industry to build mega livestock farms in the Netherlands is the cause that very infectious and fast moving viruses and bacteria transported via livestock animals keep hanging as the sward of Damocles over our public health.
And on top of it all the disreputable MRSA- bacterium already now seems resistant against all kinds of existing antibiotics. And especially this is swept under the carpet by our government.

Winter weather
At the moment it is winter weather with severe frost and a lot of snow. Therefore think about our birds, they find it a hard period! Domestic ducks, in particular the heavy races, watch out for their feathers! Especially, our “Donalds”, the German Peking duck is troubled by the continual freezing cold, the vanes of their feathers come loose, notably those on the back. Therefore make them stay after sunset in a night-house; this is the best for their feathers.

Merelbeke
All Swedish ducks and geese that were shown in Merelbeke have found a new home so that their future is ensured.
Also all Ayam Cerami, the chicken of which everything is black, even its blood and bones, have found new owners. If amongst you somebody is interested in the Ayam Cerami, we still have a pair left.

EPS agenda 2010
Pease find below the activities the EPS-platform plans for their friends in 2010.

30 April    

Traditionally we will pay a visit to our sister association in Groß Felda in Germany. This time with a very special tinge. On April 30th EPS will conclude a pact of friendship with the poultry association Leidecken. At night, in their cosy clubhouse, next to their beautiful “Zuchtanlage”, we all will enjoy a huge schnitzel with French fries for € 10 only.

01 May     

We will pay a visit the “Zuchtanlage” in Groß Felda where numerous beautiful poultry races can be admired. We will conclude our visit to Germany with their famous BBQ.
The overnight stays will as always be organised against fair costs.


30 May     

The yearly NPS-BBQ will be organised on the estate “De Varsel”. The details of the entire program will follow later. We can give away something already now though. From 38 breeders, that breed domestic waterfowl, we collected data.
Dirk de Jong discusses “The Feather”. For our German friends an interpreter will be present.
JanWillem Hondelink will show how easily one can make a beautiful means of transport out of a cardboard box.
Also this year you will be able to win beautiful prizes, like nesting boxes for special birds, during the famous game “Boules De Varsel”. Herewith the EPS supports the local bird shelter!
If you want to discuss poultry race or a specific poultry item this will be possible on the NPS-day. There is plenty of competence present. You are kindly requested to mail your questions in advance so enabling the experts concerned to prepare themselves.
With the NPS-BBQ, under the direction of “gill master” Ad van Noort the NPS-day will be closed.
The contribution for this NPS-day is €10 per person, which gives you food and beverage.
In due course you will receive an invitation and the final program of the NPS-day in Someren.

Mid-June   

On a date still to be fixed, it will be somewhere mid-June, we will pay a visit to our poultry friends in Denmark and Sweden.
All overnight stays will be organised and Ad van Noort will sponsor the fuel for one 4 person-car.
All those that presented themselves in advance for this journey will receive an invitation and program separately.

Still more in 2010
The platform plans to organise for 2010 additional activities. As soon as 
details are known all of you will be informed via a next edition of our
EPS-Newsletter.

On behalf of the NPS-Platform
Kenneth Broekman