Wednesday, February 28Food Security Matters

Kadaknath Chicken Breed: History, Origin, and Characteristics

Kadaknath chicken is one of the rarest breeds of poultry in India. It is native to the Jhabua district of Madhya Pradesh, where it is also known as “Kali masi” (literally meaning “birds that have black meat”). This rare bird is black from head to toe, and even its flesh and bones are black as well.

Kadaknath Chicken Characteristics

The main characteristic of the breed is undoubtedly its striking black color that covers its entire body, however, another attraction of the breed is its nutritional value. A Kadaknath chicken contains around 25 to 27 percent protein compared to other breeds of chicken which contain 18 percent.

Image credit to Food Fun Village

This breed is also known for its high iron content. The fat and cholesterol content is lower compared to other chickens.”

Kadaknath Chicken Breed Varieties

These rare birds are completely black, with black legs and toenails, black bills and tongues, and black crest, and even their flesh and bones are black as well.

Appearance and characteristics of the Kadaknath hen
The Kadaknath is not the only black chicken in the world. China has the Silkie breed in its black variety and Indonesia has the Ayam Cemani.

The temperament of the breed

This breed has evolved through natural selection under indigenous agroecological conditions and is well adapted to the local environment. Kadaknath birds display an appreciable degree of disease resistance compared to other exotic breeds of birds in the wild. Kadaknath is also resistant to extreme weather conditions, such as the heat of summer and the bitter cold of winter, and can even thrive in harsh environments such as poor housing, poor management, and poor nutrition.

Kadaknath Chicken Egg Production

Kadaknath hens lay dark brown eggs (80-90 eggs per year) but rarely hatch. Its egg production is not ideal for a dual-purpose bird, but considering the conditions the bird can thrive in and the benefits it produces, this bird is surely an excellent choice.

Kadaknath Chicken History

Kadaknath is an important indigenous breed of fowl inhabiting vast areas of western Madhya Pradesh, mainly Jhabua and Dhar districts and adjoining areas of Gujarat and Rajasthan.

Breed Background

The Kadaknath breed of birds has long been bred by Indian tribes (Bhils, Bhillalas among others), and thus through many generations of selection and gene fixation, some of the important characteristics of the breed have been established.

However due to indiscriminate interbreeding with Rhode Island red and other breeds, purebred Kadaknath birds are rarely available in Dhar and adjoining areas of Gujarat and Rajasthan.

At present, Kadaknath birds are mainly available in the Jhabua district of Western Madhya Pradesh.

Point of Contention

Recently, the breed became a point of contention between Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, when the two states claimed the nativity of the Kadaknath. Both states filed applications at the GI registration office in Chennai for the black-winged chicken variety. Livestock Department Additional Deputy Director Dr. Bhagwan Manghnani said Madhya Pradesh would likely get nativity registration for the black chicken, which is mainly bred in the Jhabua district.

Additional Data

  • Both meat and eggs are rich sources of protein (25.47% in meat) and iron
  • Its meat is used to cure lung problems such as tuberculosis heart disease and neurasthenia.
  • Meat contains vitamins B1, B2, B6, B12, C, and E, niacin, protein, fat, calcium, phosphorus, iron, and nicotinic acid.
  • Its consumption helps increase red blood cells and hemoglobin.
  • The eggs are used to treat headaches, postpartum problems, asthma, and nephritis.

Frequently Asked Questions on Kadaknath Chicken

Is Kadaknath chicken good for health?

Kadaknath Eggs are naturally a great source of protein and nutrients that make them great for weight loss. Apart from that, these black eggs are a simple cure for severe headaches, asthma, and nephritis and boost immunity. The meat and eggs of this black chicken are a good source to cure tuberculosis.

Can we eat Kadaknath chicken?

Kadaknath chicken is both a delicious and healthy treat. There are many benefits of Kadaknath chicken, primarily due to its rich protein content. It is known to have originated from the Dhar and Jhabua, in Madhya Pradesh and the adjoining districts of Gujarat and Rajasthan.

Is Kadaknath chicken tasty?

Kadaknath Chicken, apart from being very healthy, especially in winter, is the meat of a matured chicken. It is very tender, and its taste and texture are quite subtle as compared to white chicken.

Is Kadaknath’s blood black?

Due to its iron content, its blood is also black. It is also known by names like ‘Pride of Jhabua’ and ‘Black Gold’. Both the meat and eggs of this chicken variety are rich sources of protein (25.47% in flesh) and iron.

Are Kadaknath eggs better?

The Kadaknath eggs are an ideal nutritive and are used for old people and high blood pressure victims since the cholesterol content is lower Rich in amino acids and higher than that of other kinds of poultry birds.

Does Kadaknath brood?

Kadaknath hens’ eggs are brown with a slightly pink tint; they are poor setters and rarely hatch their brood.

Can Kadaknath hatch eggs?

The Kadaknath bird does not hatch the eggs, so the eggs are hatched in the incubator. And baby chicks are brooded and distributed to the farmers, these birds do not need protection from disease, they can survive on poor nutrition, and they do not need elaborate housing.

Why is Kadaknath black?

The melanin pigment in the blood of Kadaknath and its meat are said to be beneficial for people with vitiligo in which the skin discolors unevenly in blotches due to the deficiency of melanin. Kadaknath meat is also believed to help regulate the menstrual cycle besides possessing aphrodisiacal properties.

Why Kadaknath is expensive?

Similar to many other rare and expensive chicken breeds the Kadaknath chicken is expensive because of its black appearance and black meat. Another reason why this breed is so expensive is that people believe this breed has medicinal healing qualities.

Can children eat black chicken?

When can babies eat black chicken? Black chicken may be offered as soon as the baby is ready for solids, which is generally around 6 months old.

Is Kadaknath chicken good for diabetes?

Kadaknath is a rare breed of chicken originally from Madhya Pradesh, India with a lot of health benefits be it low fat, low cholesterol, high protein, high Iron content, and other medicinal properties good for the heart and good for diabetic people.

What do Kadaknath chickens eat?

Based on the weight and age, you can start with broiler feed and then with regular feed. This breed needs minimum care and can feed on seeds, grass, leafy vegetables, etc.

Is Kadaknath farming profitable?

On average from the sixth month onward, every month a farmer can make a profit of about Rs. 50,000/- after all farm running expenditure in the wholesale market and almost more than double profit in retail sales. Kadaknath cockerel is sold anywhere between Rs. 750 to 1500/- during the festival season.

Is Ayam Cemani and Kadaknath same?

Kadaknath is one of only three varieties of chicken in the world to have black meat, Silkie in China and Ayam Cemani in Indonesia being the other two. These chickens get dark staining from melanin and are high in protein and low in fats, including cholesterol

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