The Kadaknath chicken is not a chicken breed that you are likely to encounter in the United States, or even in Europe. It exists but, for reasons that will become clear shortly, it is never going to be a breed that companies want to raise commercially. Before we get into all of that, we want to take a look at the origins of the Kadaknath breed of chicken, though.
Where Do They Come From?
This is a breed of chicken that originates in India. Now, nobody actually knows when this breed first developed.
This is due to the way in which it was developed.
The Kadaknath chicken was never a breed that people strived to raise. It was always seen as a source of food.
In fact, even today, the people that tend to be raising the Kadaknath chicken the most are going to be those that are living in poverty, or perhaps those that may struggle to have food shipped to them.
Because the chicken is used by so many living beneath the poverty line i.e. those that are not that into breeding the bird, it has started to die out.
In fact, the Kadaknath is sitting on the cusp of extinction.
The Indian government is trying to do a little bit to raise the numbers of the breed, however. It is likely that this breed will die off eventually, sadly.
There is enough people raising it as in the past and, as you will see shortly, it is a very tough bird to breed.
In Hinduism, this bird is seen as a sacred bird. Once Diwali is over, a Kadaknath chicken will be sacrificed.
Well, quite often several of them.
While some of these chickens have been shipped overseas to the United States and Europe, they see limited amounts of breeding.
It is actually incredibly rare that you will stumble across one of these chickens in the first place here.
In fact, for a long while, there were a ton of scams around this chicken. people thought that they were buying something that they didn’t get, etc.
We won’t go into that here as it doesn’t really matter to the raising of the chicken. Just bear in mind that if you are offered a Kadaknath chicken, it may not actually be a Kadaknath chicken!
The Look of the Kadaknath Chicken
While the Kadaknath chicken does appear to come in a lot of different colors, it is only really available in one.
They are almost completely black, with grey legs, and a dash of gold in their feathering.
It reminds of the Ayam Cemani chicken.
The Kadaknath will weigh between 2.6 lb. and 4.4 lb. (1.2kg and 2kg), depending on the sex of the bird that you have.
Obviously, the females will be on the lighter side of things.
Kadaknath Chicken Meat
Remember what we said earlier about how this bird is almost completely black? Well, that doesn’t just apply to their feathers and skin.
It also applies to their meat. Yep. They have black-gray meat.
Now, there isn’t anything functionally different between this meat and the meat of other chickens.
However, the western world is so used to normal chicken meat color that they wouldn’t touch the Kadaknath chicken.
This is why, as we said, this is a breed that has never really been raised commercially.
This is actually a shame, because the Kadaknath chicken is a fantastic bird for those that want a lean meat.
Obviously, chicken is a lean meat at the best of times. However, the Kadaknath chicken takes this to the next level. It has almost 10% the fat of your typical bird.
This isn’t a broiler chicken, though. It isn’t going to be a fast growing chicken. It takes six months to grow to a slaughter weight.
Some broiler chickens can reach the same size in 45-days. Yet again, another reason why commercial companies are not going to touch the Kadaknath.
Kadaknath Chicken Eggs
The Kadaknath chicken does lay a good number of eggs each year.
They are not necessarily all that large, but it is a productive bird. Don’t worry. The eggs are not going to be black!
They are your standard eggs with an ever so slight pink hue to them. So, the same eggs you are likely eating normally.
The problem with the Kadaknath chicken is not the number of eggs it lays. It is the fact that this is a difficult bird to breed.
This bird will never, ever sit on its own eggs. This means that if you want to breed the Kadaknath chicken, you will either need to have another chicken that does get broodier, or you have to have an incubator.
The fact that they are difficult to breed is the reason why this bird may go extinct in the future.
Many of the families that raise these chickens will only have a few of them at a time, and when they aren’t breeding, the flock will slowly start to dwindle away.
If you are going to purchase Kadaknath chickens, then make sure that you opt for some of the broodier chicken breeds too. It is going to make your life a whole lot easier.
The rarity of the Kadaknath breed outside of India means that this is a chicken that you are very unlikely to encounter.
While this is a beautiful looking bird, we can’t really find that much evidence that the Kadaknath chicken is used as a show bird.
It certainly wouldn’t be used as a show bird in India, and the population in other countries for this bird is so low that it probably wouldn’t work that well either.
The number of them in the United States is minimal, and many of the people that claim to be selling the Kadaknath chicken are scammers.
It isn’t really a useful chicken if you can get your hands on it, either. It has black meat (which most people don’t like the look of), it is a slow grower, and it doesn’t breed well.
The only real saving grace for this breed is the fact it looks good…and plenty of other chicken breeds look just as good and they cost nowhere near as much!