The domestication of the chicken has been much debated for decades. However, recent findings suggest that it happened in Southeast Asia about 3,500 years ago. Subsequently, chickens spread outwards, with the result that they were in the Mediterranean about 2,800 years ago and then in Africa about 1,100 years ago as well as 800 years ago. They didn't stay the same throughout. Instead, they are like other domesticated species in that they have been developed into numerous breeds. Naturally, some chicken breeds are more in-demand than others, thus making them more expensive than others. Brahmas have a reputation for it. Even so, there are more expensive chicken breeds that can be found out there.
10. Bresse - $4 for an egg, $10 for a chick, $30 for a pullet
Strictly speaking, Bresse chicken is a protected product in much the same sense that Champagne is a protected product. However, there is a chicken breed as well, which is called the Bresse Gauloise. Primarily, these chickens are known for being meat chickens. However, they can lay eggs as well. Currently, there are four recognized colors, which would be white, black, grey, and blue. Out of those, the white is the most prestigious, not least because those are the chickens that can be called Bresse chickens.
9. Orust - $10 for an egg, $30 for a chick, $60 for a pullet
A lot of the chicken breeds on this list are rare. Even so, some of them are rarer than others, as shown by the Orust. These chickens are named for a place in Sweden, which encompasses the island of the same name as well as some of the nearby islets. Orust chickens are said to have been raised by the local fishermen, who would feed them using scraps. They are very rare, so much so that they number in the hundreds. As a result, there is no guarantee that an Orust chicken can even be bought.
8. Sussex - $10 for an egg, $25 for a chick, $50 for a pullet
The Sussex is named for the English county. It has a higher-than-normal price because it is an excellent all-rounder. These chickens are good for both eggs and meat. Moreover, the Sussex is very interesting-looking, so there are people who keep them for that reason as well.
7. Liege Fighter - $8 for an egg, $55 to $100 for a chick, $150 for a pullet
Given the name, interested individuals should have no problem guessing that the Liege Fighter was created for cockfighting. Curiously, it has a reputation for friendliness towards their human masters, which to be fair, makes sense because out-of-control aggression would've been a huge hassle for the same.
6. Swedish Black - $13 for an egg, $100 for a chick
The Swedish Black is a chicken breed with a mutation that makes them black-colored from top to bottom. It is a landrace, so it is interesting in that it is much more tolerant of the cold than most of its counterparts. The Swedish Black is very rare, so it isn't even possible for interested individuals to buy a pullet most of the time.
5. Deathlayer - $14 for an egg, $100 for a chick
Deathlayers are white, speckled chickens that can trace their roots to Germany. Supposedly, they are named thus because the hens are reputed to be capable of laying eggs until the day that they die. As a result, Deathlayers are very popular for the purpose of egg-laying, with the result that the pullets of this chicken breed aren't available for sale most of the time either.
4. Olandsk Dwarf - $8 for an egg, $100+ for a chick
The Olandsk Dwarf is another chicken breed from Sweden. Specifically, it comes from the island of Oland, which explains its name. The Olandsk Dwarf is notable for being a true bantam, meaning that it became smaller than normal chickens through their own development rather than through deliberate, human-controlled development. Interested individuals can tell that it is a true bantam because there isn't a bigger relative from which it was developed. In any case, the Olandsk Dwarf is extremely rare, though there is a fair amount of interest because it is also extremely friendly. As a result, it has potential for being a pet.
3. Dong Tao - $8 for an egg, $2,500 for a breeding pair
Interested individuals can recognize the Dong Tao from Vietnam in an instant because of its thick legs. In fact, the hens' legs are so thick that they struggle to incubate their own eggs, which is why farmers tend to use incubators instead. The Dong Tao lays about 60 eggs over the course of a single year. As a result, it is very much a meat chicken, though it does enjoy a reputation for being an extraordinarily delicious meat chickens. The claim is that the Dong Tao was once reserved for royals as well as high-ranking officials, which says much about its prestige.
2. Kadaknath - $250 for 250 eggs, $2,500 for a pair of pullets
The Indian Kadaknath is another distinctive-looking chicken because it is another all-black chicken. That contributes a bit to their price. However, the more important factor is that there are people who believe that its meat can help out with lung problems, nervous disorders, and other medical problems, which generates quite a bit of demand to say the least.
1. Ayam Cemani - $160 for 12 eggs, $50 for a chick, $5,000 for a breeding pair
Speaking of which, the Ayam Cemani from Java in Indonesia also has an all-black appearance. As a result, it is also believed to possess special powers such as healing as well as communicating with the supernatural, meaning that it sees a fair amount of use in the traditional medicine of its homeland. Nowadays, the Ayam Cemani has spread beyond Indonesia, as shown by how it has managed to find a fair amount of popularity with backyard chicken enthusiasts in the United States. Due to that popularity, a dozen eggs will cost $160, an unsexed chick will cost $50, while a pullet will just be unavailable most of the time.
Written by Dana Hanson
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