Top 10 Most Expensive Chickens in the World


Top-10-Most-Expensive-Chickens

Chicken is the most widely consumed meat on the planet, and nearly every country has a native chicken population. But despite this bird’s popularity and availability, chicken can be incredibly expensive. But what’s the most expensive chicken breed?

The most expensive chicken is the Ayam Cemani, an Indonesian breed with all-black features. This breed is quite rare and is only native to Indonesia, so the supply of Ayam Cemani chickens is exceptionally limited, especially when compared to more common breeds like Orpingtons and Sussex chickens.

Whether you’re looking to invest in profitable livestock or are eager to try a bite of decadently expensive chicken, this ranking will help you discover which chickens fetch the highest prices.

Here Are the Top 10 Most Expensive Chickens in the World:

  1. Ayam Cemani – $2,500 per chicken
  2. Đông Tảo – $2,000 per chicken
  3. Deathlayer – $250 per chicken
  4. Olandsk Dwarfs – $120 per chicken
  5. Ayam Ketawa – $100 per chicken
  6. Svart Hona – $100 per chicken
  7. Liege Fighter – $95 per chicken
  8. Pavlovskaya – $86 per chicken
  9. American Bresse – $60 per chicken
  10. Icelandic – $50 per chicken

10. Icelandic – $50 Per Chicken

Icelandic-Chicken
photo source: Chicken Scratch

Iceland is a massive volcanic island located just below the Arctic Circle. Its native flora and fauna are incredibly unique, as they’re separated from major land masses by more than 900 miles.

But when Nordic peoples began populating Iceland in the 800s, they introduced livestock animals that didn’t yet exist on the island, including chickens. These chickens thrived, eventually developing into a distinct breed called Icelandic chickens. A single one of these island-dwelling chickens can cost $50, though this initial price doesn’t include shipping costs.

Why It’s Expensive

Only about 1% of Iceland’s surface is arable, meaning that only a tiny bit of the island is suitable for livestock. Consequently, Icelandic chickens are expensive because they’re rare.

9. American Bresse – $60 Per Chicken

American-Bresse

Bresse chickens originally hail from the French province of Bresse, though they’re now bred and sold worldwide. American Bresse chickens look nearly identical to their original French counterparts, featuring snow-white feathers and bright red combs.

These chickens are prized for their delicate and flavorful meat, and a single American Bresse chicken can sell for $60. French Bresse chickens are potentially much pricier, but due to their highly regulated nature, it’s impossible to compare the prices of American and French varieties.

Why It’s Expensive

This breed is primarily expensive due to its rarity. However, Bresse chicken has an international reputation for being particularly delicious, so the demand from high-paying buyers also plays a part in this breed’s value.

8. Pavlovskaya – $86 Per Chicken

Pavlovskaya
photo source: Chicken Scratch

Pavlovskaya chickens hail from Russia and are just as diverse as the Russian people. Available in a wide variety of colors, one of the hallmark traits of this breed is the fluffy, mohawk-like combs that sit atop their heads.

This characteristic is the result of hundreds (if not thousands) of years of careful breeding, making the Pavlovskaya breed inherently unique and desirable. Adults Pavlovskaya chickens typically cost upwards of $86, making them far costlier than domestic breeds.

Why It’s Expensive

This type of chicken is expensive because it’s a highly prized breed with a lineage that trails back to ancient times. Diners with a penchant for heirloom ingredients and paleo diets are bound to gravitate toward this breed, so the demand from affluent buyers influences Pavlovskaya chicken prices.

7. Liege Fighter – $95 Per Chicken

Liege-Fighter
photo source: Chicken Scratch

As the name of this chicken suggests, the Liege Fighter is a muscular breed originally used for cockfighting. While some of these birds are still used for this purpose, most are bred and raised as game birds.

Unlike most chicken breeds, the Liege Fighter isn’t docile and compliant. Raising them can be quite challenging, especially for those new to raising livestock. Their intense personalities make them prized commodities for hunting compounds and game lodges.

An adult Liege Fighter chicken typically costs $95, though prices vary depending on the breeder.

Why It’s Expensive

The Liege Fighter chicken is a massive bird often found in game preserves. Its value primarily stems from its aggressive personality, a quality that hunters find desirable.

6. Svart Hona – $100 Per Chicken

Svart-Hona
photo source: The Pioneer Chicks

Svart Hona (literally black female or black hen) chickens come from Sweden, and much like other high-value chicken breeds, they’re notable for their dark feathers and meat. You may also know these birds as Swedish Black Hens.

But compared to other black-feathered chickens, these are some of the most affordable, with the average Svart Hona adult costing about $100. That might seem like a steep price to pay for a live chicken, but as you’ll soon see, it’s surprisingly low.

Why It’s Expensive

Taking a bite of jet-black chicken meat and finding it moist and flavorful (instead of burnt to a crisp) can alter your culinary perception in many ways. Diners with a passion for the novel tend to spend big bucks on prepared dishes containing this type of chicken, making it a valuable commodity for livestock owners.

5. Ayam Ketawa – $100 Per Chicken

Ayam-Ketawa

When you picture a crowing rooster, you likely picture a chicken that looks strangely identical to the Ayam Ketawa. This breed features the iconic black, red, and brown feather combination and bright red crown associated with roosters.

Additionally, the Ayam Ketawa is purported to have one of the loudest and most extended crows, making it a valuable addition to any livestock farm. But at $100 per chicken, you’ll need to be prepared to spend a decent amount to raise this breed.

Why It’s Expensive

Though some adult Ayam Ketawa chickens cost less than $100, most are comparatively expensive due to their special physical characteristics, including their resonant morning calls.

4. Olandsk Dwarfs – $120 Per Chicken

Olandsk-Dwarfs
photo source: Backyard Poultry

Larger chicken breeds tend to command high prices, but the Olandsk Dwarf is an exception. This smaller-than-average breed (which originates in Sweden) might not provide a ton of meat, but Olandsk Dwarf hens are top-notch egg-layers.

For this reason, you can expect to spend about $120 per chicken to add this breed to your coop!

Why It’s Expensive

Though Olandsk Dwarfs are smaller than most domestic breeds, they’re valuable due to their ability to lay a near-endless supply of eggs. Livestock farmers hoping to get into the egg-selling business are sure to enjoy higher profit margins after investing in this breed.

3. Deathlayer – $250 Per Chicken

Deathlayer-Chicken
photo source: Community Chickens

While the name ‘Deathlayer’ might be offputting for some livestock owners, the Deathlayer chicken is one of the world’s most beloved (and expensive) breeds.

Originating in Germany (where the breed is called Westfalische Totleger), this breed’s characteristics include hefty breasts and almost unmatchable egg-laying ability.

These qualities make the Deathlayer chicken a valuable resource for livestock farmers looking to produce chicken meat and eggs. Notably, most breeds are useful for only one of these pursuits, not both. The average high-quality Deathlayer chicken can cost $250 or more!

Why It’s Expensive

This chicken breed is expensive because it’s highly profitable. Not only can livestock owners utilize the Deathlayer breed for meat production, but they can also use Deathlayer hens for egg production, resulting in higher overall profits.

2. Đông Tảo – $2,000 Per Chicken

Đông-Tảo-Chicken
photo source: VN Express International

Vietnam is home to several valuable commodities, from coffee to chickens. But the nation’s most valuable animal export may be Đông Tảo (also spelled Dong Tao) chickens.

These birds have thick, muscular legs that support comparatively small bodies. But while these chickens might not be as sizeable as other meat-producing chicken breeds, their meat is purported to be some of the most delicious of any chicken breed.

But if you’d like to raise your own backyard Đông Tảo chickens, you’ll need to be prepared to spend thousands, as a single one of these chickens can cost about $2,000.

Why It’s Expensive

The taste of this thick-legged chicken is purported to be uniquely delicious, which is one of the primary reasons behind its astounding price.

1. Ayam Cemani – $2,500 Per Chicken

Ayam-Cemani

The most expensive chicken breed in the world is the Ayam Cemani.

Remember when we mentioned how the Svart Hona breed is one of the most affordable black-feathered chicken breeds? Well, that breed likely originated from the Ayam Cemani, an all-black breed of Indonesian chickens.

Nearly all black-feathered, black-skinned chickens can trace their lineage to the small population of Ayam Cemani chickens native to Indonesia, making the original Ayam Cemani breed particularly valuable.

These chickens cost about $2,500, though breeders often refuse to sell single chickens. You’ll likely need at least $5,000 to bring home a breeding pair.

Why It’s Expensive

These chickens are expensive for several reasons. Firstly, they’re a rare breed native to Indonesia, and exporting them to other parts of the world can be incredibly pricey.

Secondly, this breed’s meat is highly prized and often sold to top-tier restaurants. As such, only those with full pockets can afford to try Ayam Cemani chicken dishes, resulting in higher prices for their meat.

But while these dark-feathered chickens might sell for thousands apiece, they don’t hold a candle to the prices of the world’s most expensive cattle!

Why Are Some Chickens So Expensive?

Though most live chickens only cost a few dollars, some cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. If you’re unfamiliar with livestock trends, including chicken breeds, you may wonder why some chickens are so expensive.

A chicken breed’s value relies on four influential factors:

  • Rarity
  • Demand
  • Size
  • Importation costs

These factors can raise or lower a chicken’s market value in multiple ways. Understanding these interactions is key to selecting the priciest (and most profitable) live chickens.

Rarity

Some chicken breeds are common, meaning that they’re found throughout North America, Canada, and much of the world. These breeds might be ideal livestock for small farms or budget-focused chicken ranchers, but they’re not as valuable as rare breeds.

Chicken breeds only found in specific regions or remote locations tend to fetch incredible prices, primarily because they’re unique and scarce. Many of these high-cost breeds are sold to world-class restaurants that cater to diners with refined palates or lofty culinary expectations.

Several costly chicken breeds are incredibly popular due to their uniqueness, resulting in a demand that consistently exceeds the supply.

Demand

Besides pork, chicken is the most popular and widely consumed type of meat. As such, the demand for chicken is constantly high. But the demand for rare and decadent types of chicken, like Ayam Cemani, is particularly high among affluent diners.

Those with plenty of money to spend on exquisite cuisine are more than happy to invest a small fortune for the opportunity to try rare chicken varieties. As such, breeders can charge incredible prices for their rare chickens, as the market for them not only exists but is almost exclusively confined to wealthy individuals and chefs.

But, of course, supply and demand aren’t the only factors influencing chicken breed value. Chicken size can also impact price!

Size

Like the most expensive turkey breeds, the priciest chickens are often hefty birds.

For example, Rhode Island Red chickens (a popular and affordable domestic breed) might reach a maximum adult weight of about 6.5lbs (2.9kg). But an adult Đông Tảo chicken can weigh up to 13lbs (about 6kg)!

Larger chickens can be more challenging to keep and feed, as they require more food than smaller breeds. But the amount of meat harvested from larger breeds makes them valuable livestock animals, which is why larger breeds often sell for high prices.

Importation Costs

There are dozens of domestic chicken breeds, but most of these birds sell for rock-bottom prices to food manufacturers and grocery stores. Conversely, foreign breeds imported from faraway locations command high prices.

This difference partially stems from rarity (some breeds are only native to specific regions), but transportation and importation can significantly increase livestock prices. This isn’t only true of chickens—many of the world’s most expensive hams also incur high shipping and importation fees.

After all, transporting live animals to distant destinations is far more challenging than shipping items. Animals require specific carriers, can perish mid-transport, and often trigger strict agriculture import regulations and fees.

These factors make some foreign chicken breeds far more costly than domestic ones.

What’s the Most Expensive Prepared Chicken?

Live chickens can cost a small fortune, especially when they’re highly coveted breeds. But what about prepared chicken that you can buy from your local butcher or grocery store?

The most expensive prepared chicken is Bresse chicken, a French delicacy rarely found in other parts of the world. This type of chicken costs about $14 per pound, so a whole Bresse chicken cost approximately $77!

While livestock farmers in North America and Canada have imported and bred these distinct white birds, only those born and raised in France are considered true Bresse chickens. And because France imports only a small percentage of its annual Bresse chicken (called Poulet de Bresse) stock, prices for buyers outside of France are often much higher.

After all, exportation and importation fees can increase the cost of animal products, most of which also require high-cost transportation services like sustained refrigeration. For that reason, you might want to visit Bourg-en-Bresse, where Bresse chickens are raised.

Once there, you can dine at a local restaurant that serves this unique French chicken. Some restaurants in this region even sell Bresse chicken meals for as little as $20, allowing you to experience the exquisite taste of this high-quality bird at comparatively low prices.

Of course, the cost of airfare and accommodation can add hundreds (if not thousands) to this meal price. Still, there’s no better way to enjoy this unique, flavorful, and expensive chicken.

What’s the Most Expensive Chicken?

The most expensive chicken in the world is the Ayam Cemani, a jet-black type of chicken revered for its uniquely dark coloration, rarity, and spiritual significance.

Ayam Cemani is native to Indonesia, and importation of the rare breed can be almost as costly as the base price for these birds. Many breeders refuse to sell single birds, instead opting to sell breeding pairs—these pairs cost upwards of $5,000, making them the priciest chickens!

Check out these related articles for more information about the world’s most expensive animals!

Eric Lyons

Eric is a subject-matter expert on the world's most expensive luxuries and collectibles. He has explored thousands of luxuries and collectibles over the past few years and now brings them to readers around the world.

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