Setting gamefowls and fighting cocks aside, the show and free-range chicken category is catching up when it comes to the cost of chicks and breeders. In the Philippines, more and more people are becoming interested in raising rare breeds of imported chicken and as the demand increases, the price follows through.
In this article, we are going to introduce the fifteen most expensive chicken breeds (not gamefowl breeds) available in the Philippines and why they demand such a hefty price tag.
1. Ayam Cemani
Ayam Cemani or the Cemani Chicken is indisputably the most expensive chicken breed not only in the Philippines but also in the whole world.
There are a few reasons why this Indonesian-native chicken has such a steep price. The main one is because they are hard to breed. Hens sometimes have trouble laying eggs and will only produce about 80 eggs per year. An intriguing egg-laying fact about the hens is that once they lay 30 eggs, they will take a break from egg-laying for about a month, and then start back up again.
Despite their rareness, the Ayam Cemani is in high demand. While there are plenty of breeders, it can be difficult to produce an abundance of Ayam Cemani because genetics is key. While two of these animals might be successfully bred together, there’s no guarantee that an egg will hatch or be produced. Cemani price depends on the blackness of its skin. Pure breeds according to Cemani FB Group costs P1,000 to P1,500 for day-old chicks and breeders could cost up to P10,000 each.
2. Dong Tao
Coming close in second is the Vietnamese bizarre chicken. The Dong Tao. If you think you’ve seen enough weird things in life, you are yet to witness the legs of this chicken breed. You may have seen the weirdest animals, but nothing like this for sure! This is freakish and gives you goosebumps as well. This is Dong Tao chicken, which is quite popular in Vietnam. There was once a time when this chicken was meant only for the wealthy and famous and for ritual offerings as well; now, the meat of this rare breed is served in high-class restaurants that are visited by rich individuals.
Dong Tao chickens are very rare in the Philippines but surprisingly, some people are keeping these birds as pets. The current price of Dong Tao is around P800 to P1000 for day-old chicks.
Brahma is arguably the most popular chicken breed among the most expensive domestic chickens. Famed for its size and known as the King of ‘Chickens’, it’s a docile, calm breed that is both meat and egg-laying, bird. Brahma is one of the biggest and most beautiful chickens and is also one of the most expensive. Unlike Ayem Cemani and Dong Tao, Brahma is not that difficult to find but make sure you have a deep wallet. The price of a day-old chick is around P1000 while a pair of breeders can cost between P9,000 to P15,000.
In the Philippines, both Buff Brahma and Light Brahma are highly popular.
Serama is one of the smallest and weird-looking chicken breeds and is not really for everyone. This show-type chicken is rare and can cost you a lot of money if you want to buy it.
Serama and its eggs are popular on eBay and online pet forums in the United States and Europe, selling for US$32 (S$46) per egg from show-winning parents and going up to US$80 (S$115) for a Serama with “Malaysian bloodline”
Here in the Philippines, the price varies from P500 to P1,500 for a day-old
chick but you could also find breeders for P5,000 and above a pair.
5. Shamo and Asil
Shamo and Asil are two different types of chicken breeds but they are almost identical. Asil is from India while Shamo is from Japan. These chickens are very popular in the Philippines especially for cockfighting as both breeds are crossed to gamefowls to produce better offspring. Both chickens are highly aggressive.
The price of both chickens can vary from P400 to P800 per chick while an adult rooster can cost up to P10,000 depending on the buyer.
6. Jersey Giant
The name alone suggests that Jersey Giant is really a giant when it comes to its price tag. Jersey Giants is the biggest and heaviest chicken breed. The standard male can weigh 6kgs while the female can weigh around 4.5kgs.
The original color black Jersey Giant can cost P300 to P600 for day-old chicks while breeders can cost about P10,000 a pair. Despite its popularity, Jersey Giants are not preferred for commercial production due to its slow growth and can take 7 to 9 months to reach its full weight.
Wyandottes are very rare in the Philippines but if you are lucky enough, you can find them after months of waiting and searching. Blue, Gold, and Silver-laced Wyandottes are among the most beautiful chicken breeds but their beauty comes with the price.
Day-old Wyandotte chicks can cost up to P5000 while breeders can fetch P10,000 a pair.
Chinese Silkies are distinct due to their fine feathers, six toes, and black skin and meat. Silkie Chickens are one of the oldest purebred breeds in the world. Originating in Asia, the breed may have been first described by Chinese poet, Du Fu who lived between 712-770 AD. The first apparent description of the breed in Western sources occurs in The Travels of Marco Polo published in 1300.
Although Silkies are bred for shows and pets, the demand is relatively high in the Philippines promoting its cost to jump. Silkie chicks can cost over P300 and breeders are around P5,000 to 8,000 a pair. Many people, however, consider Silkies as one of the ugliest chicken breeds.
9. Buff and Blue Orpingtons
The price of Orpingtons is very inconsistent. Sometimes you could find P240 day-old chicks while others are selling P600. The reason behind this is due to volatile demand. When the supply is high, the price drops.
During this pandemic, Buff Orpington’s price increased to its highest with other breeders selling fertilized eggs for P300 and chicks costs up to P700. Buff Orpingtons are one of the most beautiful birds with a lot of lean meat.
10. Black Copper Marans
Not many Filipinos own Black Copper Marans and if you could find one, prepare to pay a hefty price. The Marans breed has several varieties, but the one that has captured the most attention is the Black Copper Marans. It’s a beautiful bird that lays very special, dark, chocolate-colored eggs. Marans chickens originated in western France in a town by the same name. Black Copper Marans are primarily known for their large dark chocolate brown eggs. Black Copper Marans eggs are the darkest of all the Marans varieties. As with all dark brown egg layers, the eggs are the darkest at the beginning of the laying cycle. The eggs will lighten slightly then return to their darkest color after a period of rest. The Marans breed is said to have appealed to the English because it was supposed to be James Bonds’ favorite egg.
The current price of day-old chicks is around P350 to P500 with breeders that can cost up to P6,000 a pair.
11. Beijing You
Beijing You or commonly called Beijing Fatty is a traditional chicken breed known for its superior meat. The chicken has moderate size but it has lean meat with high-quality flavor.
Unlike the Chinese Silkie, Beijing You is a beautiful bird with a crest and boots. There are not many people raiding Beijing fatty in the Philippines but if you are lucky enough to find one, the cost of the day-old chick is around P3000 while breeders can cost around P6,000 a pair. This author has Beijing Fatty but it will take a few more months to lay.
Light Sussex is used to having the same price as Orpington and Black Australorp but its rarity coupled with higher demand prompt its price to increase. Although Light Sussex is more popular, Buff Sussex is more expensive because they are rare and hard to find.
Buff Sussex would cost around P400 while Light Sussex is around P350 for a day-old chick. Breeders vary in prices between P5,000 to 8,000 a pair.
13. Rhode Island Red (Dark Mahogany)
There are two types of Rhode Island Reds, the Production Type RIR (not to be confused with Production Red) and the Show Type which is commonly called Dark mahogany. Production Types are less expensive and less appealing because they are developed for meat and egg production. Production Type RIRs are lighter in color while dark mahogany is really dark if you are buying chicks, make sure to ask the seller if you can see the parents. Day-old-chicks color can be very confusing. The current price of Dark Mahogany is around P230 per day-old-chick while breeders can cost P5,000 a pair.
14. Black Australorp
The record holder for most eggs is also a good investment. Many people are raising Black Australorps but the demand overwhelmed the supply prompting the cost to rise. The BA day-old chick can cost between P150 to P230 depending on the seller while the mature breeders can cost P6,000 a pair. Black Australorps are one of the most beautiful birds and paying P6,000 for a mature pair of breeders is still cheap when you know that after a month when the hen lays eggs, you could pull off your initial investment.
15. Barred Plymouth Rock
Last but not the least, this list is not complete without the Barred Plymouth Rock. Probably the most common chicken breed on this list, Barred Plymouth Rocks are a combination of beauty and elegance. Their unique color is the reason why they are one of the most loved birds.
A pure breed BPR day-old chick can cost between P150 to P220 while breeders can cost P5,000 a pair. Not a bad investment if you love chickens!
Do you know any other expensive breeds available in the Philippines? Please leave a comment below.