Kadaknath farming is a very profitable agri-business. Both, Kadaknath Egg Production Business and Kadaknath Chicken Production Business are very good and low investment start-up. The breed is very popular in India.

There is a tremendous development in the poultry industry in last few decades, but little attention has been paid for indigenous chicken, due to its poor producing ability. Total poultry population of India was estimated to be 1000 million, out of which about 15 to 20% were indigenous or native breeds. There are about 20 indigenous breeds/varieties of chicken found in India. Backyard poultry farming is a part and parcel of typical rural/tribal household, touching social, cultural and economic aspects in India.

The Kadaknath is important native chicken breed in India. Kadaknath breed, also known as Kalamashi in Hindi, is known for its black-colored meat. It is being reared by tribal communities in its breeding tract of the Jhabua and Dhar districts in the western region of the state of Madhya Pradesh and in adjoining areas of the states of Gujarat and Rajasthan. Although the meat of this breed has an unattractive appearance, it has a delicious flavor .The meat and eggs are considered rich sources of protein and iron. The meat of the Kadaknath breed contains a high percentage (25.47%) of protein and is believed to have aphrodisiac properties. Although the Kadaknath breed has many unique characteristics, it has been neglected because of its poor production potential. Of late, there is renewed interest among consumers and farmers in native germplasm because of the unique hardiness of the breeds, their ability to thrive under adverse climatic conditions, and the desirable taste and flavor of eggs and meat.

Kadaknath is one of the rarest poultry breeds of India which is native to Jhabua district of Madhya Pradesh (MP), India. Basically, Kadaknath breed is popular for its black meat and known as BMC (black meat chicken). Kadaknath chicken breed is famous for its meat quality, texture and taste. The demand for Kadaknath chicken is growing day by day and spread across most of the Indian states due to their excellent medicinal values. Especially these birds bear great medicinal value in homeopathy and useful in treating a particular nervous disorder. Basically, Kadaknath chickens are mainly reared by tribal communities in Bhil and Bhilala in the districts Jhabua and Dhar in the state of Madhya Pradesh (MP). The commercial scale of Kadaknath chicken raising especially in the states Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu. Kadaknath chicken meat is in black colour and eggs are in brown colour.

The new Kadaknath production technology has reduced the mortality rate from greater than 50%. Now you can expect to 10 to 12% of mortality, this enhanced the survival percentage and overall profits in Kadaknath chicken farming. Because of high feed conversion ratio, these birds can gain body weight of 1.10 to 1.25 kg in 100 to 125 days. Kadaknath chickens can be reared similar to country chicken or free range chicken. However, it may require little more care initially to grow in controlled environment. Later they can be left freely in open field. One can grow these birds in back yards. In fact, Kadaknath chickens are best suited for back yard farming rather growing on commercial scales.


Kadaknath is the name given to desi breed of chicken. It is native to central India i.e.- Madhya Pradesh. The word Kadaknath is made up of two words, ‘Kadak and Nath’. The word ‘Kadak’ means ‘Strong or Hard’, while the meaning of the word ‘Nath’ is ‘Lord or Natha’ in Shaivism. Kadakhnath is totally different from other desi and foriegn spp. of chicken. Origin of this important species is western Madhya Pradesh in India where research works is being conducted since many years.

Biological information
Common Name - Kadakhnath or Kali Masi
Sc. Name - Gallus gallus domesticus

The species is native to Jhabua and Dhar district of Madhya Pradesh. They can adapt a wide range of climatic conditions. Kadaknath has been introduced to these Indian states- Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Maharastra, Jharkhand, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana etc.This breed of chicken can be reared easily where other breeds of desi chicken are grown commercially.

Characteristics and behavior
Female – Female starts laying eggs after 6 months. They are not a good broody hen.
Male – Males are almost double the size of female.
Feather – Feather is shiny and dark black. Some feathers reflect green colour in sunlight.
Comb – Comb is black. It is fully developed in healthy rooster.
Legs – The muscular legs are also black in colour.
Tongue – Black.
Egg – There is false fact that the eggs of kadaknath are black in colour. But the colour is creamy.

Rich in protein.
Low quantity of fat.
Low cholesterol.
Beneficial to diabetic patient.

Housing System

 Cage sytem
 Deep litter
 Free range

Kadakhnath in Cage System

Cage system is used for layers in egg production industries. Kadaknath loves natural surroundings. Kadaknath farming in cage system will increase extra expenses. This includes – Expense in cage, feeding and other management practice.

Kadakhnath in Deep Litter

Deep litter system is very good for young chicken. The thickness of litter should be same as used for other breed of chicken. It is 4 inch to 1-2 feet.

Kakhnath in Free Range

Free range is best for adults. Male and female perform best in free range system. In this system 1 rooster should be reared along with 10 females. More number of male cock is the reason of brawl among them. The main benefit of this system is low maintenance and management. It requires low investment. Naturally available food cuts extra expense in feeding. Minimum 1 acre of land is sufficient for free range system.


Kadaknath can eat all types of poultry feed.

Egg Laying

Developed chicken starts laying eggs after 6 months. One hen lays 12-15 eggs in a clutch. They can lay egg anywhere, so nest should be make to prevent it.

 Natural brooding
 Artificial brooding

Natural brooding
Female of this breed is not very good in brooding. One hen out of ten tends to brood. Remaining eggs should be kept in the nest of other broody hen.

Artificial brooding
Artificial hatching machine and chambers are used.

Growth and Development
Kadaknath is a slow growing breed of chicken. A mature rooster can weigh up to 2 kg. Proper diet helps in fast growing. Young chicken should be fed with standard poultry feed in deep litter system.

 Through contract farming.
 Online selling.
 Marketing channel.
 Local sellers.

Disease and Management

1. Ranikhet/New Castle Disease
Cause – Virus.
Mode of infection – It is a highly contagious disease. Air, contaminated foods are the source of infection.
Mortality – Both, chicken and adults are affected by the virus. It can empty a farm from chicken. The mortality rate is 50-100 %.
Prevention – Sanitation and scheduled vaccination.

2. Coryza
Cause – Bacteria. Haemophiluspara gallinarum.
Mode of infection – It is infectious disease. Contaminated water and food is major source of infection.
Mortality – Deadliest disease in kadaknath.
Prevention – Clean water and food. Shed should be disinfected.


Protein content in Kadaknath is higher than 25% in an ordinary bird it varies between 18-20%.
Research has shown that this species has lower cholesterol (0.73-1.05%) than white chicken (13-25%). High levels of amino acids, 18 in number, out of which, 8 are essential for the human and rich in hormone. Vitamins B1, B2, B6, B12, C and E, niacin, protein, fat, calcium, phosphorus, iron, nicotinic acids, etc.


Kadaknath has special medicinal value in homeopathy and a particular nervous disorder. The tribal uses kadaknath blood in the treatment of chronic disease in human beings and its meat as aphrodisiac (believed to infuse vigor in Make) .Experts says that Viagra or Sildenafil Citrate is basically a vasodilator designed for increasing blood flow to the heart and the melanin pigmant in kadaknath does the same. Kadaknath chicken has a peculiar effectiveness in treating women’s discuss, sterility, Menoxenic (abnormal menstruation), habitual abortion.


• Day-old chicks are bluish to black with irregular dark stripes over the back.
• Adult plumage varies from silver and gold-spangled to bluish-black without any spangling.
• The skin, beak, shanks, toes and soles of feet are slate like in colour. The comb, wattles and tongue are purple. Most of the internal organs show intense black coloration; which is pronounced in trachea, thoracic and abdominal air-sacs, gonads and at the base of the heart and mesentery.
• The blood is somewhat darker than normal. This is the result of melanin deposition.

• Average adult body weight:
-Cock : 1.5 kg
-Hens: 1.0 kg.
• Annual egg production: 80.
• The eggs are light brown in colour. There is a superstitious false belief that eggs of Kadaknath are entirely black in colour.
• Average egg weight: 46.8 gms.


The original name of the breed is Kalamasi, meaning a fowl with black flesh, which, though not very appealing to the eye, is very tasty. The bird is resistant to diseases in its natural habitat in free range conditions but is more susceptible to Marek’s disease under intensive rearing conditions. Kadaknath chicken is said to contain many kinds of amino acids and vitamins and are a powerful source of protein.

Black Meat Chicken (BMC) Breeds

There are 3 different breeds of Black Meat Chicken (BMC) is available in the world.
• Kadaknath – Native to Madhya Pradesh, India.
• Silkie – Native to China.
• Ayyam Cemani – Native to Indonesia.

Merits, advantages and benefits of Kadaknath Chicken Breed

The following are advantages of growing Kadaknath chicken.
• Kadaknath chicken meat is textured and flavoured.
• This black meat has good medicinal values.
• Kadaknath chicken breeds are adaptable to any kind of environment.
• Kadaknath chicken meat and their eggs are sold for high price in the market.
• This bird meat contains many kinds of amino acids, and vitamins.
• This meat helps to increase blood cells and haemoglobin.
• Kadaknath chicken is said to be aids in curing pulmonary problems.
• The Kadaknath birds convert feed quickly into the meat.
• The Kadaknath chicken eggs are used to treat headaches, post delivery problems, asthma and nephritis.
• Kadaknath chicken is said to be good for women health as well.
• The tribal community in Madhya Pradesh, India uses Kadaknath chicken blood in the treatment of chronic disease.
• The Kadaknath chicken eggs are also have good nutrition values and good for old people.
• Kadaknath black meat contains vitamins B1, B2, B6, B12, C and E, niacin, protein, fat, calcium, phosphorus, iron, and nicotinic acid.
• The Kadaknath breed is hardy and highly resistant for diseases.
• Unlike broiler chicken, these can survive even on kitchen waste.
• The best advantage is, these birds meat has more protein, less fat, and low cholesterol when compared to similar kind of poultry breeds.
• Kadaknath chicken weighs about 1.5 Kg after growing 6 to 7 months.
• Kadaknath is one of the rarest birds available in the world.
• Commercial scale farming of Kadaknath chicken defiantly fetches good profits if proper marketing channel is established.
• Some state governments in India like Madhya Pradesh have incentive scheme for people who were interested in breeding the Kadaknath chicken.

Cost of Kadaknath Chicken and Eggs

Because of the fact that these birds have superb medicinal values, the mature live Kadaknath Chicken are sold up to about IRs. 800 to 1,000 per kg. As we said above, these bird eggs also nutritious, they are sold up to IRs. 40 to 50 per egg in the market.

Nutritional Value Comparison

The following chart compares the Kadaknath nutritional values with other chicken breeds.



Kadaknath Chicken

Other Breeds of Chickens


Protein content


18 to 20%


Fat content

0.73 to 1.03

13 to 25%


Linoleic Acid





184mg / 100gm

218mg / 100gm

Some Facts about Kadaknath Chicken Breed





Weight of Day Old Chicks

28 to 30 grams


Bird Body Colour

Jet black


Body weight in 8 weeks

0.8 to 0.9 kg


Period required to attain 1 kg of body weight

13 to14 Weeks


Survival rate

95 %


Period required to attain 1.5 to 2 Kg Body weight

Like Country Chicken


Total weight (fully grown adult male)

2.3 to 2.5 kg


Total weight (fully grown adult female)

1.6 to 1.8 kg


Quality of Black Meat

Like pure country chicken


Taste of the meat

Tastes like country chicken


Meat percentage

Without skin (dressed) 65 %





Are these good for Commercial or Backyard poultry farming?

Good for both


Age for first egg laying

23 to 24 weeks





Egg laying/month



Annual egg laying



Average egg weight

40 to 45 grams.


Egg colour

Brown (falsely believed to be black; a superstitious belief)


Feed required

50 kg for entire growth

Hurdles in Kadaknath Farming

Inadequate availability of Kadaknath breed chicks and lack of proper financial support from government are posing major hurdle. For better development of this breed, local governments should provide subsidies and loans to small scale farmers.

Feed formulation for Kadaknath



Brooder mash

(0-8 week)

Grower mash

(9-19 weeks)

Layer mash

(20-72 weeks)

















Soya meal





Sunflower meal





Fish meal





Mineral mixture





Shell grit















• Get good breeds of Kadaknath birds from standard government and private poultry farms.
• Make sure you bring day old chicks with proper vaccinations.
• Start with 30 to 50 birds and keep increasing the bird count as you gain the experience.
• Find out with poultry department of Agriculture University and veterinary universities for chicks and feed information.
• Some state government are providing incentives on these birds breeding, avail those benefits.
• For couple of weeks birds require proper care and provide necessary shelter /light /water/feed.
• Don’t start on large scale without knowing the poultry line of business.
• If you are starting a commercial Kadaknath chicken farming, make sure you establish a proper marketing channel.
• Follow the scheduled vaccination chart to avoid any bacterial and viral diseases.

Farmers, landless labor and poor widows can grow kadaknath birds in back yards. Kadaknath chickens are best suited for back yard farming rather growing on commercial scales. The meat quality and disease resistance nature of kadaknath chicken can create great revolution poultry industries.