Kadaknath chicken breed: A Comprehensive Guide

Kadaknath chicken breed

  • Country of origin: India
  • Primary uses: For eggs and meat production
  • Lifespan:
  • Eggs:
    • Egg production: 120 eggs
    • Egg size: Small to medium
    • Egg color: Brown or Cream
  • Weight:
    • Cock: 1.8 to 2 kg
    • Hen: 1.2 to 1.4 kg
  • Colors: Black
  • Useful to know: very nutrient-rich eggs and meat. They are valuable to be used for both backyard farming and commercial scales.
  • Photo:
Kadaknath chickens
Kadaknath chickens

Many professional chicken raisers select the Kadaknath chicken breed. It is mainly because they have nutrient-rich and tasty black meat along with moderate egg production.

However, if you have not made your decision yet, this article can give you a lot of useful information about the Kadaknath chickens. So it is easier for you to determine whether or not to raise this breed.

Further reading: 21 Best Chicken Keeping eBooks

Background and history

Kadaknath chickens have another name called Kali Masi. This is one of the rarest breeds originating from India.

It is more common to find Kadaknath chickens in the state of Madhya Pradesh. To be more specific, they often live in the eastern parts as well as many neighboring areas of Rajasthan and Gujarat.

There are now 3 Kadaknath varieties including Jet Black Kadaknath, Penciled Kadaknath and Golden Kadaknath. In recent years, Indian governments have tried many methods to slow down the decrease in the number of those chickens.


Most Kadaknath chicken parts have a black color such as legs, combs, toenails, beak, tongue, and wattles. A melanin pigment in their bodies is the reason for this all-black color.

However, for each variety, they have some small different features as belows:

  • Jet Black Kadaknath: All of them are black colored regardless of their sexes.
  • Penciled Kadaknath: Around the neck, they have white feathers.
  • Golden Kadaknath: The color of feathers in their neck is golden for both hens and cocks.

Therefore, you can distinguish three types of Kadaknath chickens simply depending on their unique appearances.


Kadaknath chickens are good free-rangers. They would love to forage in an open-air area instead of staying in one place or eating in a bowl.

Besides, they are adaptable to many different living conditions in a good manner. So there is no difficulty for them to get along well with each other in a flock or with their owners.

All Kadaknath hens will broody regularly. They do not like the idea of sitting and waiting for their eggs until their hatching. However, they are very hardy and can lay eggs even during the cold season.

The Kadaknath chicken productivity

Is the Kadaknath chicken good for eggs?

Kadaknath chickens seem to be good layers with around 100 to 120 eggs per year. Their hens start laying their eggs when they are about 6 months old.

They are able to produce 2 to 3 clutches and 25 to 40 eggs for each clutch every time they lay eggs. Nevertheless, Kadaknath chickens are not considered as one of the good setters as they will rarely go broody.

In general, all of their eggs have brown shells together with a slightly pink tint. Those eggs are not too large and weigh around 30 to 35g or sometimes up to 40 or 45g per egg.

Besides, Kadaknath eggs are widely used for many medical purposes. They can help you to treat headaches, post-delivery problems, asthma, and nephritis.

Is the Kadaknath chicken good for meat?

These chickens are well-known for one of the best quality meat. The delicious taste and high nutrition value make their meat expensive in many markets. The amount of meat takes up 65% of their body weight excluding their skin.

In addition to the unique black color, it can bring many health benefits including:

  • Many types of amino acids and vitamins such as B1, B2, B6, B12, C, and E
  • Improve blood cells and haemoglobin
  • Contain a higher level of protein but a lower amount of fat and cholesterol than other similar chicken breeds
  • Other essential nutrients like calcium, phosphorus, iron, and nicotinic acid

Therefore, their black meat can have many positive effects on human health. You can also add it to many different recipes to diversify your daily meals.

Common issues of the Kadaknath chicken

Compared to other breeds, Kadaknath chickens have a pretty good immune system. With their own features, they are able to deal with intensive conditions and resist many serious diseases.

However, in some cases, those chickens can still suffer from some common chicken issues. To protect their good health, you should:

  • Keep their coop and nesting place clean and dry enough
  • Have them fully vaccinated as requested
  • Do not allow them to overcrowd so as to avoid any potential infection
  • Provide safe and high-nutritious feed

Environment requirements

To raise Kadaknath chickens well, it is necessary to satisfy the following environmental requirements:


For newborn chickens, the temperatures should range from 35 to 37.5 degrees Celsius. When they get older, it is more suitable to prepare them a room where its temperature is about 20 to 26 degrees Celsius. Therefore, you should change the temperature settings so as to meet their needs at different ages.


The level of humidity in their house has to be around 50 to 70 percent. It does mean that it ought to be not too dry or too humid for Kadaknath chickens. That is because those conditions are more likely to lead to the development of many diseases.

Benefits and drawbacks of raising the Kadaknath chicken


Good quality of eggs and meat:

A Kadaknath hen can give you almost 120 brown eggs per year. Climate changes do not have a large impact on the production of eggs for one of the hardiest chickens like them. They can also offer up to 65% meat over their whole bodies.

Both their eggs and meat have high nutritional value and delicious taste. Therefore, you can take advantage of those products to cure many diseases. Their meat is especially good for women and old people.

High adaptability:

They have a good ability to survive under both cold and hot weather with basic requirements. Besides, a strong immune system would protect them from various diseases.

Trusting and friendly:

They are able to make a close relationship with their owners. All of them are not aggressive and can coexist peacefully. So, it is funny to keep them as pets in your backyard.

Good free-rangers:

Due to this habit, it does not charge you a lot for their feeding. Kadaknath chickens only require a sufficient amount of food available on the ground. Thus they can forage throughout the day.

Get many incentive packages from the government:

As mentioned above, Kadaknath chicken is one of the rarest breeds. So some state governments would offer many interesting benefits for many professional chicken breeders.

Challenges or drawbacks

High price:

Due to their higher nutritional value as well as other outstanding features, it is not too hard to understand why they are expensive.

Slow growth:

It does take a lot of time for Kadaknath chickens to mature completely. Other chicken breeds are able to lay eggs at early ages while those chickens start laying their eggs at about 6 months old.

Require more care:

Unlike other similar chicken breeds, Kadaknath chickens need to receive much more care so as to keep alive. You have to ensure that all their living conditions are under control so that they do not suffer from any issues.

For Kadaknath chicks, you should pay even more attention. Suitable care from the beginning might help them to increase their survival rate.

Decreasing population:

Despite many efforts from both governments and organizations, Kadaknath chicken is still on the list of endangered breeds. Therefore, many small-scale chicken raisers might have less opportunity to reach them.

How to raise the Kadaknath chicken?

Kadaknath chickens have many characteristics like other free-rangers but they do still require much more care from their raisers. So, to keep them safe and healthy, there are some important factors as belows:

Dietary feed:

For 2-month old chickens, it is highly recommended to feed them with a pre-starter broiler as well as maize crumbs. Once they become older, their daily diet needs to have around 20% protein, so that they can produce high-quality eggs and meat.

Kadaknath chickens are not too picky and they can eat almost every type of food. However, to give enough nutrients and energy to those free-rangers, you should add some seeds, grass, leafy vegetables, or other healthy foods to their regular feed.

You may also like: Beginner’s Guide to Keeping Chickens

Living space

Kadaknath chickens need to have a clean place which is far away from some animals such as dogs, cats, snakes, flies or mosquitoes. You have to fill the floor with sawdust, chopped straw, paddy husk, or anything except for sharp objects. Otherwise, concrete flooring can be a more convenient and effective choice.

In addition, it does not have many requirements about the roof so it would be made from many materials such as coconut leaf, asbestos, plastic, or fiberglass. The other important thing is that the systems of lighting, and ventilation have to be ready and adjusted suitably for all seasons.

For the Kadaknath shed, its width must be at 30 feet but its length can be made at any size. In the middle of the shed, it should be around 10 to 15 feet. Meanwhile, the height of its sides would be 8 to 10 feet.

Egg care:

During intensive weather conditions, it is safer to raise Kadaknath eggs in an incubator. Depending on their number and their size, you should give them suitably artificial incubating. So you can maximize the hatching rate of their eggs.

In addition, laying eggs on the floor would cause many serious health issues or even death. To avoid this, you ought to prepare enough nesting boxes for Kadaknath hens to lay their eggs.

Start with a suitable number of chickens:

For Kadaknath chicken farming, it is better to raise from 30 to 50 chickens at the beginning. Even though Kadaknath chickens are hardy and easy to manage, they are one of the most threatened breeds in India. So starting with a small number will give you lots of experience and a deep understanding of this chicken breed.

Final thoughts

So, is the Kadaknath chicken right for you? If you want to have a high value-for-money chicken with low maintenance, Kadaknath chickens can be your first choice.

Once you raise those chickens, you can get many benefits from their nutrient-rich eggs and meat. Their outputs are healthy enough to be used for medical treatment. In addition, Kadaknath chickens do not have excessive requirements about their environment, feed or living space like other breeds.

However, you still have the ability to deal with many disadvantages from Kadaknath chickens. They are not good setters and rarely go broody to take care of their eggs. Therefore, much more care should be made for all of them. Besides, due to their rare status, it would cause many problems for small keepers.

Hopefully, this article can sum up some necessary and key information which can be useful and contributes to your right decision.

Links to useful resources:

  1. Poultry India, https://www.poultryindia.co.in/kadaknath-chicken-breed-information/, 2021
  2. Chintu Das, https://krishijagran.com/animal-husbandry/kadaknath-chicken-farming-best-breeds-feeding-house-management-and-complete-business-plan/, June 2021
  3. Agrikit, https://agrikrit.com/kadaknath-chicken-farming/