About Black Skin Chicken

We create and produce the only Certified Pasture Raised black skin chickens in Australia

Black Namoi Silkie Chickens

Great Northern Poultry specialise in producing the finest black skin chickens.  In addition to maintaining the pure bred Chinese Silkie, Great Northern Poultry have, through selectively bred bloodlines and crossbreeding with heritage breeds, reinvented the traditional Chinese silkie resulting in the exclusive and premium Black Namoi.

Our black skin chickens are: 

History of Chinese Silkie Chicken

The Silkie (sometimes spelt Silky) is a breed of chicken originating from China, named for its atypically fluffy plumage said to feel like silk. Traditional Silkie's are predominately limited to use in soups and broths due to their lean fat content and gamey flavour.

Silkie's have traditionally been well regarded for their healing properties in Asia since the seventh century.  Their name wu gu ji 烏骨雞 meaning 'black-boned chicken' is synonymous with Chinese medicine. They boast a high content of canosine, a naturally occuring peptide believed to increase muscle mass, ward off the effects of ageing and alleviate diseases.

Silkie soups and broths are served as a restorative tonic following childbirth, and believed to have a positive effect on the Yin, blood, lungs and stomach.  They are rich in vitamin B, amino acid and contain 21.4g of protein per 100g.

Black Namoi Feet

Unique Features of Black Skin Chicken

Despite varying plumage tones, black skin chicken exhibit the following key unusual features:

  • black skin and bones;
  • blue earlobes;
  • five toes on each foot (most chickens have four);
  • raw flesh is dark beige and internal organs dramatically pitch black; and
  • cooked skin turns a deep, glossy, obsidian black.

This startling colourisation is due to a rare genetic trait known as fibromelanosis, which causes melanism (the opposite of albinism).

Meat colour varies within each bird.  Typically, expect distinctly darker meat which will turn from soft cream to white when fully cooked.

Despite all the black-on-black-on-black, black skin chicken are colour-fast and won't produce a black broth.

Why Black Namoi?

"Our Black Namoi is designed to get Silkies out of the pot and onto the grill"

The Black Namoi is a unique and premium product, created and produced exclusively by Great Northern Poultry.  Through selective breeding, Great Northern Poultry has actively maintained all the traditional qualities of the Chinese Silkie, but have also significantly improved its versatility by developing a larger and more tender table bird with:

  • startling black skin and bones;
  • a good layer of fat;
  • a greater proportion of moist meat; and
  • a deeper, richer and less gamey flavour than the traditional Silkie.

Black Namoi are Pasture Raised on open fields in the fresh country air, with a focus on producing healthy and happy birds.  Black Namoi are carefully bred to ensure increased fat content, allowing them to be used for roasting, baking and grilling, in comparison to the traditionally purebred Silkie used solely for broths and soups.  Black Namoi are a premium product with the greatest fat content, size and are sought-after by premium restaurants.

Black Namoi table birds are processed using the superior Cold Scald and Air Chill method.  This protects the bloom of the skin.  The birds drain before air chilling on racks, allowing meat to rest before packaging commences.  Black Namoi are the only black skin table bird in Australia to be processed using this method, meaning there are no chemicals involved in the processing of the bird.  The cooked finish is not compromised by the freezing process.