Bizarre 'Lamborghini' chickens cost £1,500 each: why?

Sarah Coles

As status symbols go, you'd be hard pushed to find someone who would eschew the usual range of bling and flash fashions in favour of a chicken. However, if poultry floats your boat and you're in search of a statement bird, then you could do worse than the rare Ayam Cemani Chickens, which are entirely black all over - including their feathers, comb, beak, eyes, tongue and talons.

According to the Metro, if you chose to buy your bird for the table, you could be in for a surprise, because the bones and meat are black too. This is a result of a genetic trait known as fibromelanosis - which occurs only in rare birds from Indonesia. Their rarity - and colour - has lead to them getting the Lamborghini nickname.

In Indonesia they are not so expensive, so according to Yahoo are traditionally eaten as part of ceremonies and rituals. Elsewhere, at the moment they are rarely bought for the table. Instead, the value of the bird lies in their offspring, so buyers tend to keep them in order to breed them.

The experts say that over time, when the population in each market grows, the price will fall far enough for them to be sold as expensive and rare meat. At that point you can expect slick City boys to descend on brasseries and spend hundreds of pounds on their high-status chicken supreme.

Outlandishly priced pets

In the interim, if you're in the market for an enormously expensive animal, you shouldn't just limit yourself to chickens - because there are plenty of pricier ones around. Three of the most expensive ever sold at auction were:

1. The most expensive bird in the world is a single racing pigeon called Bolt, who was bought by a Chinese millionaire for £300,000 at auction last May. His owner had been forced to sell after developing a virus caused by exposure to pigeons.

2. A Tibetan Mastiff became the most expensive dog ever sold when it fetched over £900,000 at auction in 2011. The 11 month old was called Big Splash and was sold in China.

3. Missy the Cow, a Holbein from Alberta, was sold at auction for £800,000 in 2009. She was apparently a perfect example of the breed, and contracts already sold for her offspring were worth more than £1.2 million.

Admittedly none of these are going to get you the kind of head-turning attention a real Lamborghini provides. But when you find yourself selling their offspring for thousands, it might seem like a less bizarre choice.

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