The Yeosan Ogye black chicken is a rare chicken breed native to the Chungcheongnam Province in the central-west region of South Korea, 150 kilometers south of Seoul. The village of Yeosan is located within the Gyeryongsan National Park, an area famous for the Gyeryongsan (gyer meaning chicken, yong meaning dragon and san meaning mountain), a sacred mountain that, by a strange twist of fate, recalls the form of a chicken or a dragon from different viewpoints.
It is easily distinguished from other chicken species due to one very unique physical characteristic: it is completely black, including its feathers, skin, claws, beak and eyes. It has a small head with a crest that is also black and sometimes has reddish hues.
The breed is raised both for its eggs and meat, as both products are renown to be of excellent quality. It is said that a king from the Josun Dynasty who tasted a stewed Ogye chicken dish called yong-tang bong, praised the meat for both its flavor and nutritional properties, which provide a high-energy food source.
The Ogye chicken’s diet is obtained partially from foraging free-range in forests – where the birds peck at grasses, worms and insects – and from a natural feed made of oyster shell powder, green tea, ginseng and rice husks, with the addition of a little poultry ash from the same breed (it is thought to give the birds strength and vigor).
The Presidium was launched in 2014 with the only remaining breeder, Mrs Lee Seung Suk. The aim is to involve other interested breeders in the future and to increase the number of Ogye chickens in order to avoid the breed’s extinction. The project will include promotional activities at the local and national level and actions to build direct relationships between producers, consumer cooperatives and chefs, in order to generate constant, year-round demand for Ogye products.
Yeonsan village, Nonsan city, Chungcheongnam province
tel. +82 1037357964
Kim Sung Hoon
tel. +82 315557070