Fibromelanosis in domestic chickens

H. Lukanov, A. Genchev
Abstract. Fibromelanosis is a mutation in domestic chickens (Gallus gallus domesticus) known for centuries in Southeastern Asia and Europe, expressed with abnormal accumulation of the dark pigment melanin in the dermis and connective tissue formations of the avian body. Fibromelanosis (Fm) is due to a dominant autosomal gene(s) whose expression is influenced by various modifying genes. The mutation is mainly seen in some Asian breeds, with the exception of Svart Höna and the Argentina Tuzo type. The usage of the breeds with fibromelanosis is different depending on the social and geographical spread. According to Asian beliefs, these birds possess a healing potential and are used in religious rites and folk medicine. In the other parts of the world, the most popular and most encountered breed with hyperpigmentation is the Silkie, bred only for decorative and exhibition purposes.