Silkie

Posted

Pros: Interesting, cute, small, wonderful disposition, and great broody mothers!

Cons: Egg laying can be a con since they are often broody. They also require a little more TLC than other breeds.

Silkies are a wonderful bantam pet breed in my experience.  They have funny personalities and are friendly, even with children.  They make great, nurturing mothers and even the roosters are often good with chicks.  This is why some use silkies to hatch eggs from other types of poultry.  The silkie girls were born to be mothers and often go broody.  They are dedicated and determined to hatch! 

I say they require more TLC than other breeds, because they cannot see well with their large puffy crests.  They are a very easy target for predators and should be free ranged only under close supervision.  This also makes them fall easy from attacks of other chickens, and they can easily get brain injuries from head pecks.  Silkies aren't the best about putting themselves away in a coop either when they have an attached run, so it may be necessary to pick them up and put them to bed.  This is especially true when it's cold and wet.

I think their fluffy look is absolutely adorable!  Silkies are the chicken for me.  ♥

 

Posted

Pros: Talkative, Fluffy

I am disappointed with my two silkies.  I wanted them because everyone says they are frequently broody (at nearly one year my two haven't tried) and friendly (they aren't, they are just slow enough you can catch them...mine growl at me and one freaks out if I touch her).  They were slow to start laying, but do give a good number of tiny eggs.  My son does like them (hence "fluffy") and I do enjoy the wide range of quiet vocalizations.

Posted

Pros: they are broody mothers, they are funny to watch, eat slugs in gardens with out harming plants, FLUFFY

Cons: there eggs are kind of small and they dont lay as much due to the broody factor

I love this bird because they are good for show and they are also broody mothers alot. The eggs are not very big but look at the bird they are kinda small to me. They do like to eat slugs and they do not always eat plants. They are easy to let free range but hawks are a big issue due to not being able to see very well (feathers block view).

Posted

Pros: friendly, soft & fluffy, easily handled, great adoptive moms, protective roosters

Cons: can't always see peripherally, easy target for predators

I have loved my silkies from the start.  I have a pair of white silkies and black silkies.  I have one small buff silkie hen.  I have had great experience with the hens hatching their own chicks and adopting chicks that have already been hatched, that are full size chickens.  They are wonderful all around.  Sweet dispositions, easy to handle and one of my favorite breeds.  They never seem quite like a chicken and they usually smell nice.

The white hen with Christmas eve babes and the black hen with her adopted eggs and chicks.

IMG_1312.JPGIMG_1315 copy.jpgIMG_1133.JPGMy Silkie Rooster, named Romeo and of course the white hen is Juliette.  The chicks are Kringle and Holly born on Christmas Eve 2011.

Posted

Pros: adorable, fluffy, fairly easy to train, sweet, and loving

Cons: flighty, hard to keep fluff clean

I was shocked at how easy they catch on to routine! We have a separate run from our coop and we've taken to carrying our silkies to it, but then we had the idea to have our babies walk to the run by themselves. It works like a charm and we just supervise as they walk in then close the gate behind them. That easy! They are the sweetest birds I've ever met but very difficult to keep clean because they will roll around in the dirt and come out looking like a spotted brown and white Pomeranian! My sister was begging me to name one of them 'Dog'. Anyways, the silkies are very flighty and easily frightened by mowers or loud sounds near them.

Posted

Pros: Broody, Hens are Docile, Look Interesting

Cons: Rooster is Aggressive

I like my Silkies. The hens are sweet and one of mine has been very broody lately. My rooster is VERY aggressive- despite being hand raised. He attacks me, my husband, and my sweet 80lbs dog (who thinks the rooster is playing- and LOVES it!). Based on my experience, I would not recommend a silkie rooster for a family with young children.  That being said, he is very good at his job. He keeps an eye on his free ranging flock and runs to their aid if he hears one in distress.

Posted

Pros: sweet, easily tamed, super cute, great for children, friendly

Cons: Not for egg production, and eggs are small sized. Not too bright!

I have a small flock of 4 adult hens and just bought another 12 chicks. These guys are NOT great production birds... they are ornamental and fancy... I have black, white, partridge, and buff adults. Show quality of the standard colors are around 7 bucks for breeder quality chicks. I recently bought some of the fancy colors, Porcelains ran about 15 a chick... and for self blue (gasp) $30... I only have one of them, and she appears smaller than my others and not quiet as bright eyed and active as the others... the last blue I hatched myself failed to thrive, and I'm not sure if this is just that they need more development as a color type or just bad luck on my part...

 

Silkies have endearing personalities... and they may not do well in a mixed flocked, as they look different and other birds sometimes pick on them... The don't need a large pen though, but it's best if they don't have to fly or hop up far to reach it... Silkies not roost, they cannot fly... so if they are in a house with others that do roost, they may get pooped on... as a flock on their own they will sleep in a pile which is so flippin' cute! These hens are wonderful moms... I have even grafted non-broody silkie hens to my red star chicks... They do a great job rearing them, and are more attentive moms than most other breeds, so my survival rates on grafted chicks have been really high with using these ones as mommas... They don't seem to get bored with the job like some other breeds.

 

Young birds will need some attention as they are a bit more delicate than other breeds, the time spent caring for them is rewarded with friendly well bonded chickens... Kids LOVE them, easy to catch, soft to hold, and rarely struggle. If you are looking for egg production, these are not for you... if you want great personalities and a positive experience for kids raising chickens or first time chicken enthusiast... then this is the breed. Overall, I rated them 4 stars, just because they don't lay well, tend towards broodiness, and I originally got chickens for their eggs... But they have so many other great qualities.... so in the end it depends on what you want... I enjoy them more than most of my chickens. 

 

A word to the wise... get GOOD breeder quality stock.. they difference in the look and appeal of breeder quality is worlds apart from what you may find in your local swap.

Posted

Pros: very nice chicken cute and great mothers and very broody

Cons: none

none this is what i have heard and seen

Posted

Pros: Mine are calm, docile, and like to be pet and held

Cons: Wouldn't be too useful for a layer since their eggs are small

I have black, splash and white silkies.  They all have similar temperaments, in that they are calm and docile.  Very sweet birds, and they are easy to get attached to them as pets.  So far, mine are doing well in our temperatures of very hot summers to cold winters with snow.  However, in the summer, I did set up a water mister system in their pen and made sure they had plenty of shade.

 

They did learn to use the ramp up to the coop, and can flap their wings enough to get themselves up to the bottom rung on my ladder style roost.  The lowest rung, by the way is only about 4 inches off the floor.  I've never seen them go higher than that on the roost, even though the ladder is very easy to navigate for the other birds.  They also tend to sleep in a pile on the floor at night if they decide against the roost.  I don't know if this is a Silkie thing, but I have two white silkies that are the "peace keepers" of the flock.  If another bird (like a barred rock) is picking on another bird-- the Silkies go flying into action with feet out and chase down the birds that are not being nice.  I've noticed they keep everyone in line and continue to stay on top of their job every day.  Perhaps I'm lucky, or maybe this is a trait?

 

Below is a picture of my 9 month old Splash cockerel.  One more thing to mention-- they LOVE to crow!  All the time.  They are not quiet about it.  :)

900x600px-LL-e59921b2_ZorroJan2012.jpeg

Silkie
Description:

The silkie chicken was developed in the southeast asian countries or china.It was valued as a medicinal food item because of its black skin and bones, and was thought to be particularly good to reinforce body immunity and protect from emaciation and feebleness. It also is reported to treat diabetes, anemia, female reproductive functioning and postpartum disorders. Marco Polo gave the first accounts of silkie chickens in the late 13th century. As trade route between East and West were established, the Silkie was brought to Europe. records have shown that in the Netherlands, they were sold as the product of crossing a rabbit and a chicken! The breed was officially recognized in North America by acceptance in to the Standard of Perfection in the first year of publication which was 1874.

Details:
DetailValue
Breed PurposeOrnamental
CombWalnut
BroodinessFrequent
Climate ToleranceAll Climates
Egg ProductivityMedium
Egg SizeSmall
Egg ColorLight Brown
Breed TemperamentFriendly,Easily handled,Calm,Bears confinement well,Quiet,Docile
Breed Colors/VarietiesGrey, Blue, Splash, Partridge, Buff, Black, White are the standard colors with many off standard & derivative colors in existance today.
Breed SizeBantam
APA/ABA ClassFeather Legged
Models:
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC

Chicken Breed Info:

Breed Purpose: Ornamental
Comb: Walnut
Broodiness: Frequent
Climate Tolerance: All Climates

General Egg Info:

Egg Productivity: Medium
Egg Size: Small
Egg Color: Light Brown

Breed Temperament:

Friendly,Easily handled,Calm,Bears confinement well,Quiet,Docile

Breed Colors / Varieties:

Grey, Blue, Splash, Partridge, Buff, Black, White are the standard colors with many off standard & derivative colors in existance today.

Breed Details:

Silkies, later, were most valued for their ability to incubate eggs. They have a habit of going broody more frequently than other breeds and being good mothers. These are a bantam breed in the US of about 2 lbs if meeting the standard. The standard colors are by far not the only colors, just the colors recognized in the standard of perfection, there is also cuckoo, tortoiseshell, calico, paint, lavender and many, many others. Silkies are not as flighty and energetic as other breeds and are far easier to catch and manage. A well bred silkie is a stunning sight to behold. The larger the crest on the birds head and puffs on the cheeks the more difficulty they have seeing in a free range environment. Some careful trimming around and in front of the eyes with scissors a couple times a year takes care of this problem. Take note that the appearance of silkies from hatcheries and from breeders is vastly different. These make ideal pets and projects for children and those that dislike dealing with birds that are rowdy and active. Many silkies of today are being kept as house pets much like rabbits are kept as household pets. Silkies are rather hardy birds tolerating extremes fairly well and should be cared for as one cares for any other chicken. Baths are not required as part of keeping silkies any more or in any circumstance different from any other chicken breed. Baths do tend to make them look fresh, airy and extra fluffy and whether to bathe regularly or not is more a matter of personal preference rather than need. Breeders that have many often donÂt bathe unless they are preparing for a show or have a health situation that calls for it, some that keep them for house pets bathe regularly to keep them looking their fluffy best. Roosters DO crow and while not as loudly as some other breeds, they do it with sufficient decibel level to alert neighbors and would not be a good choice where roosters or chickens are not allowed. The roosters in most (but not all) lines tend to be more docile and less intent on aggression then many other breeds, tending to be more laid back. The hens primarily make quiet clucking and cooing sounds to themselves and their friends as they forage and only become loud for a very brief time as they call out an alert to their flock mates if suddenly startled or they detect danger. Generally silkie hens will let you collect eggs from underneath them without aggression or complaint with only the occasional odd hen being willing to go as far as to peck somebody.

LL

Rooster
LL
Hen
LL
Egg
LL
Chick
LL
Adolescent
LL