Pros: Good foragers, hardy, very productive layers when not broody, don't need an incubator with these birds
Cons: I had mine "sexed" from an online chick hatchery, well they got it right 50% of the time. Don't bother to try to sex them as chicks.
I have a small flock and have been keeping very good records on the amount of eggs my birds have been laying since August 19th 2011 until today Jan. 28, 2012. These birds were born May 18, 2010 and so all birds recorded below are exactly the same age. Please also note the Silkies were the first to start laying eggs. One more note, during the coldest part of these recorded days it is the Silkies that are producing almost an egg per day. During the entire month of January (so far) the Silkies have each laid the most with Alice laying 20 and Doris laying 19!! The Australorp laid 8 and the Wyandotte laid 5. As you can imagine the Silkies also have the biggest appetites right now as well.
Australorp (Mayfred) number of eggs = 84
Silver Laced Wyandotte (Elsie) number of eggs = 40
White Silkie #1 (Alice) number of eggs = 71
White Silkie #2 (Doris) number of eggs = 61
I have been so impressed by these small Silkies since I started recorded their activities I am now a big fan. I also think it is a plus that a backyard chicken such as the Silkie does go broody and can reproduce without intervention by humans. Isn't that what they are supposed to do?
We have a plucky blue Silkie Rooster, named Madeline, as he was supposed to be a pullet. He is the perfect rooster for us b/c he is very good with the hens and is NOT an attack-happy rooster to people. Occasionally he will attack or chase one of us but it is pretty mild and just kind of funny since he is so small. He always shows the hens where the best treats are and makes sure they eat before he does. We also think he is just gorgeous.
We had another black Silkie Rooster named Colonel Tedward Featherbaum but he found a nice new home since the coop wasn't big enough for both he and Madeline.