I'm one of those people who are not just satisfied with a "Because they just do" sort of answer. I want details! It has really been bugging me since I got my silkies. WHY do these guys have 5 toes? What purpose does that extra toe serve? Why is it still hanging around down there? Where did it come from? Why do the rest of the chickens only have 4 toes? Did silkies come from a different species of bird in china that no longer exists, or is it still descended from the red jungle fowl like everyone else? Why do they have black skin? is that associated with their 5 toes? Evolutionarily speaking, WHY?! is it sort of like a polydactly cat? Someone just saw it and was like.... "Hmmm... I like it. It's weird. it's wonderful. Lets make more of these!" I have done a lot of casual searching, always come up empty handed.
I have been around chickens my whole life, but sadly i am not very educated about them. The only information I have acquired over the years was good ol fashioned country know-how. And as I'm sure you are all aware, a lot of that information is usually inaccurate or outdated. This is my first time to have chickens AND the internet. And I love to learn new things. So anyone who has any answers, lay them on me, I am ready for some knowledge!