Silkie

Average User Rating:
4.37079/5,
  • Breed Purpose:
    Ornamental
    Comb:
    Walnut
    Broodiness:
    Frequent
    Climate Tolerance:
    All Climates
    Egg Productivity:
    Medium
    Egg Size:
    Medium
    Egg Color:
    Light Brown/ white
    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 Size:
    Bantam
    APA/ABA Class:
    Feather Legged
    Color:
    Grey, Blue, Splash, Partridge, Buff, Black, White are the standard colors with many off standard & derivative colors in existance today
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    The Silkie breed was developed in the southeast Asian countries or China. It's named for its atypically fluffy plumage, which is said to feel like silk. The breed has several other unusual qualities, such as black skin and bones, blue earlobes, and five toes on each foot, whereas most other chickens only have four. They are often exhibited in poultry shows and come in various colors. It was valued as a medicinal food item in Asia, 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!

    Nowadays the breed is very popular for the purpose of pet chickens as well as exhibition. They are not good layers, averaging 3 eggs per week, but are known and valued for their exceptional broodiness and are often used for hatching eggs from other breeds. They are also considered very good pet chickens, especially for children and are known for their friendliness and docile temperaments.

    The breed was officially recognized in North America by acceptance into the Standard of Perfection in the first year of publication which was 1874.

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    Silkie juvenile

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    Silkie chick

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    Silkie rooster

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    Silkie hen

    For more information on Silkies and their owners' and breeders' experiences with them, see our breed discussion here:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/chicken-breed-focus-silkie.1048544/
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  • Chicken Breed Info:
    Breed Purpose:
    Ornamental
    Comb: Walnut
    Broodiness: Frequent
    Climate Tolerance: All Climates

    General Egg Info:
    Egg Productivity:
    Medium
    Egg Size: Small/meduim
    Egg Color: Light Brown/white

    Breed Temperament:
    Friendly,Easily handled,Calm,Bears confinement well,Quiet,Docile,can be aggressive but usually friendly

    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 don’t 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.

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    Rooster
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    Hen
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    Egg
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    Chick
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    Adolescent
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Recent User Reviews

  1. FishMtFarm
    5/5,
    "Excellent breed provided they are quality"
    Pros - Quiet, easy keepers, friendly, low maintenance
    Cons - Don’t handle extreme temps well, prone to mites
    I breed silkies and have found that better quality birds have that sweet loving personality. Poorly bred birds tend to be flighty and aggressive. My 6 year old niece can handle all my roosters and they make great fathers even to chicks that aren’t theirs. They aren’t a heavy egg layer tho so definately more of a pet and lawn ornament.
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  2. Alexandra33
    2/5,
    "Not as affectionate as you would expect...."
    Pros - Cute, fluffy, soft, and highly appealing to children.
    Cons - Unfriendly, aggressive.
    So far out of 12 Silkies, I've only ended up with one decently personable individual. Everything I'd ever been told about the breed has turned out to be completely false (in my limited experience, at least), much to my disappointment. Cockerels are human AND hen aggressive as all get out. And, as strange as it may sound, I've received some pretty nasty bites from the fluffy little females. Would never recommend anyone I know get a few to fulfill their desires for loving pets. That said, I'll always have some around for aesthetic purposes. ;)
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    ~Alex
    N F C likes this.
  3. NJ_Tara
    5/5,
    "Great Overview!"
    I read this before bringing home my first silkies - great overview of the breed. Thank you!

User Comments

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  1. Rural-urbanite
    They are NOT bantams. Heehee, along with every other aspect that makes them perhaps the most unique; they ARE a small sized chicken but they are NOT categorized or considered a Bantam Species. Please edit.
    But also, good entry :thumbsup
  2. Sandiemouse
    I have a silkie, still young but she layed about 18 eggs. I thought that was too many for her so I took all but two from her. She seemed fine with what I did. After I found out that those two didn't make it, I waited till she was out of the chicken pen, she didn't see me but I took her eggs that had gone bad. It took her about 3 or 4 days to come out of the chicken coop but she has not layed another one yet, she don't even hardly socialize with the others anymore. What do I do
  3. brownie59
    I adore my JoJo
  4. Corys chickens
    I have a silkie and its growing fast
  5. Corys chickens
    I think i am going to buy a silky this friday
  6. Chicksandme
    I love my silkies and they are the sweetest chickens, friendly, cuddly, fun to watch! I have two 3 yr old hen, one is a white paint smooth silkie hen and the other is buff frizzle silkie hen and I love them so much that I might even breed them. I 14 more silkies to my current mix flock in a separate chicken coop/run, anyways I ended up with 4 boys and 10 girls. The sad thing is I have too many boys, I will need to isolate couple of the boys from the girls or find them a new home.:confused: I love my silkies!!!:love
      brownie59 and pasuit like this.
  7. ChickenGirl.Cluck
    Silkie’s are the best chickens ever
      pasuit likes this.
  8. yardraven
    I am new to Silkies. Great fun. Mad as hatters, very cute, and very friendly. I've kept Jerseys' , Americanas' and Light Sussex. There are always birds more friendly than others, but with the Silkies, almost all are friendly.
      pasuit likes this.
  9. pontserelo
    [MEDIA = youtube] qly1cok5eA8 [/ MEDIA] its very cute breed..i love silkies
      pasuit likes this.
  10. CluckyrulesOK

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