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Silkie

Average User Rating:
4.37262/5,
  • 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
    d3dc30a9_Tulip_Buttercup_Cam_3.jpeg

    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

    81ea9419_Tulip_5monthsold.jpeg
    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/
  • faa34c79_IMG_18.jpeg 925de81c_Romeo45MonthsProfile-1.jpeg 9ed266c3_6725082961_fc2619b60d_b.jpeg 1612b21c__MG_5061.jpeg 80a94164_SAE001.jpeg 20a99a13_P1010327.jpeg 6dc02698_coco1.jpeg c85ebf14_coco.jpeg f23746f5_DSC02415-Version2.jpeg 146f153d_fuzzybutts_3halfmos.jpeg f3e8241d_1-278531_10150979209516534_1433876384_o.jpeg e7cafd66_GEDC0002.jpeg 4ab2ab96_SilkienBabies.jpeg 8d54448d_100_0807.jpeg fbcfbfde_100_0842.jpeg de676352_DSC00829.jpeg 632ba069_IMG_20130128_120401.jpeg 9b25a9cd_IMG_20130128_115125.jpeg b19149c3_IMG_20130128_115629.jpeg 81ea9419_Tulip_5monthsold.jpeg d3dc30a9_Tulip_Buttercup_Cam_3.jpeg c931e734_IMG_9127.jpeg cfaa7b1b_IMG_6253.jpeg e1111426_IMG_6294.jpeg 629306b2_silkie.jpeg d1ab5fef_IMG_2705.jpeg aeb1bf29_2014-07-0110.26.19.jpeg 40bed964_image.jpeg dd49f7af_image.jpeg 1a3b8c74_900x900px-LL-9ae19bee_P1140168.jpeg 29dd774f_DSC_0125.jpeg fa25f727_LittleChickinConserventry1.jpeg 5a2a9cfc_IMG_4959.jpeg 58e8fbc2_350x700px-LL-ade5c745_DSCN0598.jpeg c09f45ee_13298260_1556769711285101_1334779464_n.jpeg 1e87c287_IMG_30.jpeg cd1aaa10_IMG_1.jpeg d4711ddc_IMG_2017.jpeg 44068982_IMG_35581.jpeg

  • 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. HappyDancin'
    4/5,
    "Of course I love my silkies!"
    Pros - Fluffy & adorable. Sweet pets and great mothers. Broody.
    Cons - A bit more upkeep, with the silkie feathers and feathered feet. Broody.
    I love my silkies! This is a great chicken as a pet. They don't "need" as much space, and don't care to be up on a roost. They lay cute little cream colored eggs.

    I specifically fell in love with the breed when my smooth silkie became a mother...WOW! She is SUCH a great mom...I've heard over and over that silkies are the best broodies. It's true! She opened my eyes even further to the complexities of chickens. She is so loving...and it's amazing to watch her teach the babies all the little life-lessons they need to know.

    I have two full silkies, and two silkie mixes. Of course, I love them all. My experiences have shown me that Silkies are personable - they want to be close to their people. Sweet, cuddly and soft.
  2. EK1955
    5/5,
    ""
    Cons - None
  3. MRS McKlucky
    4/5,
    "Nice review of these weird looking lovelies."
    Pros - Really entertaining, don't require large runs if space is a premium, quiet(they make a weird sort of duck like HONK), lovely as a pet. Fun to bathe.
    Cons - Feathers get in their way but can be trimmed , may need bathing by owner from time to time.
    I like your article. I became the proud owner of a white silkie and partridge silkie(Nugget and Pom Pom) they are quite shy but friendly.

    I'd just like to add that they can't see past their face feathers, so I trim my girls facial plumes which helps them be less skittish as they can see and decide what's a threat and whats not.
    The nature of their feathers means they get quite grubby, my girls have a warm bath ad cool blow dry once every two to three weeks in baby shampoo.
    This is when you really get to see their black skin, as you don't really see it any other time.
    They are lovely birds and obviously not kept for their egg production but because they're cute.
    My silkies are rubbish at chicken self defense, hence they have a separate day run to live at their pace and are transferred to main coop at dusk for safety.
    I've also got 3 silkie chicks that my broody maran/rhode island cross hatched for me. I'd like to think your article encourages more chicken keepers of flocks for fun, to have a couple of silkies in the mix.
    Overall:
    5

User Comments

To post comments, simply sign up and become a member!
  1. 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
  2. ChickenGirl.Cluck
    Silkie’s are the best chickens ever
  3. 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.
  4. pontserelo
    [MEDIA = youtube] qly1cok5eA8 [/ MEDIA] its very cute breed..i love silkies
  5. CluckyrulesOK
  6. EllaAndHerChickens
    I got a Silkie chick a couple years ago and my little brother freaked out because it had five toes instead of four like the rest of the chicks we had. I had to explain that Silkies have five toes along with some other breeds.
      Thomas Lamprogiorgos likes this.
  7. Thomas Lamprogiorgos
    The purpose of the breed can't be just ornamental.
    It is one of the best Spring layers.
    The best incubator for quails.
    It produces black meat and bones.
    It can be used in magic potions.
  8. TheSillyDingo
    Silkies are by far my most favorite. I would consider their egg size small for a chicken though, as they seem to be smaller in size than the medium eggs from other breeds.
      Thomas Lamprogiorgos likes this.
  9. Happy Henny
    So cute and sweet
  10. savannah5255
    I have a silkie chick!!! I'm so excited!! I have read all about them and wish I had got more of the breed! :)
      Diannastarr and Littlefaceza like this.

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