Average User Rating:
  • Breed Purpose:
    Climate Tolerance:
    All Climates
    Egg Productivity:
    Egg Size:
    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:
    APA/ABA Class:
    Feather Legged
    Grey, Blue, Splash, Partridge, Buff, Black, White are the standard colors with many off standard & derivative colors in existance today

    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.

    Silkie juvenile

    Silkie chick

    Silkie rooster

    Silkie hen

    For more information on Silkies and their owners' and breeders' experiences with them, see our breed discussion here:
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  • Chicken Breed Info:
    Breed Purpose:
    Comb: Walnut
    Broodiness: Frequent
    Climate Tolerance: All Climates

    General Egg Info:
    Egg Productivity:
    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.






starri33, tgodsey, Kgroot and 14 others like this.

Recent User Reviews

    "Fun but not very smart or productive."
    Pros - Great pet, awesome broodies
    Cons - Lacking intelligence, productive abilities, and tolerance in heat or cold.
  2. Chickens4Life101
    "Sweet birds, just not the smartest"
    Pros - Silkies are so so so friendly and love being held!
    Cons - They definitely aren't very intelligent
    I love these birds so much! They are so sweet and gentle, and are great for kids! I love their cute and fluffy appearance! The only problem is that silkies are dumb and can get into trouble some times...
  3. greenleaf
    "Very broody and courageous"
    Pros - Very broody. Courageous if you get the beardless. With the beards they cannot see so it's like another variety.
    Cons - Very broody.
    Purchase Price:
    $1.00 a chick at Tractor Supply

User Comments

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  1. Doubtmii
    I have (8) Varieties From Polish Tolbunt, Silkies & Sizzle smooth a frizzle. I need to get updated photo's of them they are all different not one is the same.
  2. Edietikitiki
    I need silkie fertilize eggs. And one have any
  3. JennMahoney
    I just got Silkies for the first time... any advice? They are 5 weeks old and will be headed out to the coop with their big chicken sisters soon!
  4. Marie7
    sorry to say it but I had a silkie at one time that he was like a lion....he really gives me a good run every time i went into the yard, no clue why he always did that, I give it away because it became out of hand situation
  5. Kluk-Kluk
    I adore silkies!!!!!! They are so friendly and docile. The only setback is how often they go broody - great if you want them to raise some chicks. I had to keep breaking them of the broodiness. But I adore them :love
  6. 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
    1. Erika Koehn
      I have a hen that IS bantam size but my rooster definitely wouldn’t be categorized as bantam
      Erika Koehn, Jan 5, 2019
      Rural-urbanite likes this.
  7. 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
  8. brownie59
    I adore my JoJo
  9. Corys chickens
    I have a silkie and its growing fast
  10. Corys chickens
    I think i am going to buy a silky this friday

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