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.







Recent User Reviews

  1. Shorty22366
    Pros - Sweet, good natured and very loving.
    Cons - Some boosters are extremely mean.
    mudgrl92 and BlackHackle like this.
  2. chicken-rooquacks
    "#1 prize for most docile"
    Pros - -sweet, loving, & extremely easy-going, even in the males.
    -attractive, unique.
    Cons - -many health problems. vaulted skull, cross-beak, in some cases crest inhibits proper vision. Feathers require special setup.
    -low egg production, lays smaller eggs.
    TEMPERAMENT: The most docile breed overall. Even the roosters are very kind and patient with hens, children, and other pets. Temperament-wise, you couldn't ask for a better bird.

    They also are extremely broody. Not only do they make great incubators, but great mothers as well. they will sometimes even adopt chicks from another chicken's nest that have already hatched. They have been known to try and hatch golf balls, giant fowl eggs, and even feces.

    HEALTH & PROPER CARE: - Silkies have many health problems. vaulted skull, cross-beak, in some cases crest inhibits proper vision. Their fluffy feathers cannot protect them against cold if the feathers get wet. Silkies require access to a shelter at all times. They are most fragile when they're very young.

    EGG PRODUCTION: Lays smaller type eggs. when they're not broody, they typically lay with great consistency. however, since they tend to go broody quite often, don't expect your hens to lay many eggs/ year in comparison to other breeds. this breed is best used for natural incubators and mothering young, rather than high egg production.

    HISTORY: with those fluffy feathers, what's not to love? one might think the silkie was created simply for enjoyment alongside it's docile nature. however, this breed was actually NOT created to be a pet. Originally, they were bred for meat. Breeders wished to create a bald chicken, therefor removing the feather-plucking step in processing the meat. one of their first steps towards a bald bird was the Silkie. This beautiful accident, however, quickly caught on and thus overtime, the silkie was bred for ornamental use more than consumption. Over time, selective breeding decreased the silkie's overall stature,& is technically considered a bantam.
    BlackHackle and Happy Henny like this.
  3. Gillybean05
    Pros - Sweet, kind, loving, and fluffy
    Cons - Not the best egg production
    Silkies are great chickens to have. Every chicken owner should get one!
    BlackHackle and Diannastarr like this.

User Comments

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  1. Happy Henny
    So cute and sweet
  2. 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.
  3. ChickenyChickeny
    aw they are cute\
    does anyone know if they do well in canada?/
    like can they handle the cold?/
  4. Ace 1225
    I love my silkies, and don't see our farm without them! They have a reputation for not laying well but I get eggs almost daily, if not every other day. The roosters are sweet, & funny. They are good broodies and great mothers.
    1. pasuit
      Mine always lay well unless the're broody. If you don't want more chicks it's always a fight to the finish. I usually lose.
      pasuit, Apr 9, 2018
      ChickenyChickeny and Ace 1225 like this.
  5. smalltownflock
    I love my silkies, I have 3 hens and they are all giving me an egg a day right now.
  6. CynthiaN
    I'm very new to the chicken world and have decided to start with 4 chickens. I live in East Tenn and they will not be free range. I've decided on a Buff Orpington, Rhode Island Red and Ameraucana. I really want my 4th chick to be a silkie bantam. I don't care if it's a poor layer or if it gets broody and I have no desire to eat any of them. My concern is the weather and what kind of relationship it will have with the other chicks. Weather here can be really hot in the summer and can have some very cold winter days with occasional snow. Any advice on me getting the silkie?
      pasuit and Diannastarr like this.
    1. pasuit
      I love silkies. The only concern with me is I've had is that sometimes the have a vitamin e deficiency. It's fairly easy to treat but takes a little one on one. It's a gene deficiency. I've had 4 of them with it and I've been raising them for a while now. All the info you need is on this site. Just do a search for vitamin e deficiency and it will pull up with instructions. Good luck with your new flock.
      pasuit, Apr 9, 2018
      CynthiaN likes this.
  7. Sandra Verbreyt
    My silkies are called Babs and Margo. They are both very friendly . Babs has only been broody once but with Margo its a regular occurence and Babs does not like her too much when she is broody. Our silkies are free range and have the freedom of oour large garden but are put back n the coop in the evening for safety from predators. Babs lays every day but at the moment Margo is broody AGAIN and so has not been laying. Excellent breed for children our grandchildren adore them and they like the children. :)
      pasuit and Diannastarr like this.
  8. rehctelf
    Hello all,
    Can someone tell me if there is a standard breed of Silkie? I had/have bantams, and then purchased a chick from a friend and now that it is grown up, the Silkie is a lot larger than my original bantams. Any and all information is greatly appreciated. Thanks.
  9. Bonnie sue
    does anyone know why the tips of the chickens comb are white? is it they got to cold?
    1. pasuit
      could possibly be frostbite if you're in a cold climate
      pasuit, Feb 1, 2018
    2. HayDiddlesHens
      could be dust... did you try and wipe it with a wet cloth?
      HayDiddlesHens, Mar 30, 2018
    3. ChickenyChickeny
      frostbite or dryness
      ChickenyChickeny, Apr 11, 2018
  10. kissezmychicken
    None of my 11 silkies are skittish..quite the opposite actually..
      MiriPoe, Diannastarr and pasuit like this.

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