Silkie

Average User Rating:
4.37891/5,
  • 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/
  • 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. Shorty22366
    5/5,
    "Silkies"
    Pros - Sweet, good natured and very loving.
    Cons - Some boosters are extremely mean.
    mudgrl92 and BlackHackle like this.
  2. chicken-rooquacks
    5/5,
    "#1 prize for most docile"
    Pros - -sweet, loving, & extremely easy-going, even in the males.
    -broody
    -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
    5/5,
    "Silkies"
    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. smalltownflock
    I love my silkies, I have 3 hens and they are all giving me an egg a day right now.
  2. 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.
  3. kissezmychicken
    I have 11 silkies, none have bug problems, none need extra care and they are all friendly. Easiest birds to raise!!!
  4. DWilkins
    We just hatched three silkie chicks.( waiting on a 4th) Have always had Silkies. Love them! I lost my silkie rooster a couple weeks ago, Oly was some where between 9-10 years of age.He had such a personality..I miss him.:( This is a wonderful breed.The rooster and hen I currently have come running towards me when ever they hear my voice.
    1. Bonnie sue
      I'm sorry for your loss.
      Bonnie sue, Nov 1, 2017
      Diannastarr and pasuit like this.
    2. Bonnie sue
      I'm sorry for your loss.
      Bonnie sue, Nov 1, 2017
      Diannastarr and pasuit like this.
    3. Jennifer Cappi Williams
      I lost my dear Rhode Island Red roo to a dog attack (along with his buddy the duck) and I went and got a Paint Silkie roo for my hen and he has been the best therapy. I was crying everyday after loosing Gilly and Sammy.... but Georgie is my new love. Just a poof of floof.
      Jennifer Cappi Williams, Dec 23, 2017
      Diannastarr and pasuit like this.
  5. 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.
      Littlefaceza, pasuit and Diannastarr like this.
    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.
  6. 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
  7. kissezmychicken
    None of my 11 silkies are skittish..quite the opposite actually..
      MiriPoe, Diannastarr and pasuit like this.
  8. tigercountry2023
    Silkies are awesome. I had a white one named Salt, and she was the nicest out of all my chickens. Died quite old as well.
    1. Littlefaceza
      HI! How old was Salt when she passed on?
      Littlefaceza, Jan 12, 2018
      tigercountry2023 likes this.
    2. tigercountry2023
      @Littlefaceza I'm not exactly sure because it was quite a few years ago, but I think 10-11
      tigercountry2023, Jan 23, 2018
  9. 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.
  10. 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.

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