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. Aspen Anderson
    "Too Fluffy, Too Loving, Too Funny!!!"
    Pros - Extremely loving, hilarious, very very very cuddly!!!
    Cons - Can get a little clingy, extremely broody and extremely stubborn, not the best egg layer, somewhat high maintenance
    I cannot tell you how much I love my precious little floof princess.

    Floof bab.png

    She is the biggest snuggle bug I have ever owned. She loves snuggling more than she loves to eat or poop! (She honestly hasn't pooped on me in ages *knocks vigorously on wood*.) She's also the only chicken I've ever owned who actually likes to be pet. I can put her to sleep so fast by simply cuddling with her and stroking her fluffy little afro.
    She's also sooo hilarious. She loves her dirt baths so much, she doesn't notice when she's throwing dirt into her best friend's face. :gig

    She can be a little stinker, though. She'll pick fights with all of our other chickens except for our smallest hen - her best friend - so we have to keep her and her friend separated from the regular hens.

    This could just be specific to my silkie, but she's not too keen on heights. This could prove as a benefit, though. Silkies may be small, but their wings are not made for flying, so they can't jump very high.
    They also can't see very well. Their afros - and beards if you have a bearded one - get into their eyes a lot. I do my best to keep them out, but I don't have much luck (though she does like when I stroke her cheeks to get her beard out of her eyes). Most people will tie their silkies' afros up, but I honestly have no idea how as my silkie loathes any accessories. She pecks at them all.

    Their plumage is adorable and soft but do keep in mind that it's a lot like cat fur. Thick cat fur. It gets everywhere and can get very dirty very easily. I still haven't figured out how to bathe her correctly, but once I do, I'll definitely start bathing her regularly. (Although it's not entirely required.)

    My biggest complaint, however, is their broodiness. My silkie is going through her extremely stubborn and extremely broody phase. I love my silkie to death but this is definitely a problem. Breaking a broody silkie is like breaking an iron bar with your bear hands. It can't be done! The irony is that they don't lay very well. Their eggs are definitely adorable and small, but if you're looking for an egg layer, this isn't the breed to go for. If you're looking for a mother hen, then absolutely 100% get silkies!!! They love cuddling and they love mothering (my silkie started mothering her best friend at 1 month old!). They get even more cuddly when they're broody, so that could also be good. While I would like my silkie to play around, get exercise and sustenance, I do love a good silkie hug!

    All in all, silkies are great. They are literally the best pet chicken ever. So loving, not very skittish at all, very comical, and just super adorable. They're not good egg layers, but they're eggs are still fun. They're extremely broody, but if you want a mother hen (or more snuggles) then that's perfect. They're not even very poopy! At least mine isn't. If you're looking for a pet chicken, then silkie it is!!!
    Purchase Price:
    Purchase Date:
    April 19, 2017
    pasuit likes this.
  2. schulze4512
    "Luv my Frizzles!"
    Pros - Beautiful and such funny personalities!
    Cons - Can't think of a single one except very small eggs
    I have a whole flock of frizzles and absolutely adore these chickens. They are so fun to watch, super friendly, and happy to see me when I come out to visit. My kids often have chicks sitting with them while they read a book or are playing outside. They have been terrific mothers and have raised 20 chicks successfully! I love their sassy "good looks"! If you just want to enjoy chickens for the pure love of looking at them and interacting with them...these are the chickens for you!
    pasuit likes this.
  3. HayDiddlesHens
    "The best breed I've had"
    Pros - Sweet, good mothers, and funny
    Cons - Not smart and get dirty
    These birds are the best breed i've had so far. I highly recommend them. Once I got my first batch I was hooked and made a business in breeding them. Great moms and very sweet. The only thing I have to say is that the buff silkies are a little crazy.
    Purchase Price:
    Usually 10.00 a chick
    Purchase Date:
    Diannastarr and pasuit like this.

User Comments

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  1. 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! :)
  2. ChickenyChickeny
    aw they are cute\
    does anyone know if they do well in canada?/
    like can they handle the cold?/
  3. DossFunnyFarm
    Do male & female both have the bright blue cheeks?
  4. Bonnie sue
    my rhode island reds do well with silky and my barred rocks
  5. drumstick diva
    tend to be skittish. Bullied often by other breeds
  6. Frenchmenlove
    I have one named Yoga, I really love Yoga!!! I don't know the sex yet
  7. chickfilletNOT
    Way too broody, she won't leave the nest and gets so skinny. Can't break her broodiness. Very cute though.
    1. Newchikntown
      We had a bantam cochin like this, gave her a baby aspirin in a corn kernal and after a few days she was out of it.
      Newchikntown, Jul 15, 2017
      DossFunnyFarm likes this.
  8. VolailleAmant
    I love them! I have 3, only 1 hen though, she is a Black Bearded Silkie. She started laying in January. What a great breed! I am gonna show her this year. My roosters are protective, but sometimes attack my ankles :( Not too happy about that.
    All in all, love em!
  9. Mylied
    I have her in with two showgirls. In the pen are also two young showgirl/silkie babies that I'm growing out for someone and three easter eggers I also was growing out. They all get along well. I'd be nervous of putting a silkie in with full sized birds they weren't raised with, but I don't think they care what breed their flockmates are.
  10. Cerise1924
    Cute! How does your one Silkie do without others of her kind? Has she made friends with another bantam? Does she have any LF friends? I am thinking of paring down my Silkie group to just one, but I don't want her to be lonely.

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