Silkie

Average User Rating:
4.3719/5,
  • 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
    The silkie chicken was developed in the southeast asian countries or china.It was valued as a medicinal food item 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! The breed was officially recognized in North America by acceptance in to the Standard of Perfection in the first year of publication which was 1874.
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  • 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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emad, Timmy777, silkieRaiser and 3 others like this.

Recent User Reviews

  1. Indyshent
    4/5,
    "Pleasant, funny little birds"
    Pros - Adorable, great conversation pieces, children love them and they tend to like kids, typically quiet, easily tamed
    Cons - Don't usually lay many eggs, can be susceptible to cold due to feather type and small size
    I haven't actually met many of the "bantam" Silkies as most of the ones I've had were of the "meat type" which actually does exist, surprisingly enough. Most of my Silkies have been comparable in mass to Leghorns (technically a large fowl at 4 pounds) or even Plymouth Rocks and other dual-purpose breeds. My heaviest rooster right now is probably one of the Silkie guys even though I've got a half-Marans head rooster (probably 7 lbs but he might surprise me if I actually weighed him). All of mine were purchased as "bantams" from various feed stores.

    I've never had a Silkie hen go broody. I'm possibly the only person who's never experienced the famed broodiness of Silkies, but I'm sure my current lone pullet will rear her broody head this spring. However, for now, the Silkie pullet is actually my best layer and gives me one tinted (little darker than cream colored) medium sized egg almost every day. She's a darling, quiet bird who gets picked on by my old-timers and more assertive birds, and this has been typical of all Silkies I've met--regardless of size or gender.

    Crests can impair vision and cause the bird to not notice threats or to become startled easily. Crests also serve as a hotbed for lice, so check them often. My Silkies have all been fastidious groomers and love dustbaths, so I've yet to have any problems with lice on them, but others aren't so lucky.

    Their feathered legs can make treating for mites more difficult, and may cause mud and water to freeze on them and cause frostbite. Try to keep their ground as dry and clean as possible.

    Roosters can be surprisingly gentle with chicks in my experience. All of mine have been dolls with chicks. I've yet to meet a mean one, even though I've heard of a couple out there. All of mine have been at worst skittish creatures who are afraid of being picked on, but they've universally responded very well to gentle handling and treats. Children love meeting Silkies, which are about the most interesting and adorable chicken breed one can find.

    Silkie crosses with normally feathered birds typically yield birds with very soft feathers and dark skin. Polydactyly is often a dominant trait (depends on what causes it) so expect extra toes to crop up in offspring.
    Purchase Price:
    4.00
    Purchase Date:
    2015
  2. ProbablyDusk
    4/5,
    "A Small Silkie Review"
    Pros - -As a breed overall, they are the most docile by nature.
    -Hens lay at least 100 eggs a year.
    -Are very good in containment.
    -Favorite pet chicken.
    -Are adorable as heck.
    Cons - -The hens go broody often, laying not many eggs as a result.
    -They are a bantam breed, and a small one at that, not providing much meat.
    -Are really only useful as a pet, or as a hen to use when an incubator is not an option.
    Overall, Silkies are a good chicken to have if you hold no incubators, those incubators are busy, or if you need a friendly chicken to enjoy.
    I also give this review to just share some general information for future Silkie farmers.

    The roosters' temperament is very docile, them attacking things have often originated from the normal rooster response to defend the hens, or to check on the flock every now and again.

    They are not very flighty, and their feathers do not trap heat, keep heat out, or shed water. Due to that, they do not do well in extreme climates, both cold or hot.

    I believe that the Silkie hens are of most use if you want to raise other birds for it to take care of. They are VERY broody, often regarded as one of the broodiest breeds of chickens, and are often foster mothers for other eggs from other hens. They are eggselent mothers! The roosters are great too, as they normally do not cause many problems within the flock.
    Purchase Price:
    N/A
    Purchase Date:
    N/A
  3. Chicken lover 123
    5/5,
    "i totally want one"

User Comments

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  1. pasuit
    I have several silkies along with 4 other breeds. I've been try ing to post some of them for sell but haven't been able to figure this newer and better website out. I love BYC but need instructions. HELP!!!!!!!
  2. Bonnie sue
    Well all I figured out what the problem was with my white silky, name silky, lol and why she always ran from the rooster and attacked the other hens, lol she is a rooster, never really paid attention to her feet, silky's have 5 toes but he has 5 and a spurs also his comb goes around his head not straight. I didn't want to believe he was a rooster but when I got him they said that he was a hen and none of the male things were there to tell him apart. I guess its ok now, I do have a lot to learn yet lol, buts that's why were all here together so we can help and learn together. Thanks guys.......
  3. Sharon Barrett
    I am trying to get my hen to become broody she has 13 eggs now but won't sit on them. I have stacked the nest with straw on the out side to give her space to be alone. The other hens cant' see her when she is on the nest. What else can I do to get her to set on the eggs and hatch them.
  4. DossFunnyFarm
    Do male & female both have the bright blue cheeks?
  5. Bonnie sue
    my rhode island reds do well with silky and my barred rocks
  6. drumstick diva
    tend to be skittish. Bullied often by other breeds
  7. Frenchmenlove
    I have one named Yoga, I really love Yoga!!! I don't know the sex yet
  8. 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.
  9. Silkie nerd
    My favorite chicken in the WORLD!!!!!!
  10. 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!

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