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. RaptorSilkies
    "Our Favorites"
    Pros - Sweet temperament, wonderful with kids, excellent mothers, good layers
    Cons - Defenseless, small eggs
    It was a while before we tried this breed. However, after we did we ended up giving away all of our other chickens and going with only silkies. We love them that much! We couldn’t keep them with other chickens because they are completely defenseless and don’t seem to understand the pecking order. I have met one or two mean silkies. However all of the others that I have ever known and all of the ones we have ever had have been total sweethearts. Including the roosters. We completely love them. Also, they’re pretty good little egg layers.
    Purchase Price:
    Purchase Date:
    Lucyhughes82 likes this.
  2. gcarmack2001
    Pros - fluffy, pretty, cute, unique
    Cons - not as friendly as you'd think, not good egg layers
    I've been in the chicken business for a while now, and we originally started by purchasing some chicks from Atwoods. We would randomly grab whatever we thought was cute and amongst those were some Silkies. We have branched into purebred Silkies since then and though they have their good qualities, I feel that the bad ones outweigh them.
    I'm always seeing how Silkies are the friendliest, sweetest birds you have ever met. True--I've discovered that my most human-friendly birds were Silkies. Unfortunately, most of them are not like that. I didn't socialize with mine as much when they were chicks, so they ended up being a little skittish, but when I did they still weren't the greatest.
  3. Brahma Chicken5000
    Pros - Very friendly, docile, good layer, broody
    Cons - Small eggs, broody, may be picked on by large fowl chicken breeds
    I loved my silkies. My black silkie pullet would lay a small tinted egg almost every day and she was so sweet. My black silkie cockerel was great at alerting the flock to potential predators and he was never human aggressive. I would recommend silkies to anyone who has young children, someone with limited space, someone who isn’t picky about the amount or size of eggs, or just as a breed to have. Silkies are great little lovable bundles of joy. A word of caution though: I have heard of people keeping large fowl and bantams together without incident, but I personally didn’t and when I would let both of my small flocks out one of my leghorn pullets would challenge my black silkie cockerel. Also silkies have a vaulted skull and if they get pecked on the head it can cause problems.

User Comments

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  1. DossFunnyFarm
    Do male & female both have the bright blue cheeks?
  2. Bonnie sue
    my rhode island reds do well with silky and my barred rocks
  3. drumstick diva
    tend to be skittish. Bullied often by other breeds
  4. drumstick diva
    alot of skittish ones - tend to be bullied by other breeds
      tigercountry2023 likes this.
  5. Bonnie sue
    I have a all white silky, her name is silky lol.... she is about16wks and has started laying light cream/light brn eggs now. she runs around like wild thing and seems alittle crazy so different from other breeds I have. She has gotten where she is attacking my granddaughter when we go to collect all the hens eggs, not sure why she does this. We held her a lot and still do when we catch her. she so runs from my rooster it is the funniest thing to watch but he keeps going after her. Is there anything that will stop her from attacking her without being mean to silky? more cuddling or ????? thanks guys
      tigercountry2023 likes this.
  6. ChickenNoob2
    Ive just moved to Tennessee and am shopping for a bit of land i can have some silkies among other breeds.
    What are some other docile breeds that would be good egg layers that would get along with them?
      Bonnie sue and Yingbabe28 like this.
    1. SkyMarie
      I have orpingtons and they are very gentle as are my dominiquers. Or maybe they are barred rocks, I can't tell the difference! I have mixed silkies with orpingtons with success. I'm in Tennessee too! This is a great climate for these girls.
      SkyMarie, Sep 1, 2017
      Princess Leia and Bonnie sue like this.
  7. ChickenNoob2
    Ive just moved to Tennessee and am shopping for a bit of land i can have some silkies among other breeds.
    What are some other docile breeds that would be good egg layers that would get along with them?
      Bonnie sue likes this.
  8. Frenchmenlove
    I have one named Yoga, I really love Yoga!!! I don't know the sex yet
  9. 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.
  10. Silkie nerd
    My favorite chicken in the WORLD!!!!!!
      Littlefaceza likes this.

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