Silkie

Average User Rating:
4.36885/5,
  • 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.
  • 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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pasuit, emad, Timmy777 and 4 others like this.

Recent User Reviews

  1. Ashley Hutsell
    3/5,
    "Cute, but need a lot of extra care"
    Pros - Smallish, fun to look at, goes broody constantly if you need her to incubate other chickens' eggs. Quiet and incredibly docile. Would be great as a pet for kids.
    Cons - Fuzzy feathers get dirty easily, be prepared for eye problems and leg mites. Don't lay themselves at all. Need extra care in cold weather. Not very intelligent or sociable. The opposite of a utility bird.
    I got my first silkie over a year ago and we won't be buying another after her. She's had an ongoing problem with scaly leg mites and her fluffy legs are difficult to treat. I've also noticed she stays dirtier than our chickens with regular feathers and needs more bathing. Because of their facial fuzz it's also easy for them to get eye infections that you'll have trouble noticing. Can become essentially "blind" if you don't keep their head fuzz trimmed away from the eyes and will have trouble finding food, because of the fluff.

    Could just be our silkie, but they seem like loners, almost like a different species of bird, and the other chickens aren't very friendly towards her. She roosts alone and on cold nights we have to pick her up to put her in the warm coop with the other hens. Just a very weird bird that needs a ton of upkeep, and not really my favorite.
    pasuit and GoldenCometKeeper like this.
  2. Ashley McDaniel
    5/5,
    "Best Breed Of Them All"
    Pros - Gorgeous, docile, friendly, extremely broody, fluffy, cute crow, protective over their own, great with kids, great for 1st time chicken owners, hardy, can withstand cold weather.
    Cons - In my experience, the roosters can be very aggressive towards other roosters, especially smaller, weaker ones.
    Overall an excellent choice. I have small children and they are able to hold my silkies and pet them. They make the perfect pet. My roo, Romeo, sleeps with my cat, Jasmine, in our garage every night. If you're looking for a fun, fluffy, cute, friendly pet or if you need a broody hen to hatch your eggs, no matter what breed, then you've got to get a silkie!!! 20171228_165226.jpg 20171228_165134.jpg 20171228_165128.jpg 20171228_165012.jpg 20171228_164838.jpg
    Purchase Price:
    5-10
    Purchase Date:
    October 2017
    Silkie_lady_, Littlefaceza and pasuit like this.
  3. 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
    Littlefaceza and pasuit like this.

User Comments

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  1. I Love Layers
    Yes they are silkies and everything I wrote is true about them. Raised them as chicks, they were handled quite a bit but not to much.
    @TheTwoRoos and @allosaurusrock please do not assume I did not have adequate living areas or an incorrect area for chicks, I had them in a seperated area in the coop. I let the chicks and broody out under my supervision, none of my bigger hens bug the chicks I have ever had and actually act like second mothers, I looked away for 2 seconds not even kidding and a silkie hen had run over and was killing a chick and I do not mean pecking it once on the head I mean flinging it in the air. At this point the broody called all the chicks under her and as I was trying to grab the silkie hen she started making a huge commotion as always and the other silkie hen comes over and killed another chick. THERE WAS ABSOLUTELY NO REASON FOR THEM TO DO THIS AT ALL
      Bonnie sue likes this.
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Lacrystol
    I have had an aggressive male, but technically he wasn't aggressive, he was actually protecting his hen while she was sitting on eggs. I broke him from this agressiveness. He's the sweetest boy now...
    Silkies are 100% dedicated to hatching babies, I had one sit for 2 months I finally had to hatch some out for her...

    This review is a huge shocker, Silkies are not that noise and do live up to there expectations. Perhaps you didn't have a silkie and someone else was doing the nasty deed..
  6. silkieRaiser
    did you raise them from chicks? in my experience if you handle them a lot as chicks they end up being a lot more friendly
  7. JS69135
    How do you really feel? Ha! Note to self -- no silkies.
  8. allosaurusrock
    Wait- you put chicks in with them when they weren't broody? They don't just magically go broody when they see chicks.
  9. Sevanson Woods
    Weird....but some really are anomalies. I had that problem with my sebrights. I hand raised them, socialized them, but when they became old enough for mating, my sweet little banty roos became little devils...pecking at me whenever they got the chance, trying to challenge & chase me (or anyone)-especially if I wore bright colors, loose clothes, or scarf, they were like little bulls-while the same little hens were as sweet as sugar. Anyway, I put the baddest boy in solitary confinement...(alone in a big dog kennel)...til I figured out what to do with him (I considered a stew pot but prefer vegetarian). Anyway, I began taking him out & holding him regularly, giving treats by hand, but at the first aggressive peck/or challenge, he'd get put right back (gently) in the kennel...Never hurting, scaring, or being rough with them-as (not unlike children) that would only traumatize, stimulate their defenses, & encourage more bad behavior. Believe it or not, after a month or two, he was fine. In fact, if he ever got picked on by the bigger roos while they re-acclimated, he'd run to me for protection. Then, a couple months later I went out of town, for about three weeks, & had an experienced family regularly looking in on them & collecting their eggs. By the time I returned, I found that not only had the banty roos returned to their aggressive behaviors but now my big sweet Orpington roo had become a big monster as well; & some of my "cuddle muffin" hens had now become aloof & much more timid. Now, they don't seem to have much memory capability, need frequent socialization/human interaction, but I do believe there could be much psychology going on as well. I'm no animal behaviorist, but do wonder if there's any chance someone (especially kids) may have been rather loud, scary, or too rough with yours? It's amazing how much an effect we can have on them, how much they can effect one another, & how different their own individual personalities can be. Anyway, hope it gets better.
  10. kajira
    Also - my Silkie(s) average 4-6 eggs a week, same with my cochins. When they are broody, they go broody for 3-4 months if I don't break them of it.

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