Silkie

Average User Rating:
4.37402/5,
  • 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. 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!
  2. Moonwolf
    5/5,
    "silkie"
    Pros - loving and lovable, adorable, gentle
    Cons - don't know any unless you consider small size a con,lol
    one of the best bird and pet I've ever own highly addictive!!!
  3. Aspen Anderson
    5/5,
    "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:
    $3.00-$4.00
    Purchase Date:
    April 19, 2017
    Saniann04 and pasuit like this.

User Comments

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Frenchmenlove
    I have one named Yoga, I really love Yoga!!! I don't know the sex yet
  5. 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.
  6. Silkie nerd
    My favorite chicken in the WORLD!!!!!!
      Littlefaceza likes this.
  7. shelbyw
    I have a silkie rooster and he is the sweetest rooster I have had :) He also seems very proud of himself at times:D
      Bonnie sue and Magepalm like this.
  8. MageofMist
    I had a Silkie hen go broody and she refused to budge off her nest. I had to bring her food and water as well as take her off the nest every 2 days so she could poop. We also treated her to scrambled egg and black pudding to help keep her weight up.

    I gave her water via a large rabbit water bottle, though it dripped so I paid her semi-regular visits, at the times a hen would normally leave to eat and drink, to give her some water. Though there were times she had stubborn streaks and refused to drink from it, so I put some water in a shallow bowl and put some of her favourite wild bird seed mix in it and wriggled it to get her attention, as she pecked at the seeds, she also drank water.

    Now the eggs hatched, I expected to spend weeks getting her out of broody mode, but it only really took 2 days of her being outside in the sun with her mate and being let back in at dusk. Sadly she wasn't a very good mum regarding the chicks and attacks them when they get too close, the babies see me as their mama, especially the two we needed to assist due to humidity issues, and I have been suffering from 'empty nest syndrome' ever since my quail babies grew up! XD So I happily took the babies under my arm/wing.
      Major Champ likes this.
  9. 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.
  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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