Silkie

Average User Rating:
4.36905/5,
  • 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. 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
    pasuit likes this.
  2. schulze4512
    5/5,
    "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
    5/5,
    "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:
    4/16/14
    Diannastarr and pasuit like this.

User Comments

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  1. phalenbeck
    My first 3 were friendly, gentle birds. One became fat and waddled to visit. Not broody. The current 3 are fairly friendly, quiet, but not as much as the first group. I also had a splash that all the other girls wanted to kill for some reason. Intregatiog her was a 2 month job. Perhaps the first bunch were better as my flock was smaller at that time. They are a nice, calm quiet talkers but with small eggs are better pets than farm animals. My silky Roo is well behaved. Maybe my brody Cochins beat silkeys to the broody job.
  2. happyhound
    It seems Silkies have a wide range of "normal" for them. Just like people I guess. I have two Silkie hens that lay for about 25 - 50 days at a time and then go broody for about 20-23 days even if no eggs are under them. I have kept careful records of this. They were my most productive layers this winter laying right through the coldest weather and beating my same age SL Wyandotte and Australorp! I just couldn't believe the eggs I was getting from them even in January! They are wonderful free range forages and seem to tolerate both nasty cold and very hot weather. To me they are a wonderful breed that can reproduce naturally - that is a big plus in the chicken world today. Also I have a fantastic and gorgeous blue silkie rooster that takes great care of all the hens and is not aggressive to humans. He is so much fun to have around. So I really like my silkies and the suprising part is that they were substitutions I got from http://www.mypetchicken.com in spring 2010. I am very pleased with the quality of these hatchery chickens.
  3. Suzie
    My first Silkie female didn't get broody until she was 18 months - having said that I have a 6 month old Silkie that is sat on three eggs!
    Suzie
  4. wholewheatchicken
    I can't keep mine from being broody. Even if I won't give them any eggs they still sit for three weeks.
  5. Mommy 2 Wee Ones
    I was a bit bummed out myself. Got two silkies in Oct. 3 weeks later the oldest crowed, but he is very sweet. In Jan the other started crowing, but he is a mean little bugger. He will charge at me, and is now grabbing my pants leg. The sweet one, I can pick up & cuddle with no issues, but OMG the other, I have to chase him around the run to catch him in a corner. I was going to keep him, have 7 chicks that have almost feathered out, that are spending their first night out in the silkie coop. The silkie boys are very nice to the chicks, but I do not like the aggressive behavior of Mr. Nonnie.
  6. NovaAman
    Carefully trim the fluff around the eyes, they won't be as scared then. Part of the problem is they can't see you, the freak out when you touch them.
  7. Maggizzle35
    I just love my silkies. They are the sweetest bird in the coop besides the seabrite.
  8. AnimalLady123
    Absolutely GORGEOUS!!
  9. Fuzz Fuzz
    I agree. Silkies are the most cuddely chickens ever.
    I took my bantam silkies to a fair where we were with our animalclub and they let everybody pet them and sat very nice on there harness and line.
    Someone came to me and asked what kind of rabbit i had with me, and then she was close enough to see, she was shocked to see it were chickens, she liked it and tought they were very funny.
  10. Chickgirl201040
    I have some too and the black splash hen we have is 3 and she can't lay eggs:D

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