Silkie

Average User Rating:
4.38132/5,
  • 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/
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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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Recent User Reviews

  1. Featheredfluffs
    5/5,
    "Such funny puffballs!"
    Pros - Silly and goregous, good moms, relatively good layers, great pets
    Cons - Not the brightest, mine is quite loud and hates anything that is above her (she can’t see that much above her due to a giant face Pom Pom.
    What sweet birds! I just got my second silkie, and I am loving her! Such sass and silliness in one bird, it’s straight out of a doctor suess book! I highly recommend them, it’s so fun to have one in your yard. They really make great pets! I highly recommend giving them lengthy aristocratic names, it seems quite important due to their looks and personality. Mine, for example, is named Mona Lisa le poulet de Egglantine (an eglantine is a type of rose). Seriously, there is so much fun to be had with these fuzz muffins.
    Purchase Price:
    $10 for a 2 year old hen

    images

    1. D21FFA4B-59BF-4675-929A-5EA52853E65E.jpeg
    NorthernChick1 likes this.
  2. Shorty22366
    5/5,
    "Silkies"
    Pros - Sweet, good natured and very loving.
    Cons - Some roosters are extremely mean.
  3. chicken-rooquacks
    5/5,
    "#1 prize for most docile"
    Pros - -sweet, loving, & extremely easy-going, even in the males.
    -broody
    -attractive, unique.
    Cons - -many health problems. vaulted skull, cross-beak, in some cases crest inhibits proper vision. Feathers require special setup.
    -low egg production, lays smaller eggs.
    TEMPERAMENT: The most docile breed overall. Even the roosters are very kind and patient with hens, children, and other pets. Temperament-wise, you couldn't ask for a better bird.

    They also are extremely broody. Not only do they make great incubators, but great mothers as well. they will sometimes even adopt chicks from another chicken's nest that have already hatched. They have been known to try and hatch golf balls, giant fowl eggs, and even feces.

    HEALTH & PROPER CARE: - Silkies have many health problems. vaulted skull, cross-beak, in some cases crest inhibits proper vision. Their fluffy feathers cannot protect them against cold if the feathers get wet. Silkies require access to a shelter at all times. They are most fragile when they're very young.

    EGG PRODUCTION: Lays smaller type eggs. when they're not broody, they typically lay with great consistency. however, since they tend to go broody quite often, don't expect your hens to lay many eggs/ year in comparison to other breeds. this breed is best used for natural incubators and mothering young, rather than high egg production.

    HISTORY: with those fluffy feathers, what's not to love? one might think the silkie was created simply for enjoyment alongside it's docile nature. however, this breed was actually NOT created to be a pet. Originally, they were bred for meat. Breeders wished to create a bald chicken, therefor removing the feather-plucking step in processing the meat. one of their first steps towards a bald bird was the Silkie. This beautiful accident, however, quickly caught on and thus overtime, the silkie was bred for ornamental use more than consumption. Over time, selective breeding decreased the silkie's overall stature,& is technically considered a bantam.
    MROO, BlackHackle and Happy Henny like this.

User Comments

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  1. 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.
  2. Silkie nerd
    My favorite chicken in the WORLD!!!!!!
      Littlefaceza likes this.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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!
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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..
  10. 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

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