1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Silkie

Average User Rating:
4.36207/5,
  • 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.

    [​IMG]

    Rooster
    [​IMG]

    Hen
    [​IMG]

    Egg
    [​IMG]

    Chick
    [​IMG]

    Adolescent
    [​IMG]
Lauren Kim and Silkie nerd like this.

Recent User Reviews

  1. GldnValleyHens
    4/5,
    "Silkies are awesome"
    Pros - Adorable, gentle, super funny to watch, friendly, good mothers
    Cons - like most ornamentals, not good layers, get cold easily
    We had a Paint Silkie rooster named Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Amadeus for short. We got him for free from a local silkie breeder who had too many roosters. He was an awesome chicken! Everyone loved him and guests were wowed over him. When he ran through the yard skipping and hopping in that hilarious way, we laughed so hard. He was pretty good to his girls, but not very successful at mating with them. I don't know if he ever actually succeeded in fertilizing a hen, but I think he did. He wasn't a protective rooster, but looked after himself first, but over all a Silkie is a chicken worth having.
    Amadeus was killed this March in a storm, and his presence is sorely missed. For some reason he never returned to the coop one night, and I locked things up, making the horrible assumption that he was inside n his special roost. The severe rain and cold killed him we are guessing. [​IMG]But we are getting another silkie, and hopefully another silkie rooster as well.
    Overall:
    4.5
    hookjaw likes this.
  2. CascadiaRiver
    3/5,
    "Not for free ranging, good for cute pets!"
    Pros - friendly, soft, small, colorful, interesting
    Cons - Can broody to death, cannot see up, can get very dirty!
    They make good mothers but they can be so good that sometimes they can forget to eat or drink.... be careful!
    Overall:
    3.5
  3. Mylied
    5/5,
    "Love them!"
    Pros - fluffy, cute, friendly, small, docile, goes broody
    Cons - easy target for predators, low heat tolerance
    I love my fluffy little silkie. I currently only have one silkie hen, but I have had a few in the past. They are sweet as pie birds, even the roosters I've had. They make good mothers. They lay decently in my opinion. Every other day or so I get an egg. They did take a long laying break in winter.

    The bad side is they need to be provided relief from the heat and I'm in Georgia. They need shade, lots of cool water, and maybe even a fan if you can provide it. They are also not too fast and not too bright, so an easy target for predators unless they are locked up.

    [​IMG]
    Overall:
    5
    Holy Chickens and hookjaw like this.

User Comments

To post comments, simply sign up and become a member!
  1. pjnbill22
    We love our Silkies. They are quite friendly and follow my husband around like pups.
    Elvis is a white pullet, Toot is a black cockerel, and the jury is still out on Buffy- the buff one. They all look like fuzzy little bunnies from a distance.
    We will probably always have a few in our flock as pets.
  2. dheltzel
    I gave a young "pullet" to a friend and they made the mistake of naming her Lola. You can see where this is leading . . .

    Girls will be boys, and boys will be girls.
    It's a mixed up, muddled up, shook up world,
    Except for Lola. Lo lo lo lo Lola.

    (anyone too young to get that, google "lyrics Lola The Kinks")

    My rule now is NEVER name a chicken Lola.
  3. Cynthia12
    lol..they are cute and funny. And you hit it on the nail about that crow!
  4. Jkraft
    I am fine with her broodyines. I was leaving a review and wanted to let other's know who might not know. Thanks for the input.
  5. drumstick diva
    Loads of chicken folk have a silkie or two just to get the best broodies possible. They by far exceed any mechanical incubator. If you don't want broody silkies, I suggest you get hatchery stock. I've heard the hatcheries bred it out of them - they want eggs from them NOT chicks.

    You could use your silkie(broody) to hatch fertile eggs of any breed, or even ducks etc.
  6. Chicken Egg 17
    Well I think then the breed isn't the best for you needs then if u can't hatch baby's that often unlike me I can hatch when ever I want or need. But I live in e country so I have plenty of space for them though to. I can't wait until mine grow bigger so I can start breeding them.
  7. Chickie Newbie
    My buff bantam silkie is as adorable as they come. Really, really cute, but she's unfriendly and skittish, and loud, even though I've raised her from one day old. She nine months now and although she was the first to lay, she now hasn't laid in almost a month. She's also had a tiny yolkless egg, and two shelless eggs. They are cute to have around but I'm disappointed that she isn't friendlier. My other full size girls are sweethearts compared to her.
  8. coop410silkies
    The Poultry Club for Disabled Children sounds wonderful to me; I find my poults very therapeutic. Were it me, I'd go with a larger, more placid breed for therapy purposes. Whatever you choose, though, you have my prayers and wishes for good luck!
  9. Calebs Chicks
    I don't have any silkies....yet! Just getting started, and getting our coop and run built first, then...we will be off! Anyway, we decided on silkies and showgirls due to their gentle nature with children, and OFCOURSE, their looks. Theses will be pets for our disabled son ( Autistic-severely so..) but will be showing them too we hope . Working with local 4 H leaders to start a Poultry Club for disabled children. [​IMG] Wish us luck, and pray!
  10. kasey08
    Ive had Silkies for about 4-5 years. They are in pen but I let them free range every once and while. My now 7 year old loves them. They do not bother her even if she picks them up. They mostly don't like to be picked up. I have a few that will let me no problem and a young roo that follows me like a lost puppy. I agree, they have there own personality. So know them before you let a child around them.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by