Silkie

Average User Rating:
4.36585/5,
  • 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]
pasuit, emad, Timmy777 and 4 others like this.

Recent User Reviews

  1. Brahma Chicken5000
    5/5,
    "Silkies"
    Pros - Very friendly, docile, good layer, broody
    Cons - Small eggs, broody, may be picked on by large fowl chicken breeds
    I loved my silkies. My black silkie pullet would lay a small tinted egg almost every day and she was so sweet. My black silkie cockerel was great at alerting the flock to potential predators and he was never human aggressive. I would recommend silkies to anyone who has young children, someone with limited space, someone who isn’t picky about the amount or size of eggs, or just as a breed to have. Silkies are great little lovable bundles of joy. A word of caution though: I have heard of people keeping large fowl and bantams together without incident, but I personally didn’t and when I would let both of my small flocks out one of my leghorn pullets would challenge my black silkie cockerel. Also silkies have a vaulted skull and if they get pecked on the head it can cause problems.
  2. m1chelle1
    3/5,
    "Not as friendly as their reputation"
    Pros - Small, easy to maintain, cute
    Cons - not very friendly
    I think of slikies as "pet chickens", as they aren't excellent layers, they lay small eggs, they are too small to use for meat, and they are so unique looking and soft. I had a few, and they just weren't very friendly even tho I gave them the same attention as my other hand raised birds. It may have been just the kind of silkie, im not sure. My orpingtons were much friendlier, and docile. Id recommend them any day as a pet chicken over silkies. Just my 2c
    Purchase Price:
    $15
  3. 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.

User Comments

To post comments, simply sign up and become a member!
  1. foghornleghorn9
    Silkies are the best. Some people are even keeping them in their home as a house pet.
    They are my favorite breed and they really are better companions than most cats. They are fun, beautiful and great mothers. They are bantams so they stay small, that makes it easier to keep more and have all different colors. Once you have Silkies, you will always have Silkies.
      Littlefaceza and DWilkins like this.
  2. Fluffers
    ah. I wasn't sure if they needed special care. Thanks!
  3. coop410silkies
    I have a number of Silkies, and though I love them, they do not not dote on me, and they do not make great demands of me. Some of the things I've found out about my 16 bird flock: they are hardy, adaptable, and prolific, and seemingly immune to disease. The hens lay LOTS of eggs and may be my best layers; they are good foragers and willing captives, but they seem to be happier free-ranging; my Silkies get along fine with my LF, and they stick together as a single tight unit; the roos can be nasty as adolescents, but mine have mellowed out to a nice decency in their older age; mine don't like being handled, and I don't like handling them; they do have unique and engaging personalities; because they are light (on their feet), they seem not at all prone to foot problems; they don't get frost bitten. They are great birds to have hanging about, and I can recommend them to anybody. And mine have been good broodies and wonderful mothers. They are prolific.
  4. silkieRaiser
    my silkies follow the lead of the week-older buff orpingtons i adopted with them...they all really take dust baths... not sure if they normally do without having other breeds in the same flock
    But people do clean them in the sink
  5. Fluffers
    do silkies take dustbaths too? I have seen people wash them in their sink.
  6. The Konnerator
    its not even a reveiw
  7. Abby32922
    I think that that is the best description of a silkie I've ever heard.
  8. silkieRaiser
    BYC is very good at identifying the gender of your silkies. I had mine done and they were correct. If you ever need any help, just post a couple pics of the chicken you want to know about on a "is this a hen or a rooster" thread and you will have results within the next couple days.
  9. darkbluespace
    Sometimes silkies can't see well if their crest is too big. She may just need a little trim around the eyes and then her "IQ" may improve. It is nice for a Silkie to have a Silkie friend when they don't fit in well with the rest of the flock.
  10. Cluckcluck1215
    NNNNNNNNNIIIIIIIIIIIIICCCCCCCCCCCEEEEEEE AAAAAAARRRRRRRRTTTTTTTIIIIIIIICCCCCCEEEEELLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!SSSSSSSOOOOOOOOOOO PPPPRRRREEEEEEETTTTTYYYYUY!IIIIILOOOOOOVVVVVEEE TTTTOOOO TTTTAAAALLLKKKK TTTTTHHHHHJIIIIIISSSS WWWWAAAAYYYH SSSSSOOOORRRRYYYY

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by