Average User Rating:
  • Breed Purpose:
    Climate Tolerance:
    All Climates
    Egg Productivity:
    Egg Size:
    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:
    APA/ABA Class:
    Feather Legged
    Grey, Blue, Splash, Partridge, Buff, Black, White are the standard colors with many off standard & derivative colors in existance today

    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.

    Silkie juvenile

    Silkie chick

    Silkie rooster

    Silkie hen

    For more information on Silkies and their owners' and breeders' experiences with them, see our breed discussion here:
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  • Chicken Breed Info:
    Breed Purpose:
    Comb: Walnut
    Broodiness: Frequent
    Climate Tolerance: All Climates

    General Egg Info:
    Egg Productivity:
    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.







Recent User Reviews

  1. RaptorSilkies
    "Our Favorites"
    Pros - Sweet temperament, wonderful with kids, excellent mothers, good layers
    Cons - Defenseless, small eggs
    It was a while before we tried this breed. However, after we did we ended up giving away all of our other chickens and going with only silkies. We love them that much! We couldn’t keep them with other chickens because they are completely defenseless and don’t seem to understand the pecking order. I have met one or two mean silkies. However all of the others that I have ever known and all of the ones we have ever had have been total sweethearts. Including the roosters. We completely love them. Also, they’re pretty good little egg layers.
    Purchase Price:
    Purchase Date:
  2. gcarmack2001
    Pros - fluffy, pretty, cute, unique
    Cons - not as friendly as you'd think, not good egg layers
    I've been in the chicken business for a while now, and we originally started by purchasing some chicks from Atwoods. We would randomly grab whatever we thought was cute and amongst those were some Silkies. We have branched into purebred Silkies since then and though they have their good qualities, I feel that the bad ones outweigh them.
    I'm always seeing how Silkies are the friendliest, sweetest birds you have ever met. True--I've discovered that my most human-friendly birds were Silkies. Unfortunately, most of them are not like that. I didn't socialize with mine as much when they were chicks, so they ended up being a little skittish, but when I did they still weren't the greatest.
  3. Brahma Chicken5000
    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.

User Comments

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  1. babychicks7
    aw they are so cute!! we have a silkie rooster that was given to us he watches out for the hens he is with and shows the big roosters who is boss!!
  2. Clems Girls
  3. Chickie Newbie
    That is adorable. I have a buff silkie bantam hen, Goldie, and she is really, really cute, but now she's very broody and with no roosters, I'm trying to keep her out of the nest box. She is by far my most determined girl. I guess I'll have to get a broody cage to help her change her mind. I haven't had to do that with my full size hens so far. Wish me luck.
  4. Clems Girls
    thanks so much! the two pics above are actually Laté (deceased) and then Clem our roo @lin04
  5. lin04
    I loved your story about your lovebirds...... and your new hens are beautiful!
  6. clownychick
    ;-) well, the one good thing is that he would sit so still once you had him up in your lap, it was pretty easy to trim really close to the eye without too much fear of poking an eyeball. i had him wrapped in a towel though just in case. but it definitely helped! no more feathers poking him in the eye. good luck with yours!
  7. dragonbird
    Oh my gosh he sounds like he was a hoot! So sorry for your loss! I haven't tried trimming their eyeball fluff yet...I've been planning on it, just haven't gotten around to it yet. :)
  8. clownychick
    bwaahAHAHAHA!! oh man, thank you for the laugh. I got a silkie roo free from a neighbor not really knowing what I was getting (I'd just had a predator attack and decided I needed a roo; neighbor had 2 and was only too happy to let me have one)... you summed him up perfectly: the fluffiest, cutest, DUMBEST little peckerhead EVER! Even his crowing was ridiculous! Neighbors had thought he was a pullet, so they'd called him Penelope...I renamed him Mr. P. As in, I pity the fool predator who messes with my hens! ..except, not so much. Mr. P was beyond fool himself. The first thing I did actually, was sit down with a pair of manicure/cuticle scissors and give him a face/eyeball trim so he could SEE. That helped quite a bit, but he'd still peck at any shoe that came near him (and try to mount it). And when the hens would make their alien buzzwhistle 'Uh-oh Predator!' alarm noise & stand stock still being wary, he's be dingling around, pecking your shoes, wandering here & there. SO DUMB! but oh-so-flufferly, and so calm & happy to be carried around once you got him off your shoe... He lasted maybe all of a week, wandered off & got snatched by something. My husband says he was the best chicken we ever had. I'll say he was definitely the most entertaining.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.

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