Breed of the Month: Silkie chickens
Origin: Silkie chickens are an ancient bantam breed most likely originating in China, although India and Java may also be their place of origin. Europeans first heard of Silkies when Marco Polo returned from his Asian travels in the 13th century. Silkie chickens were admitted to the Standard in 1874.
Standard Description: The breed name comes from the Silkie’s soft, fur-like plumage, resulting from the inability of the feather barbs to lock. Its plumage is said to feel like silk or satin. Their fluffy appearance makes the birds look bigger than they are.
Varieties: Bearded, Non-Bearded
Egg Color, Size & Laying Habits:
- Cream / Tinted
- 100 eggs annually would be a good year
- Silkies are one of the broodiest chicken breeds
Temperament: Docile and friendly
Ideal Conditions for Raising Silkies: Adaptable to confinement. Not ideal for extreme hot or cold conditions. Silkies don’t fly well, a feature that makes them easy to keep within a fenced yard.
Testimonials from Silkie Chicken Owners:
“Silkies make the perfect first chickens, especially for young children. With their fluffy fur-like feathers, Silkies are decidedly cuddly. They’ve been favorably compared to kittens and teddy bears. Without any special effort to tame them, Silkies are naturally friendlier than nearly any other chicken breed. Silkies are the Charlie Chaplins of the chicken world. They can always be counted on to make you laugh.” – Gail Damerow
“I’m new to raising Silkies, but I have high hopes for them to live up to their reputation for broodiness and being good mothers. That really is the sole reason I got them.” – Kate St Cyr
Comb, Face and Wattles: Deep mulberry, approaching black
Beak: Leaden blue
Ear-Lobes: Light blue
Shanks and toes: Leaden blue
Skin and bones: Dark blue
Colors: Black, Blue, Standard Buff, Gray, Partridge, Splash, White.
Weight: Cock (36 oz.), Hen (32 oz.), Cockerel (32 oz.), Pullet (28 oz.)
Popular Uses: Pets, eggs, show
It’s Not Really a Silkie if: There is an absence of a crest. The shanks are not feathered down the outer sides. The feathers are not truly silky (except in primaries, secondaries, leg and main tail feathers).
Promoted by: Stromberg’s – quality poultry and reliable equipment since 1921.
See the Full List of Breed of the Month Features: