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The Ultimate Silkie Chicken Guide – Price, Appearance, History, And Uses

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Silkie chickens are captivating creatures known for their distinctive appearance and gentle temperament. Often described as fluffy feather ballsteddy birds, or aliens from another dimension, Silkies stand out in the poultry world. So, let’s delve into their origins, characteristics, uses, and everything you need to know about raising these delightful birds.

Adorable Silkie chicken relaxing on a fluffy clover lawn.

Sound good?

Then let’s begin! 🐔🌞

Silkie Chicken Overview

A white Silkie chicken hen with lovely blue ear lobes.

Silkies have a rich history, likely dating back to Ancient China. The precise history of Silkie chickens appears unsolved, but many speculate that Silkies could date back thousands of years. One interesting anecdote is that Marco Polo remarked on a fuzzy chicken during the 13th century while visiting China. The Silkie chicken’s Chinese name, Taihe wu ji, means (roughly) black-boned chicken from Taihe, emphasizing their unique features.

Silkie Chicken Profile

Origin:Most likely Ancient China.
Price:Silkie chicks usually cost anywhere from $3 to $10. Adult Silkies can cost anywhere from $20 to $50. (Fancier, show-quality specimens can be more costly, upwards of $100 or more.)
Lifespan:Silkies live for around seven to nine years.
Rooster Weight:Approximately four pounds.
Hen Weight:Around three pounds.
Temperament:Friendly and docile.
Appearance:Fluffy, with black skin and bones beneath the downy feathers. Their feathers may appear white, porcelain, lavender, buff, splash, partridge, black, paint, or blue.
Description:They have crested heads, circular walnut-like combs, and turquoise blue earlobes.
Uses:Eggs, meat (considered a delicacy), and broodiness.
Egg Color:Cream to tinted.
Egg Production:Expect around 100 to 140 small, cream-colored eggs annually. Or around three to four per week.
Silkie Chicken Breed Profile

The above table represents our Silkie chicken breed profile. But there’s also plenty more. Consider the following.

Read More – The 21 Best Laying Chickens For Your Backyard Flock | Ultimate Guide

Origin And History

Two cute Silkie chickens foraging on the backyard lawn.

Silkies likely originated in China, perhaps thousands of years ago, but their arrival in the USA remains mysterious. I suspect they arrived as gifts from wealthy travelers, as part of ancient trade routes, or via traveling explorers. Regardless of how these unique birds came to the USA, they’ve earned their roles as superb companions, captivating homesteaders, farmers, and onlookers with their fluffy appearance and gentle demeanor. The name Silkie perfectly encapsulates their soft, downy feathers.

What Are Silkie Chickens Used For?

Silkie chicken with two adorable chicks following behind.

Silkie chickens are one of the most adorable and standout chicken breeds anywhere they dwell. But they’re more valuable than mere lawn ornaments! Consider the following.

Egg Production

Silkies lay approximately three to four eggs per week. While not the most prolific layers, their unique appearance and broodiness compensate for the lower egg yield. Their eggs range from cream to tinted in color.

Although Silkie chicken eggs are smaller than other standard-sized chicken eggs, they are creamy and delicious, and the price of Silkie eggs might surpass that of different breeds.

Meat

Silkie meat is considered a delicacy in some cultures. It tastes like a blend of duck and chicken. Many chefs prize Silkie meat in various cuisines, mainly traditional Chinese cooking. Some homesteaders consider their meat tastier and more flavorful than regular chicken breeds. But that’s a topic of debate!

Read More – How To Build A Fox Proof Chicken Coop: A Step By Step Guide

Broodiness

Silkies excel as broody hens. They diligently incubate eggs and care for chicks. Their broodiness is legendary, and they are exceptional mothers. They’ll happily hatch eggs and care for chicks of other breeds. So, to expand your flock, consider letting a Silkie take charge of the nursery.

Companionship

Silkies’ friendly and gregarious temperament endears them to chicken keepers. Many homesteaders consider them among the most peaceful and docile chicken breeds. They make excellent pets, especially for families and children. Their fluffy appearance and calm demeanor make them delightful companions.

Exhibition + Fluffy Feathers

Silkies also possess a unique superpower. It’s their unique feather texture. Unlike regular feathers, theirs resemble soft down, almost like fur. This feature, combined with their puffy feather caps (resembling helmets), sets them apart in any flock.

Raising The Silkie Chicken Breed

Hungry Silkie chickens eating a leafy green lunch.

Let me share more insights about raising these charming birds.

Temperament

Silkie chickens are like the chicken world’s cuddly and affable teddy bears. These friendly birds are happy to be cuddled and handled, making them an excellent choice for novice chicken keepers. However, remember that they sit low on the pecking order, so protecting them from more assertive flock members is essential.

Read More – Why Do Chickens Stop Laying Eggs [10 Reasons With Easy Solutions!]

Health And Lifespan

Silkies typically live around seven to nine years. Proper care, healthy nutrition, and a stress-free, chicken-friendly environment contribute to their longevity.

One nuance with Silkies is that their fancy feathers can get surprisingly dirty. Their feathered feet can accumulate muck and debris, leading to footpad issues. Regularly inspect and clean their feet to prevent infections or Bumblefoot.

Silkies’ unique feathers also require extra care. Their fluffiness makes them susceptible to mites and lice. Regular dust baths and occasional feather trimming can help maintain their plumage.

Silkie Chicken Housing

Silkie chicken pecking in the green grass.

They don’t like the cold weather as much as some New England-friendly breeds, like the New Hampshire Red, Delaware, or the Dominique chicken.

Luckily, Silkies are small birds, so their coop doesn’t need to be gigantic. Aim for three to four square feet per bird inside the coop. Provide eight to ten square feet per Silkie chicken in the outdoor run. Offer more space in the coop when possible. They’ll appreciate the extra room.

Another advantage of Silkie housing is that it keeps them safe from predators. Silkies make a desirable snack and are vulnerable to predators like hawks, owls, raccoons, and dogs. Ensure your coop is well-protected. Use wire mesh with tiny holes smaller than one-half-inch (13 mm) to prevent entry. Consider burying wire mesh under the coop to deter burrowing animals. Regularly check for gaps or holes in the coop structure.

Read More – 11 Best Meat Chicken Breeds For Your Backyard Coop

Food And Water

During their early stages of life, Silkie chicks primarily rely on starter feed (chick starter) for the first few weeks. This specially formulated feed is rich in essential vitamins, nutrients, and minerals to help support their overall health and immunity.

Alongside starter feed, ensure they can always access fresh and clean water. Gradually introduce finely chopped vegetables (like leafy greens and carrots) and small grains to their diet as they grow. Variety helps keep them entertained and interested while providing additional nutrients.

Remember to monitor their feeding habits and adjust meals accordingly!

Appearance

Superb photo of a Silkie chicken grazing in the green meadow.

Silkie chickens are renowned for their distinct and eye-catching appearance. Their feathers lack the typical barbicels found in most chicken breeds, giving them a soft, downy texture that feels like silk or fur.

Imagine running your fingers through a cloud – that’s what touching a Silkie’s plumage is like! These fluffy feathers cover their entire body, including their legs.

Silkies come in many delightful colors, making them a visual treat. You’ll find them in diverse shades like lavender, black, porcelain, buff, partridge, white, blue, splash, and paint. Their skin is an intriguing feature – it’s black! Yes, you read that right. Their dark skin contrasts beautifully with their soft, fluffy feathers.

Silkies also have unique characteristics.

  • Crested Head: Their heads sport a crest of feathers resembling a little pom-pom. It’s similar to what you’d see in Polish chickens.
  • Blue Ears: No, not a typo! Silkies have blue earlobes, adding to their mystique.
  • Feathered Legs: Unlike most chickens, Silkies have feathers covering their legs, giving them a charming, booted appearance.
  • Walnut Comb: If they have a comb (some Silkies don’t), it’s almost circular and resembles a walnut.

When you add up their attributes, it’s clear that these adorable teddy birds are farmyard anomalies!

Read More – How To Clip A Chicken’s Wings So It Can’t Fly [And Whether You Should]

Our Ballad To Silkie Chickens

Lovely Silkie chicken foraging in the field and posing for a photo.

In the quiet of dawn, where dew-kissed grasses sway, Silkie’s soft plumage catches the first sunray. A ballad unfolds, whispered by the breeze, of these feathered wonders that grace our farmsteads with ease.

Silkie, oh Silkie, your downy cloak so fair, a cloud of spun silk, delicate and rare. Under the moonlight you shimmer, a celestial sprite, a vision of softness against the starry night.

Your crest, a tufted crown, defying gravity’s pull, a whimsical flourish atop your fluffy feathered skull. Blue earlobes, secrets held close to your heart, as if the sky itself whispered its art.

Homesteaders gather under the ancient willow’s shade, Silkies nestled, their stories softly conveyed. They cluck of morning dew and hidden nests, of sunflower seeds and earthworm quests.

Small farmsteads adore you, dear Silkie clan, for you’re more than mere fowl. You’re magic in hand. Children giggle as you shuffle through the grass, your tiny feet leaving imprints and memories that last.

The ultimate Silkie chicken guide.

Conclusion

Thanks for reading about Silkie chickens with us! We love these adorable birds and are trying to spread the word. What about you?

  • Are you raising Silkie chickens this year?
  • If not, have you ever seen a Silkie in real life?
  • Do you agree that Silkies have tiny but delicious eggs?
  • If you have ever raised Silkies, what color were they? Black? Blue? Porcelain?
  • Would you raise Silkies with other chicken breeds? Or only Silkies?

We hope to hear from you!

Thanks again for reading.

Have a great day!

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