Silkie Chicken Breed Information
Well, today’s discussion is all about ‘Silkie Chicken Breed‘.
- Names: Silkie, Silky, and Chinese silk chicken.
- Varieties: White, Black, blue, gold, white, partridge, triple laced partridge, triple laced silver partridge, grey, cuckoo, red, and buff.
- Silkie Chicken Weight: Male chicken weighs: 1to 1.5 kg (2-3 lbs); Female chicken weighs: 0.5–1.75 kg (1.5-2 lbs).
- Eggs: 80 eggs annually.
- Silkie Chicken Cost: $20 to $120.
- Rarity: Rare.
- Purpose: Ornamental, meat, and eggs.
- Egg Laying: Poor.
- Egg Color: Cream or Tinted.
- Egg Size: Small.
- Comb Type: Wall-Nut Shaped Comb/ Single.
- Feathered Legs: Yes.
- Number of Toes: Five.
- Cold Hardiness: Hardy in winter.
- Heat Tolerance: Not especially heat hardy.
- Personality: docile, easy to handle.
Read this: Poultry Questions and Answers.
Introduction to Silkie Chicken Breed:
The Silkie or silky is a breed of chicken, the name is derived from its atypically fluffy plumage, its plumage is very smooth like silk and satin. The Silkie chicken has many unique qualities, for example, they have black skin and bones, blue earlobes, and five toes on each foot, whereas having four toes common in all most all the chicken breeds. This chicken breed is mainly seen in poultry shows and comes in various colors. Apart from these extraordinary qualities, Silkies are good-natured birds, they are very calm, friendly temperament. It is the most obedient breed in poultry farming. Silkie Chickens are very good brooder/ mothers. They take good care of their chicks. They lay a decent number of eggs, they can lay 3 to 4 three eggs in a week. These breed chickens are commonly used to hatch eggs from other breeds and bird species as they are very good brooders. Silkie chickens are one of the best ornamental breed birds, and they can become good pets. They behave well towards children, as they can easily withstand being roughly handled.
Silkie chicken is one of the most popular and most loved ornamental chicken breeds. And watching these birds, one of the most entertaining. It is a very old Asiatic chicken breed
Origin of Silkie Chicken:
The origin of the Silkie hen is unknown but has been around for several hundred years. It is believed that they originated in India, China, or Japan and entered Europe around 200 years ago. But many documented that it is Chinese breed chicken. In Europe, they were sold as a crossbreed between rabbits and chickens. Silkie is lightweight chicken with a broad, stout-looking body completely covered with fluffy feathers.
In the 21st century, Silkiesis listed as one of the most popular and ubiquitous ornamental breeds of chicken. They are raised as ornamental fowl or pet chickens by backyard keepers and are mainly used to incubate and raise other breed chickens and waterfowl like ducks and geese and game birds such as quail and pheasants.
Physical Characteristics of Silkie Chicken:
- This breed chicken head is crested, looking somewhat like a ‘pom-pom’. And their comb looks like a ‘walnut’, which means almost circular in appearance. The comb color will be in be black or dark mulberry.
- Silkies have an oval-shaped turquoise with blue earlobes and dark-colored wattles. Their beak is very hard, short, broad at the base, it will be in grey/blue in color. The eyes will be in black color.
- Silkies have broad and stout, the back is short and with full breast.
- The silkies have five toes instead of the usual four that is common in chickens. The outer two toes are completely feathered. They have short legs are short and wide-set, grey in color.
- Their feathers lack barbicels with a fluffy appearance. The main feathering is like an under-down of regular chickens.
- Silkie chickens cannot fly as their feathers do not hold together. This means that the feathering is not waterproof and so wet silk will be very feeble.
- The Silkie chicken has black skin and bones. The meat of silkie has great taste. The silkies have bones and grayish-black meat.
- The meat of silkie chicken is used in Chinese medicine, as it is rich in carnitine– carnitine has anti-aging properties.
- Silkies are categorized into two distinct varieties: bearded and non-bearded. Bearded Silkies have an extra muff of feathers on the beak area that covers the ear lobes. The Silkie chicken comes in many colors like black, blue, buff, grey, partridge, and white.
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Silkie Chicken Behavior:
- Silkie chickens are one of the most charming and sweet-natured chickens. This makes them a perfect pet- especially for children.
- They are docility can cause Silkies to hurt them when mixed with active or aggressive birds.
- Silkies have very poor flying skills, so handling them is very easy.
- Silkies lay a medium number of eggs, they lay cream color, but production is not that good as their extreme tendency to go broody; as Silkie hen will produce 100 eggs in an ideal year.
- Silkies are the most popular chicken for their calm, friendly nature. They are good for confinement and interact very well with children. They interact well with children without any hesitation, they show love towards humans.
- They don’t make much sound, they just pip when they lay eggs or when they are in any danger.
- This breed of chicken is best for incubation, and they are good mothers. They often adopt others as their own, this makes them a beautiful personality.
- They just simply sit on her clutch of eggs until they get hatched day and show great maternal instinct along the way- helping out her chicks where she can.
- They start laying eggs within the age of one year. They lay eggs during late December but more often in early January time.
- They tolerate the cold fairly well, despite their fluffy feather. And they cannot bear wetness. In very cold or rainy seasons, they need a health supplement.
- The Silkie chicken is kept only in dry conditions, as they are not waterproof.
- They are great little foragers if allowed to free-range. The area should be a ‘safe zone’, since they cannot fly to escape predators.
- Silkies are multipurpose birds, they do best as pets, brooders, and ‘ornamental’ birds.
Varieties of Silkie Chicken Breed:
Silkie chickens are categorized according to color. White, Black, Partridge, Buff, Grey, and Blue are the most popular colors of Silkie chicken recognized for competitive showing. There are some other colors, like Red, Splash, Cuckoo, and Lavender.
Advantages of Silkie Chicken Breed:
- They are the most Beautiful birds.
- The Silkie chickens love attention and enjoy the company of humans. They are very friendly birds.
- They have furry and fluffy feather which make them more attractive whey walk, and make them nice for petting.
- This breed of chicken is very easy to maintain.
- Silkies are excellent mothers.
Disadvantages of Silkie Chicken Breed:
- They are very poor layers.
- Very small eggs and very small chicks.
- They are suitable for wet climates.
- Easily prone to predators.
- Silkies are low-weight chickens.
- Silkies are not suitable for backyard farming.
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