Silkie

Breed Rating (68 reviews)

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History

The origin of the Silkie hen is uncertain although they have been around for several hundred years. It is thought that they originated in India, China or Japan and they arrived in Europe around 200 years ago where they were sold as crosses between rabbits and chickens! They are a lightweight chicken with a broad, stout looking body which is covered in fine fluffy feathers. They have short, rather ragged looking tails and the head is short and neat with an upright and full crest. The beak is short and broad, the face smooth and the eyes black and bright. The comb is circular and described as a mulberry comb and the wattles are concave, semi circular and not particularly long. The legs are purplish blue in colour and they have a fifth toe.

Behaviour

Silkies do tend towards broodiness and make wonderful mothers despite being rather poor layers. They are calm, friendly, trusting and rather lively birds which are unable to fly so can be kept with very low fencing and they also do very little damage to the garden. They begin laying around Christmas when the hen will happily sit on a clutch of eggs and will still go broody even if her eggs are removed! Silkies are frequently used as foster mothers for other hen\'s eggs. They stop laying altogether during the summer months. They don\'t have waterproof feathers so they need to be kept in dry conditions but require little room so can be kept in smaller runs. They are rather susceptible to scaly leg but are robust little chickens and can withstand the cold very well. The black skinned and black boned silkie is considered a delicacy in China where they believe that the ground up bones have special healing properties. They have a lifespan of around 9 years and can be tamed and considered a real pet which makes them especially suitable for children.

Varieties

Black, blue, gold, white, partridge, triple laced partridge, triple laced silver partridge, grey, cuckoo, red and buff.

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Latest Reviews For Silkies (5 of 68)

  • 5 Star: 64 (64)
  • 4 Star: 3 (3)
  • 3 Star: 1 (1)
  • 2 Star: 1 (0)
  • 1 Star: 0 (0)
Average Rating:

           (Based on 68 reviews)

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           Got given a silkie cockerel &3hens

- Andrea, 22 November 2014

The funniest chickens ever love them to bits, been reading msg's about them & am very surprised my hens are laying most days ! Thinking I may have a go at hatching some as Mr silkie keeping very active !


           Cute

- Damian, 28 October 2014

They are so friendly my two pet Silkies they don't even mind being picked up! There egg production is not good but as I got them for pets I'm not really bothered anyway. I have found that they will NOT perch on the roosting bars and will only sleep together in a nest box so I took the divider out and have it as one big nest box which they sleep together in. They will also never be without one anther and are sad if they are apart!


           Bossy birds!

- Fliss, 09 September 2014

Gold Silkie Bantam I have one of these birds. She is not so keen on being handled but will allow it. She is the boss to my other six bantams! She does not lay as much as some of the others but lays occasionally. Not for those looking for eggs.


           Great pets!

- Jess, 30 June 2014

They are ridiculously cute! They really are! Since arriving at their new home a few days ago, they have become little celebrities. They are a great talking point and people can't resist taking photos they are so surprised when they see them as they are nothing like what most people imagine chickens to look like. They are fluffy, friendly and even though they are white they manage to keep themselves remarkably clean. They are great fun to watch, especially when the launch themselves out of the coop to play in the rain (which makes them look a bit silly with their wet feathers sticking up all over the place). Fortunately they soon dry out and clean up well. I am absolutely in love with them already!


           Great Breed to have

- John, 17 June 2014

I keep and breed Miniature Silkie Chickens, Fantastic looking poultry. Very easy to tame and look after. Very hardy and yes the only thing you need to provide is a covered area, other than that they will see out temperatures in the minus. Make sure that they can keep toes and feet dry in winter and you will have no problems. If you want high egg production go buy a hybrid and watch the consumption of feed increase to. A silkie should produce between 3-4 eggs per week therefore in a trio a dozen eggs a week is enough. Using half the feed than a hybrid high egg layer would use. I keep my silkies on concrete with straw/meadow bedding to scratch around. Easy clean and safe from foxes etc. keeps the toe nails down in length to. To reduce broody hens I simply remove eggs as soon as possible therefore two visits a day to nesting box and gentle lift the hen of and place her in the run. She soon understands that the eggs are gone. Hope this helps but it really is simple keeping your silkie healthy and clean.

 

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