They are fluffy, they are quirky and they are truly unique!
Silkie chickens breed is one of the more bizarre breeds of chicken, providing backyard chicken breeders with entertaining personalities, sweet temperaments, and gorgeous appearances to boot.
This breed of chicken stands out in the chicken all over the world.
While this type of chicken differs greatly from other popular breeds of chicken, making it one of the less common breeds you can keep, it is a one-of-a-kind option you should consider for your bass flock. -court.
The origin of Silkie chickens
These odd-looking birds are believed to have come from Asia. It is not known where (or when) exactly these races originated, but the most well-documented potential origin is ancient China. A popular commercial item on the Silk Road, the geography of the Silkie chicken naturally lends itself to the name of this breed.
That being said, Silkie chicken can also be traced to other places in Southeast Asia, such as Java and India.
Marco Polo first wrote about a “furry chicken” in his account of his travels in Asia in the 13th century, with the first naturalistic account of the chicken published in 1598 by Ulisse Aldrovandi. The Silkies eventually traveled west on the Silk Road and reached North American soil shortly thereafter via a sea trade. It was officially recognized in North America in 1874, gaining popularity in the United States quite quickly. This breed of chicken, due to its unique appearance, is surrounded by interesting folklore.
Early Dutch breeders told consumers that the breed was the result of mating rabbits and chickens. Popular in circus and carnival performances, these chickens were once believed to have mammalian fur as well. Today, Silkie chicken is one of the most popular breeds of chicken. Usually raised as ornamental or companion hens, they are also fantastic mothers and can be used to hatch the eggs of other chickens and breeds of poultry.
Colors, size, and appearance of the Silkie chicken
This section explores everything you need to know about the common colors, characteristics, and appearances of Silkie chickens.
Most of the Silkies available to buy or hatch in North America are rooster Silkies. This means they are miniature versions of standard size chickens.
Bantam Silkies will generally weigh about half the normal weight of a typical chicken, and their eggs will be about a third smaller than normal eggs.
You can find standard size Silkies in Europe and elsewhere, but unfortunately, they are still not common in the United States.
Generally, the silky ones found in North America only grow between eight and fourteen inches tall and will weigh around four pounds at most.
Silky ones tend to be fairly compact with short, stubby legs and rounded bodies.
Colors silkies chicken
One of the most distinctive characteristics of the Silkie chicken is the feathered ear cuffs and beard that each of these chickens possesses.
If you have Silkie chickens for poultry shows or for breeding purposes, your birds must have these traits to qualify.
You can buy Silkie chickens with or without a beard. The silky bearded ones usually have an additional cuff of feathers below the beak area.
Silky ones have purplish-black combs and chins. Sometimes these can be difficult to see against the breed’s dark skin.
Silky ones are also unique in that their feathers don’t have barbicels.
Barbicels are small hooks that attach the individual hairs of a feather. This lack of barbicels is what makes a Silkie chicken look so fluffy – the hairs grow loose and have the appearance of a dense cluster rather than individual feathers. These chickens have a tuft of feathers on the top of their heads.
These usually grow quite long and wrap around their faces.
Beneath this upper ridge, they will have a domed skull that gives them a vulnerable spot at the base of the head. This can cause serious harm or even death if your chicken is among other aggressive chickens that want to peck at the top of its head. Silkie chickens also grow feathers down to their feet, another distinctive feature of the breed.
Beneath their feathers, they are unique from other breeds because they have black bones and black skin. They also have bright turquoise earlobes.
Another standard feature of the Silkie chicken breed? – These birds have the polydactyly gene, which means that each one has an extra toe on each foot.
This toe is on the back of one leg and doesn’t look much like a dog’s spur.
Silky chickens are not the only chickens that exhibit this unique quality; other breeds such as Sultans, Faverolles, and Dorking chickens also have this feature. In addition to unofficial color combinations like lavender and cuckoo, Silkies are available in various colors recognized by the American Poultry Association
Silkies are prized for their plumage, and now many breeds have been intermixed with Silkies to provide offspring that have this unique feathering.
What is it like to have a Silkie chicken?
This section explores the personality, melancholy, and temperament of Silkie chickens.
Silky ones are remarkably friendly, universally recognized for their calm disposition. They get along well with other chickens and can easily be raised in confinement.
If you have children, a Silkie chicken is one to consider, because it will get along with children of all dispositions. In fact, these birds are often raised as pets. They love being pets and getting a lot of attention.
Silkie chickens are famous for their tendency to hatch.
In fact, although many breeders have selectively bred this brood from other chicken breeds to maximize egg production, Silkies have been bred exclusively for this characteristic. Because Silkies are excellent mothers, they are often bred to raise the offspring of other birds, including ducks, geese, and other chicken breeds. Silkie chickens brood several times in a season, often spending several months of the year sitting in an egg nest.
After the eggs hatch, Silkie mothers are considered to be attentive mothers who care for their young long after they have grown. If your SIlkie chicken is getting blue, the easiest way to deal with this is to simply allow it to. However, if she expects or needs a lot of eggs, you can try breaking this behavior by placing her in a wire-bottom cage away from the flock.
Interactions and temperament
Because Silkie chickens are so docile and friendly, this, unfortunately, leads to them being frequently harassed by other breeds. It may be best to avoid keeping a Silkie chicken in a mixed flock, as this can cause some dominance issues. These pets are docile and friendly and are more than happy to live in confinement.
Health & Wellness
You must be careful to keep your Silkie chicken in a mixed aggressive flock. For the reasons already mentioned, a Silkie chicken won’t fight back if it gets into a brawl, and the soft spot on the top of its head makes it vulnerable to attack. Also, silks have remarkably poor eyesight.
Because their feathery combs and facial feathers can grow out and darken their eyes, you may need to take extra care to help your chickens see better. Fortunately, Silkies are easy to handle and administer, so it won’t take a lot of effort on your part to catch them. As a breeder or buyer of a Silkie chicken, you can lightly pluck the feathers from the Silkie’s face to help it see better.
You can also paint the ridgeback with a hair or tie. If you are kind, none of these behaviors will harm the bird’s feathers. Just be sure to be very careful when doing this if you plan to enter your chicken in a competitive show, as the plumage must be in tip-top shape. Because a Silkie’s feathers extend all the way to its feet, you need to be careful if you keep your flock in a damp or cold area.
Silky ones are good for cleaning their own feet feathers, as they do the rest of their feathers, but if you keep them in a muddy pen they may have a hard time staying dry. This can lead to some health problems. Make sure you keep your living area clean at all times and also provide a dry place to sleep.
Also, because the feathers of a Silkie chicken are not like those of other chickens and are more similar to a down material, these birds do not do well in humid climates. Their feathers are not waterproof, so you should provide ample shelter during periods of rain. The same rule applies to snow: although they can withstand the cold, wet precipitation of any kind is a major problem.