Silkie Chickens: The Furry Friends of the Poultry World

Silkie Chickens

Have you ever been a die-hard fan of having pets in your backyard? Are you searching for the best option for this purpose? You have come to the right place! Silkie chickens can be the best choice, whatever the reason, maybe–eating meat or having them as pets. Please don’t go for the looks because Silkie is known for several qualities no other breed can have!

Silkie chickens are also known as Chinese silk Chickens. Silkies are silky due to their fluffy feathers, which are more than cotton candy and softer than other chicken breeds. Due to its strange look, it has been part of many exhibitions in America. Moreover, it is well-known for its sweet and kind nature, and you can easily make it your home friend.

Besides meat and pet characters, silkie chickens are famous for being good mothers. Colorful eggs, extra toes, thick feathers, and whatnot! There is more to learn about this cute breed. If you want to know more, then this guide is for you! Grab everything you want and check its qualities to make you choose it for your garden.

History of Silkie Chickens

History of Silkie Chickens

Silkie chickens count as one of the oldest chicken breeds in the world. Moreover, the Silkie is an emerging breed of China, but its exact origin still needs to be discovered due to its oldest historical records. But later, some naturalists revealed that Silkie is a hybrid of a rabbit and a fowl. However, this breed could be very appealing to look at!

After roaming about in various countries, several Chinese immigrants brought Silkie to the United States in the 1800s. Silkie looked strange and different from other chicken breeds due to the difference in its unusual fur and feathers. This distinct look made Silkie famous in American poultry. Hence, much research on silkie chickens revealed that it is quite beneficial in several fields apart from their looks. And now, it has been using for several purposes since long and is unstoppable.

Interesting Facts About Silkie Chickens

Interesting Facts About Silkie Chickens

The things that enhance Silkie’s personality are beyond its looks. These are as follows:

  • Silkies can be good mothers
  • They can take care and nurture other breeds’ eggs and kids like Ducklings and Goslings
  • They become more anxious when their chicks go into the water
  • Another interesting fact about silkie chickens is that little silkies will follow you wherever you go in the home
  • They are soft to touch and feel as they are quite soft and kind by nature

Pros And Cons Of Having Silkie Chickens

Every good thing has its bad sides, too. Well, it goes the same for having silkie chickens. Some points are given below to know how it can be beneficial and harmful to get silkie chickens.

Pros

  • If you have silkies in your backyard, they can’t leave you by flying to the farthest places as they can’t fly far due to heavy feathers
  • They can be great mothers and care for their and others’ offspring more than any other bird
  • They can live in tiny places too, so there is no need for big space.
  • They are quite friendly and can enjoy your company
  • They have a unique physique

Cons

  • The meat they produce isn’t enough
  • They can’t lay too many eggs
  • It is hard to maintain and upgrade them as they have thick feathers
  • There is a high chance of Marek’s disease in Silkie chickens
  • They are highly adaptable to predators and parasites

Therefore, apart from cons to have silkie chickens, there are so many reasons why should you keep them as a pet. The breed is so friendly and affectionate that you won’t regret your decision! Although it can’t produce enough meat, it can enhance the beauty of your backyard and elevate the hustle and bustle of your home. So what’s your decision?

Characteristics of Silkie Chickens

Characteristics of Silkie Chickens

Silkie chickens are full of qualities and can give you full-time pleasure as your friend. This is the time to look at their unique characters, which will definitely convince you to have this breed. So, let’s talk:

Hardiness

Everyone’s views on the hardiness of silkie chickens may vary. Some people’s silkies are good at tolerating winter very well, while others suffer throughout the winter. Their feathers are not insulating like other chicken’s, so they are more prone to cold. Hence, keeping them dry throughout the winter is quite crucial.

Provide your pets with a good shelter, proper heat, and appropriate shade during particular seasons to make them comfortable. Adding more to the information, as they can’t fly far, you should ensure that any foreign predator doesn’t harm them at any cost because they can’t defend themselves as fast as other chickens.

Meat

If you want to eat silkies, they are bony and tasty to some extent. But, but, but! You need more meat from silkies as they are quite small. What makes them significant is their extra fluffy feathers, but inside, they are tiny. If we talk about their bones, they are black. Hence, they are classified as “black-boned chickens”. They own a unique trait – fibromatosis – making their skin, tissues, and bones dark. Consequently, their meat tastes good.

Another good thing about their meat is that it is very energetic and healthy. Doctors often prescribe soup to the ladies who give birth to the new ones so that they may recover soon. The soup reduces headaches, too. Their meat is popular in China, and the people eat it with excellent appetites.

Temperament

The fluff of this chicken breed hasn’t made home in your heart? Don’t worry! You’ll be impressed by its sweet personality. A silkie chicken can be your charming and unique friend. Moreover, the silkie chicken is sometimes known as a “lap chicken” but presents itself as a lap dog when it comes to solid competition with cats. It means this breed is quite cute to cuddle with! Because silkies are very friendly, they often end up at the bottom of the social order and get picked on by more aggressive chicken breeds.

Adding more, you can have quality time by having a good conversation and enjoyable cuddles with silkie chicken. Moreover, they get along with other chickens and are particularly good with kids. They are easy to handle. Silkie chickens‘ mild and sociable nature increases their value as wonderful and charming partners in the poultry world.

Egg Color And Production

As far as the color of the silkies’ eggs is concerned, they lay brownish, white, or sometimes white eggs. Moreover, egg production can’t be the reason to buy silkies as they are not good layers. According to a survey, they can hardly produce 3-4 eggs per week and 100-120 eggs per year. Also, they start egg-laying when they become seven months old, which may take a year for some silkies.

Foraging

If we talk about their foraging ability, they are poor in it due to their poor vision. Hence, they can’t catch bugs and insects easily as they can’t see well to farther places.

Broodiness

An interesting fact about silkies is that they are broody in nature. They can be good mums and care for their own and other birds’ eggs with great interest. Silkie chickens act as live incubators as they can incubate the eggs and hatch them with proper care. But wait, if you want to own silkies to incubate the eggs, it is better to have their cross as the pure silkies’ feathers can suffocate chicks, which can be harmful.

Cross-Breeding Of Silkie Chickens

Cross-breed silkies are rare and mostly used for display and ornamental potential. They have inherited feathers, so they are only crossed to get fluffy feathers. Therefore, when they are struck with hard-feathered birds, the offspring will have a combination of both types of feathers, such as satin silkies. Moreover, Orpington silkies are also an example of cross silks.

Health Problems

Some common health problems faced by silkies may include the following:

Flystrike: try to trim and clean the tail feathers of silkie chickens to avoid poop deposits. Because once it happens, then there is a chance of flystrike, in which flies lay eggs on their poop which is very contaminated for silkies.

Frostbite/hypothermia: as we discussed earlier about their feathers’ poor insulation, they can’t bear cold and can adapt to hypothermia or frostbite as soon as they feel cold. It happens when proper warmth isn’t provided and secondly when they are wet. So whenever they become wet, try to blow dry them immediately.

Marek’s Disease: it is prevalent in silkies, so the baby silkies get vaccinated to avoid having this disease at any age. It is also known as fowl paralysis, in which inflammation occurs in the central nervous system and can cause tumors in the brain, which leads to paralysis.

Prone to Parasites: silkies are easy to catch for many predators as they have feathery legs. For example, scaly-leg mites find silkies as easy prey. Small predators like lice, mice, and other insects are hard to point on the feathers of silkies, so it is necessary to check on their feathers. Please provide them with dust showers so they can’t have lice on them.

Therefore, silkie chickens are distinctive and fascinating birds that provide a little magic to every backyard flock. Whether you keep them as devoted pets for their good brooding qualities or for ornamental importance, they can be perfect for new and experienced pet keepers. Hence, they can be good art in the poultry world and your backyard. So, go and get yours!