With so many chicken breeds it’s really worth presenting a couple of them in detail.
Today we want to introduce you to the Silkie or Silkie Bantam. Silkies are one of the most beautiful and oldest chicken breeds. Due to their soft and fur-like plumage, the silkies have become particularly popular. But this chicken breed has a lot more to offer.
Have fun while reading.
The silkies is a breed of domestic chickens. We may distinguish three kinds of them: the Japanese Silkie, the Siamese Silkie and the Dwarf Silkie.
The exact origin of the classic silkie chicken is unfortunately unclear. But in the travelogue of Marco Polo, we may learn that the silkies must have already existed in 1292. In his travelogue about China and Mongolia, he mentions catlike hairy black chickens.
Then we find comments about the silkies made by Conrad Gessner in his bird book published in 1555 and again in his records dating back to 1793, which refer us to the presence of the silkies in Holland, Westphalia and Burgundy.
In Germany this chicken breed was officially recognized only in 1988.
Colors, Plumage and Body Shape
The silkies are somewhat smaller than normal chicken breeds in general. In addition to their five toes, soft and wool-like plumage, the specifics of these chickens include a blue-black skin. However, this unusual skin color does not occur in cuckoo-colored silkie chickens.
The fur-like plumage leads to a lack of anterior barbules on the side branches of the contour feathers and makes these animals flightless. So, while keeping this breed you do need a high fence.
Other features of this beautiful hen include a dome-like tuft on its head and a plumage that reaches down to its feet. All recognized color varieties characterize a silkie chicken with or without a beard.The following color varieties are recognized:
- Pearl gray
- Silver agouti
A blue color variety is genetically split, which means that if you cross a blue silkie chicken with another blue silkie, the descendants of these two chickens won’t all be blue-colored, either. One part of the chicks will hatch with a blue, some with splash-colored and another part with black plumage.
The body shape of the silkies is described by breeders as squat, rounded, cube-shaped with a slightly rising topline and a strait medium-high posture.
|Weight:||Rooster: 1.4-1.7kg, Hens: 1-1.4kg|
|Laying performance:||up to 80 egg /year|
|Eggshell color:||Light brown|
|Ring size||D12 for both sexes|
As usual at the end of our short post we recommend you books and links from breeders, associations or other sources:
Looking for more information about Silkies?
We learned everything we need to know about Silkies from "SILKIES. Silkie Chickens or Silkies Owner's Manual". Available in paperback or ebook, it's a comprehensive overview of raising this beautiful breed. While it has a lot of useful information about keeping Silkies in particular, much of the very useful information can be applied to keeping any breed of chicken.
So you want to raise Silkies?
Raise happy Silkies with "Silkie Chickens. Silkie Chickens Care, Breeding, Eggs, Raising, Welfare and Keeping Them Happy". We found lots of useful information including avoiding health problems, egg production, and breeding. It's a simple and straightforward resource covering all aspects of keeping Silkies and is an excellent choice for beginning Silkie breeders and keepers.
Links and sources: