silkie chicken
Lennart Tange / Flickr (Creative Commons)
  • Purpose: Pet, Meat
  • Eggs: Cream Tinted
  • Egg Size: Small
  • Color: White, Black, Blue, Gray
  • Comb Type: Walnut Comb

If you do any sort of research into the chicken world, it won’t be long until you start hearing raving reviews about the motherly natures of Silkie Chickens.

Though these birds may not be the most prolific layers or have the meatiest breasts, they are fantastic mothers to all chicks–even ducklings, turkeys, pheasants, or turkeys!

Devoted and quite prone to being broody, they would make a wonderful addition to a sustainable flock. In many cases, they live on farms for this sole purpose, and they do it well.

These docile birds need not only be utilitarian, though! Those looking for a sweet and unique pet chicken need look no further than these furry-feathered friends.

Lissa Lucas of affirms that, “…You want your pets to be affectionate, and Silkies are basically love incarnate.” The “lap cats” of the chicken world, these gentle birds, covered with silky-feeling feathers are just begging to sit in your lap and be pet.


If you’ve never seen one before, the sight of a Silkie Chicken will undoubtedly both confuse and delight. These otherworldly birds sport a huge list of bizarre features, with black skin and bones, turquoise earlobes, feathered feet, five toes, beards, and their uniquely hair-like feathers. But don’t let their appearance intimidate! You’ve never met a sweeter chicken than this.

Don’t Leave Your Silkies In The Rain!

Chickens look rather pathetic when wet, but none look sadder than a sodden Silkie. Their feathers are not weatherproof in the slightest, so they will need to be dried off if they get absolutely soaked.

Silkies are reportedly more susceptible to Marek’s disease than many other breeds. Their leg feathering also can make them more prone to scaly leg mite than clean-legged birds, but thankfully, that discomfort can be addressed with coop maintenance and some careful care of their legs.

What’s The Yield?

Sources vary about whether or not the Silkie chicken is a purely bantam variety or not, but regardless, they are on the smaller side of chickendom. Hens are usually a petite 3 pounds, and roosters a not-imposing 4 pounds.

Though they are not really raised for meat in the USA and Europe, Silkies are a gourmet food in many Asian countries. The flavorful black meat and bones are often used in soup, where they are said to be especially healthful for women after childbirth.

As you might expect, with as broody as these birds tend to be, they may not be your star egg layers. They may be able to produce up to three small, tinted eggs a week if they are not caring for babies, though!

A “Bird-Mammal”?

Though they look hair-like, the silkie’s feathers are just that, feathers. They gain their fluffy appearance because they lack the barbicels, the little hooks that hold typical chicken feathers together.

In the 1800’s, gullible Europeans were duped into thinking that the odd-looking fowl was a “Bird-Mammal,” the offspring of a rabbit and a chicken. Thankfully, the Silkie is off the freak-show circuit and happily in many a barnyard.

Pictures Of Silkie Chickens

silkie chicken
Sarah and Jason / Flickr (Creative Commons)
silkie chicken
normanack / Flickr (Creative Commons)
silkie chicken
normanack / Flickr (Creative Commons)

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