All About Silkie Chickens (2024)


All About Silkie Chickens (2)

“Sweetie” was my second Silkie to hatch and is still as sweet as ever.

Silkies! Just the name in itself makes them fun little birds to add to your flock. I currently have 3 little Silkie Bantams in our coop and they bring a lot of excitement to our backyard. If you’ve been looking to add this breed to your flock, but have some questions about whether it would be a right fit, I highly recommend the Happy Chicken Coops Ultimate Guide on the Silkie Chicken. It’s full of great information about the origins of the Silkie as well as the pros and cons of adding them to your flock. This week, I’m going to point out some of the features that are unique to this breed and some of my experiences with these cute little chickens.

My very first chicks I ever hatched myself with an incubator were Silkies! I ordered hatching eggs from Alabama Silkies and when they arrived it felt like Christmas! It was an exciting season and we learned a lot.

Silkies are tiny little chicks and only get cuter as they grow. They require the same care in the brooder as standard sized chickens, but they seem a little more fragile for the first couple of days. Silkies have 5 toes as opposed to standard breeds who only have 4 toes. They are super sweet and make great family pets. They’re not known for their egg laying abilities as they only lay an average of 120 small eggs per year. Most people keep Silkies for show birds, family pets, or to brood and hatch eggs. Their eggs are every bit as good as standard sized eggs, but they are small.

All About Silkie Chickens (3)

My first Silkie chicks

Silkies have bright turquoise ears. As a rule of thumb, if chickens have red ears, they’ll lay brown eggs. If they have white ears, they will lay white or cream eggs. Silkies are the exception with blue ears. They lay a white or cream and even pink tinted egg. The poms on the top of their head will sometimes cover their beautiful ears. I’ve had to trim my Silkie’s hair more than once so they could simply see!

All About Silkie Chickens (4)

Sweetie showing off her blue ears

Silkies have all black skin and bones. This makes them a delicacy in some parts of the world. There are other breeds with all black skin and bones such as the Mystic Onyx as well as the Ayam Cemani. Silkies combs are a “walnut” shaped comb and are dark or mulberry in color. They have black eyes and a dark or blue tinted beak.

Sid showing off his walnut comb

Let’s talk about their feathers for a minute. Silkies do not have a typical feather. Their feathers lack barbicels which are the hooks to hold the feathers in. This is what gives them their poofy look. Because they don’t have the standard feathers, they are not flyers. With that said, I’ve had younger Silkies seem to have no problem reaching higher perches. We have low perches in place for them, but a couple will find themselves near the top! Silkies feathers make them susceptible to getting too cold if wet. If your Silkies get significantly wet, towel or blow drying may be necessary. They seem to love the blow dryer though...a little spa day for your chicken! Some people say they are not cold hardy and while they don’t have the same plumage as other breeds, our Silkies have done fine in our Minnesota winters. They snuggle up with the others and do great.

This brings me to the next question I get often. “Do you keep your Silkies with your other standard breeds?” I actually approached this very carefully when I introduced my Silkies to the rest of the flock. I spent a lot of time integrating them into the coop to see if it was safe for everyone. Silkies are smaller, can’t fly and unless you give them a haircut, they can’t see, so defending themselves can prove to be difficult sometimes. Making sure the rest of the flock accepted them was very important to me, and I took a lot of time to make that happen. I didn’t want to keep them separate if I didn’t have to. So, right after our Silkies hatched, I went to our local farm supply store and purchased my Easter Egger chicks. When the Silkies were eating and drinking well (thanks to my Baby Chick Care Kit!) I combined the Silkies and Eggers together. This way they grew up together and integrated into the big flock together. It worked great!

All About Silkie Chickens (6)

A couple of the Silkies and one of my Easter Eggers hanging in the shade.

Silkies are docile, gentle and tolerant, so they make great family pets. Even the roosters are more laid back. I’ve had 3 Silkie roosters and kept them for quite some time. They did really well together, but I defaulted back to my “no rooster” rule. It’s a personal choice. I found them all really good homes and they are now happily watching over and protecting other flocks. Our silkies provide hours of entertainment. They’re silly and have such huge personalities for such tiny little chickens. My all black Silkie, Tango, is convinced that she rules the roost. Hahaha! She doesn’t of course but loves to boss her friends around. She is loud (most Silkies aren’t) but loves to cuddle and adores treat time.

All About Silkie Chickens (7)


If you’re considering adding this fun breed to your flock, I highly recommend them! They do go broody more than other breeds, but they’re sweetness and personalities outweigh their cons. They fit right in with the other girls around here and don’t take extra care for the most part. I have loved having them as part of the family!

Until next time,

--The Wing Lady

  • Backyard Chickens
  • Chicken 101


Recent Posts

See All

What Fruits Can Chickens Eat?


What Do Baby Chicks Eat?


All About the Sapphire Gem Chicken


All About Silkie Chickens (2024)


What is special about Silkie chickens? ›

It is among the most docile of poultry. Hens are also exceptionally broody, and care for young well. Although they are fair layers themselves, laying only about three eggs a week, they are commonly used to hatch eggs from other breeds and bird species due to their broody nature.

What are the pros and cons of a Silkie chicken? ›

Chapter 9: Pros & Cons of Silkie Chickens
Good with kidsSusceptible to live & mites
Relatively quietGo broody often
Great if you're looking to hatch chicksCan get picked on by other chickens
Make for the best petsCan have issues in wet/cold climates
3 more rows
Jun 15, 2023

Do Silkie chickens like to be held? ›

She is loud (most Silkies aren't) but loves to cuddle and adores treat time. If you're considering adding this fun breed to your flock, I highly recommend them! They do go broody more than other breeds, but they're sweetness and personalities outweigh their cons.

How often do Silkies lay eggs? ›

This is later than most chicken breeds since Silkies are slower to mature. You can expect them to lay about 100-120 small cream eggs per year or 2-3 per week. Since they tend to go broody often, their egg laying is often interrupted and inconsistent.

Why are Silkies so expensive? ›

To raise Silkies for meat, it would cost way more in feed and time to produce a smaller, tougher bird.” Silkie have a rich history of Chinese tradition, folklore, and culture. Their dark meat, skin, and bones are believed to have medicinal qualities.

Are Silkies aggressive? ›

Silkie Chicken Character

Silkie co*ckerels are also docile and less aggressive than other breeds and make fine, caring fathers to young, even helping mum with her duties.

Are Silkies hard to keep? ›

Thanks to their fluffy feathers and docile behavior, silkies are a great starter bird for anyone looking to begin their own backyard flock. Silkies generally require smaller coops than other chickens. They still need plenty of food and water, however. Other than that, these birds have relatively few requirements.

Are Silkies hard to take care of? ›

Silkies like all other chickens require a certain amount of care to keep them happy and healthy, and while they are not a high-maintenance breed, because of their delicate and substantial feathering, they do need a little extra attention to keep them looking super smart and sassy.

What are the health issues with Silkies? ›

Silkies in particular, are highly susceptible to Marek's Disease. The percentage of illness and death in a flock can be anywhere from 1% to up to 50%. The clinical disease is typically seen between 6 weeks to 30 weeks of age. But Marek's Disease can develop in older birds as well.

Can you mix Silkies with other chickens? ›

Aside from their adorable looks, this breed is known to be among the friendliest! Don't let their small size fool you, silkies can stand their ground in a mixed flock too. They're fun and love to get to know other chickens in their flock, which makes them some of the best chickens to incorporate into a flock.

How long do Silkies live for? ›

These chickens are long-lived, often having life spans up to around nine years old, and continue to stay beautiful even when older. The fact that silkie chickens are unable to fly due to their fluffy plumage makes them the easiest of all chickens to keep as pets because they are that much easier to contain.

How much do Silkie eggs cost? ›

Blue Banty Farm
Silkie Eggs for Sale
Next Available Ship Date 4/15/2024

Can Silkie chickens survive winter? ›

Caring for Silkie Chicken in Winter

Weatherproof chicken run covers are also a must-have when caring for Silkies to ensure they stay dry while spending time outside of their coop. As long as Silkies are kept dry in cold weather, they will handle cooler temperatures as well as any other breed.

At what age do Silkies stop laying? ›

Silkies will generally consistently lay their eggs for two years or so, then gradually their production will start to decline. A hen won't simply one day stop laying eggs altogether. You will only notice that she might not be laying as much as usual anymore and then she might skip an entire week.

Can Silkies free range? ›

Silkies do well in confinement and will happily cluck about in a proper-sized coop and run, but they are excellent foragers and love to explore, so a little bit of free-ranging is highly advisable if you have the space for it.


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Greg Kuvalis

Last Updated:

Views: 6200

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (55 voted)

Reviews: 94% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Greg Kuvalis

Birthday: 1996-12-20

Address: 53157 Trantow Inlet, Townemouth, FL 92564-0267

Phone: +68218650356656

Job: IT Representative

Hobby: Knitting, Amateur radio, Skiing, Running, Mountain biking, Slacklining, Electronics

Introduction: My name is Greg Kuvalis, I am a witty, spotless, beautiful, charming, delightful, thankful, beautiful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.