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The Ultimate Guide on the Silkie Chicken

silkie chicken

The Silkie chicken has been called fluff-balls, aliens from another world, teddy bears, and many other things in between.

Without a doubt, they certainly are unusual-looking chickens!

Their strange appearance, friendliness, and mothering skills are surely what endears them to many folks.

Today we are going to discover the history behind this unusual breed of chicken.

We will discuss its egg-laying capabilities and temperament before identifying a true Silkie chicken and checking if it is a good fit for your flock.

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Silkie Chicken

Beginner Friendly:



7-9 Years

Egg Color:

Cream to tinted

Egg Production:

3-4 per week

Feather Color:

Black, Blue, Buff, Partridge, Self-blue, Splash, White, Gray


Large fowl: 3lb (Female) 4lb (Male); Bantam: 1.2lb (Male) 1.1lb (Female)



Good With Children:


Cost of Chicken:

Chicks: $10-$15 Hens/Roosters: $20-$50

Cold Hardy:

Somewhat; But might need supplemental heat

What Silkie Chickens Look Like

Silkie Chicken

Silkies are most certainly different in many ways from a ‘regular’ chicken appearance!

The head should be crested, looking somewhat like a ‘pom-pom’ (similar to a polish chicken). If a comb is present, it should look like a ‘walnut,’ being almost circular in appearance.

The comb coloring should be black or dark mulberry – any other color, and it is not a pure Silkie chicken.

They have oval-shaped turquoise blue earlobes and dark-colored wattles.

Their beak is short, quite broad at the base, and it should be grey/blue in color. Eyes are black.

Their bodies should be broad and stout, the back is short, and the breast is full.

They have five toes instead of the usual four found in chickens. The outer two toes should be feathered.

The legs are short and wide-set, grey in color.

Their feathers lack barbicels (those are the hooks that hold the feathers together), hence the fluffy appearance.

The main feathering looks just like the under-down of regular chickens.

The fact that the feathers do not hold together means a Silkie chicken cannot fly.

It also means that the feathering is not waterproofed, and so a wet Silkie chicken is a pathetic sight to see.

If they do get significantly wet, they need to be towel-dried or even blow-dried – which they enjoy if it is done regularly.

Underneath all that fluff, the Silkie has black skin and bones. Sadly, this makes them a food delicacy in parts of the Far East.

The meat is also used in Chinese medicine since it contains twice as much carnitine as other chicken meat – carnitine has anti-aging properties (so it is said).

Silkie Chickens: What You Want to Know

Silkie chickens, fortunately, do not need a lot of hands-on attention and care.

These birds just like most adult chickens do just fine in winter climates and do not demand a lot if you are looking for less work on your end.

Egg Laying and Temperament

Silkie Chicken

Silkies are poor performers in the egg-laying department.

If you get 120 eggs in a year, you are doing well. This equates to about 3 eggs each week.

The eggs are cream to tinted in color and are small to medium in size.

They start laying earlier in the year than most hens, starting up once the days begin to get longer – occasionally late December but more often early January.

Their temperament and silkies are known to be calm, friendly, and docile – even the boys.

It has been recorded by several people that the roosters will ‘tidbit for the chicks!

This docility can lead to them being picked on by other more ‘pushy’ flock members.

They do best when put with others of a similar nature, such as the Polish hen.

Despite their fluffy feathering, they tolerate the cold fairly well – wetness is something they cannot tolerate.

If your climate is freezing in the winter, they will benefit from a little supplemental heat.

They are content to be confined, but if allowed to, free-range are great little foragers.

The area they forage should be a ‘safe zone’ since they cannot fly to escape predators.

Silkies are more renowned as being pets, brooders, and ‘ornamental’ birds.

The Silkie chicken is notoriously difficult to sex until around six months old. A breeder can certainly give you their best guess in sex, but it’s not certain until the bird crows (or not)!

Are Silkies Noisy?

Silkies are actually not noisy chickens at all. This makes sense considering their calm disposition.

This makes this breed great if you live in an apartment and are allowed to have chickens.

As long they have some space they can be a great addition to your lifestyle. You won’t have to worry about your neighbor complaining about chicken squawking.

Silkie Chicken Care (And What to Watch Out For)

Health Issues

Unfortunately, silkies can be quite susceptible to Marek’s disease.

Many silkie chicken breeders have bred their stock for natural immunity, but of course, you can get your birds vaccinated.

With Silkies being very fluffy, they can be a target for mites and lice, so you should pay due diligence to these little fluffballs. You may also need to trim the feathers around the eyes to help them see a little better.

Occasionally, the fluff at the rear end does need trimming for hygiene and breeding purposes.

Other than this, the Silkie chicken is quite robust and will usually live for 7-9 years, longer with lots of TLC!

If A Silkie Gets Wet

Drying your Silkie chicken quickly can be the difference between life and death for your fluffy chicken.

Since the feathers do not stick together on this “furry” breed, they aren’t insulated, and other breeds of chickens. This means they can catch a chill easily and die of hypothermia, especially if they live in cold climates.

Tid-bitting is when a rooster finds a tasty treat and calls his hens over to allow them too much on it first. He usually clucks to them, picks up the morsel, and drops it so the girls can see it.

Silkies have been known to do this for chicks as well.

While most roosters in this breed are friendly, there are also territorial and aggressive territories to strangers. But as with all breeds, temperament can vary from chicken to chicken.

Pros and Cons of Owning a Silkie



  • Great with kids

  • Make good pets

  • They live a long time

  • They get along with other chickens

  • Make great mothers

  • Susceptible to Marek's disease

  • Is not very cold hardy

  • Are not great egg-layers

  • Because of their furry feathers, they can be susceptible to lice/mites

  • Known for being broody


There is no doubt that the Silkie chicken is an ancient breed, probably of Chinese origin.

Some believe that the Silkie chicken dates back as far as the Chinese Han Dynasty, in 206BC.

Silkie Chicken

The Chinese name for the Silkie chicken is wu-gu-Ji – meaning black-boned.

An alternative name for this bird is the Chinese Silk Chicken. The evidence points to a Chinese origin quite strongly, but it cannot be stated completely.

It was first mentioned by Marco Polo (around 1290-1300) on his remarkable journey across Europe and the Far East. Although he did not see the bird, it was reported to him by a fellow traveler, and he reported it in his journal as “a furry chicken.”

The Silkie chicken made its way westward either by the Silk Road or by the maritime routes, likely both.

The ancient Silk Road stretched from China to modern-day Iraq. Numerous secondary routes crossed over into Europe and the Balkan states.

The next mention we have is from Italy, where Aldrovandi, in 1598, speaks of a chicken with “fur like a black cat.”

When people first introduced the Silkie chicken to the European public, it was said to be the offspring of a chicken and a rabbit – a not so unbelievable thing back in the 1800s!

Many unscrupulous sellers sold Silkies to gullible folks for curiosity, and it was used as a ‘freak show’ item in traveling sideshows and exhibited as a ‘bird mammal.

Breed Standard

Experts accepted the Silkie chicken into the British Poultry Standard of Perfection in 1865 and the American Poultry Association standard in 1874.

The Australian Poultry Standard accepted Silkies in 1998 (bantams only).

Interestingly, all Silkies in the US and Canada are considered to be bantam regardless of size. Every other country in the world recognizes both bantam and large fowl types.

In the UK, large fowl Silkies should weigh around 4lb (64oz) for the male and 3lb (48oz) for the females, and bantams should weigh around 600g (21oz) for males and 500g (18oz) for females.

Accepted colors are blue, black, white, grey, buff, splash, and partridge. Several other colors are available, such as lavender, cuckoo, and red, but they are not yet accepted in the APA.

Silkie Chicken Pictures

partridge silkie
Partridge Silkie – By Steven Walling


black silkie
Black Silkie – By Derek Harper


splash silkie
A Beautiful Splash Silkie

Is the Silkie Right For You?

A Silkie chicken is the ultimate in kids’ chickens. They are cuddly, fluffy, and tolerant, love sitting in your lap, and even enjoy cuddles.

They are very friendly, calm, and docile birds and interact very well with people – they will follow you around and ‘talk’ to you.

This docility can lead to them being picked on by more aggressive flock members, so try to keep an eye open for bullying.

Silkies are notoriously broody – the standing joke is that a Silkie can hatch a rock! They also make great mothers.

Many folks keep Silkies to hatch out other eggs. A Silkie chicken in ‘broody mode’ will usually accept any eggs (including duck) placed under her.

If you live in an apartment and want to have chickens as pets, the Silkies are a perfect fit since they are pretty quiet too.

However, if you live in an area that is inclined to be wet and muddy, be aware that those conditions do not really agree with Silkies because of their feathering, but if you absolutely must have them, you will need to keep them clean and dry.

Commonly Asked Questions About Silkie Chickens

How Cold Can Silkies Handle?

Silkies are relatively cold hardy birds and tolerate low temperatures well. As long as you give these chickens a roof over their head, they will survive in temperatures close to zero degrees Fahrenheit.

Do Silkie Chickens Lay Eggs to Eat?

Yes, a silkie chicken is considered a backyard chicken, and they lay white/cream-colored eggs that are safe to eat.

Are All Silkies Bantams?

In some countries, like the United States, Silkies are recognized only as bantams. However, in certain regions, breeders bred them up to large fowl.

How Often Do Silkies Lay Eggs?

A silkie chicken can lay about 120 eggs per year, about 2-4 eggs per week.

Are Silkie Chickens Expensive?

The price of a silkie can vary. Top-quality silkie chicks can cost around $10-$15, and hens can cost between $20-$50.

Do Silkie Chickens Smell?

Like all pets, chickens have a distinct smell. When you don’t bathe your animal or pets, they start to smell bad.

As long as you keep them and their quarters clean these chickens should not smell different than they normally smell.

Silkie Chickens: Summary

The Silkie chicken always brings a smile to peoples’ faces. This ‘odd-ball and the slightly unusual bird is certainly a crowd pleaser!

Although they won’t keep you in eggs, they will supply you will a lot of love, smiles, and cuddles. When they become bonded to their owners, they can be described as ‘dog-like in their devotion.

They will follow you, talk to you, check out what you are doing, and ‘help’ too!

They are certainly a great bird to have around if you have eggs you want to hatch but don’t want to fiddle around with an incubator.

Read how to hatch eggs with a broody hen for more on that.

All in all, these funny little birds are a joy to have and give much pleasure to their owners.

Our Choice for All-In-One Automatic Chicken Coop Door

Run Chicken

  • Works Rain or Shine so you don’t have to let them out in inclement weather.
  • Go ahead and get those extra hours of sleep or go on vacation, our door has you covered.
  • Protect your Chickens from Predators with our self-locking feature

Our Choice For Best Chicken Treats

Happy Grubs: More Calcium Than Mealworms

  • Increase Egg Production
  • Stronger Egg Shells
  • Healthy Feathers

If you have Silkies, we would love to hear from you. Leave your comments in the section below…

Read Next: Bringing Chickens Home For The First Time

Silkie Chicken



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118 thoughts on “The Ultimate Guide on the Silkie Chicken

  1. I’ve had Silkies for several years. They are broody and wonderful mothers. I did not know about drying them if they get wet. Thank you for that information.

    1. Do you know anything about a high-pitched drumming coo? My new baby silkie has started making this odd noise and I’m worried as to what it might mean. She’s my first silkie and I’m scared to lose her if this is fatal.

    2. I got some bantam chicks for fun this Spring when I was picking out new chicks….there were 4 little ones with feathered feet, so I got them. 2 of them were teeny tiny, and one is now old enough to know for sure it’s a white silkie! I’m so excited! I never had a silkie, so
      I appreciate the info- I can’t wait to see if it crows!

  2. I have 4 of the little sweeties. They are so much fun. It turns out that we have 1 fella, because he has began to sing (almost) sounds like sore throat. They love to chase grasshoppers, funny to watch.

  3. Unexpectedly hatched two stunning partridge Silkies and a HUGE black hybrid with the most enormous feet.
    They came with a batch of mixed Pekin eggs, so were not expected. Everybody, (grandchildren) has begged me not to get rid of them, the two Silkies I had a few years ago died of cold, and I said never again, just have to take them into the warm when the weather turns verycold!!

    1. When you say your silkies died of cold could you give me further information on this. How cold – what was the temperature. I am in Scotland and have just purchased my first Silkies and would like to be prepared. Thank you!

      1. Important thing to remember is the difference in feathers on the Silkies and their inability to dry off like other chickens. Keep them dry.

      2. I live in Canada and we get very cold winters. I have never lost a Silkie to the cold. We do not use heat lamps just a coop with other birds that they huddle with. The only thing you need to make sure is that they stay dry. I’ve seen my silkies in the snow btw.

        1. Start holding him and hold him down and pet his neck. I have a little devil black rooster and a very large sex link and my little devil scares everyone so we are holding him daily and everyone has to hold him to get used to them. He is so funny and he scares the big rooster.

      3. Start holding him and hold him down and pet his neck. I have a little devil black rooster and a very large sex link and my little devil scares everyone so we are holding him daily and everyone has to hold him to get used to them. He is so funny and he scares the big rooster.

  4. Love your site and read most blogs. I have a question. We have just lost a silky cross, she was only about a year old and we just found her dead today. She was happy and well yesterday and she was a lovely friendly girl.
    Can you tell me if this is unusual or give me any idea what could have caused it.
    Thanks Gill Walker an avid reader

    1. Hi Gill,
      I’m so sorry to hear about your Silky 🙁
      Send me an email and I’ll see if I can help,

        1. What you are referring to is called a vaulted skull. It is sometimes present and sometimes not. They will both end up with fluffy crests!

      1. i have a silke and she screamed at me when i came to get the eggs and i dont know what to do is she ok????? because she has never been that loud before????

    2. It might have been attacked by a predator. If you tell me what the bird looked like while dead, then I might be able to figure out the cause or predator.

  5. I have three white Silkies, they are such a joy. They do talk to me, one quite loudly when she wants a a treat or spots a chipmunk… I keep reading everywhere not to let them be wet or cold. Mine want to play in the rain, it drives me crazy with worry after all of the scary stories. They have shelter but they choose to go out in the run to dig for bugs when its wet. they come in absolutely filthy, then sit in their dry warm coop cleaning and fluffing their feathers. I go touch them to make sure their bodies are warm enough and they seem fine. (fingers crossed)

  6. I started taking care of Chinese Silkies since 2016 and I find my quadro set good egg layers. They can easily fill up my egg trays in less than a week. I just love them being all so soft, fluffy and docile. ?

  7. I just got my first silkies and hoping I’m taking care of them right…they have a nice run but it does leak every now and then when we get a lot of rain…they have heat lamps and plenty of shavings…any advice would be greatly appreciated

    1. I highly suggest reading The Joy Of Keeping Chickens. It is very useful and says about meat and egg production, feeding, housing, and flock diseases.

    2. They like grass you could put some in their cage when your around then always talk soft And slow they like a mellow invirirment talk to them a lot let them hear your voice sometimes when they will eat out of your hand if they fell safe and maybe sit on your lap but you have to make them feel safe first. Good luck

  8. I recently learned that silkies prefer to sleep on the floor or ground, rather than roosting. Something to keep in mind when designing their space. I had one who kept sleeping right under the roost, and other chickens kept pooping on her!

  9. I have a little silkie she is black and her name is onyx. She is the sweetest thing in the world. She lives inside the house, we keep a diaper on her. She follows me all over the house, she knows her name and comes when I call her. She’s such a joy. But about 5 months agoi noticed she couldn’t see very well. I always keep her feathers trimmed around her eyes, so I knew it wasn’t that. I took her to the vet and she is blind. It hurts my heart because she’s not the same, she doesn’t explore or follow me like she used to. She’s healthy but she seems sad. Anyway that’s my story about my little baby. They are the best pets

    1. It’s so sad for ur sweet Onyx. I hope things have worked out for you, she sounds so sweet.

    2. What a sweet story if she’s sad now it’s time for you to go to her , you can sit on the floor and hold her that would give her comfort and talk to her let her eat out of your hand ,shell be ok if she can hear your voice I’m so glad to hear she means so much to you . Maybe get her a baby silkie as a friend a baby would sit right by her .

    3. Try rocking her in a rocking chair. Mine just love it. It is when they are most relaxed and comfortable. After about five minutes of rocking they usually lay their little head on my shoulder and go to sleep

  10. I found a young black silkie in a super market parking lot today. I’ve never had chickens before but I’m going to keep him. He’s looking a little ratty, what can I do to clean him up a bit? Thank.

    1. Make sure he has plenty of food and water . Sometimes when they’ve gone without for a while they look ragged out if you can go get him a little friend , another little silkie .im so glad you brought him home go slow with him and calm make him feel safe You and him will be just fine bless you .

  11. I have 2 beautiful silkies but I can never be able to hold them especially the male. They come close to me and follow me around but no touching. What shall I do
    Thank you very much

    1. They will eat out of your hand , with time if your loveimg and mellow with them even sits on your lap they just have to feel safe and loved.

  12. Are these chickens able to stand the weather condition in Southern Africa?
    If yes, how can we get them or the eggs?

    1. I had a Silkie for many years in Paarl, Western Cape, RSA. Gets very hot in the summer there. She didn’t seem to mind the winters much either but did have a shelter to retire to if needed and plenty of shrubs in the garden to hide under if it poured. Loved pottering around eating spiders and bugs. Got on well with a muscovie duck, rabbits, guinea pigs and homing pigeons.

  13. I have 3 silkie hens that I love. They are not great egg layers, but they are adorable. We have a 6×8 house with shavings on the floor, and a 2×3 raised nesting house inside. They love to go up the ladder and snuggle in here for the night. This is also where they lay their eggs. We have a little electric heater and thermostat that keeps the temperature at 0 so they are very comfortable.

  14. I got 4 young silkies couple days old. Now they’re around 6 months. 1 Had a cross Peak and Died. One obviously was a rooster crowing and attack my wife. We sent him off to a happy 4-H family. Since then the other two that had been very quiet are now crowing. Does that mean that they’re boys. Is there any way to tell?

      1. I just started my new adventure with 5 silkie chicks. They have all died after 5 days. I think I did everything right. Anyone else have this happen.

  15. Last month I lost the biggest little silkie rooster Ernie. He gave his life defending his two big hens. Lost to the neighbor dog. He was 3 months short of 10 years old. The hens were so sad I got them a 5 month old silkie rooster to keep them company. Everyone is now doing better. I love silkies. They are great roosters with standard size hens.

    1. Wow 10 yrs. old didn’t know they lived that long , what a sweet story, bless his heart . I’ve had them before they are much more personable than reg. Chickens , I really love them .

  16. Hi I’m thinking of getting Silkies, I would ideally just like one hen, would this be ok?
    I could possibly get two if this isn’t.
    I have quite a large shed I can convert and keep them in during winter (I live in the UK) but would also would like to keep them in the house.

  17. I have 2 silkies, Sally is a beautiful little buff, and Sissy, a little white snowball. They are so sweet and are house chickens.

  18. I just bought 2 little silkie chicks. Thet are absolutely adorable. I look forward to bonding with them and cuddling these little sweeties. Thanks for all of your tips.

  19. I would love to get several silkies but a friend said they’re high maintenance and get poop all in their feathers. How do I prevent this? Do I build a coop with some kind of raised floor? I was planning on building a pallet coop. I’m concerned about them getting wet too.

    1. They are not high mAtenance they are just like any other chicken food water calm invirement and love

  20. hi my Plymouth Rock jest died yesterday March 4 2018.i was so upset that my dad said i could get some more chicks and i want a silkie bantam! but my question is how many eggs do they lay a week? some say they lay okay some say there getting like 5 eggs a week! what i need is the truth i’m getting the chicks this week so i need an answer soon! thank you

  21. Hello I asking the same question about? which color of the s Slkies are the best layers in eggs, The Blue , white , gray ??

  22. I just got my silkie yesterday and it already loves me.
    Everything you said is true.
    I also have a silkie rooster and I would like to tame it. Do you have any ideas on how I can do it? I am a 9 year old girl who is tough enough to handle a rooster.

  23. My 2 silkie hens have been laying since
    dec 2018 I get an egg a day some times one will lay every day then rest for a day. Mine are good layers

  24. Hello, My school is considering getting chickens next year and I was wondering how sensible it would be to get a silkie. They seem like such adorable and friendly chickens but they would mostly be with elementary schoolers. just wanted to know how they acted around small children and if this would be a safe choice. Thank you!

      1. As long as they have a calm invirement you should monitor them make sure they are not messed with too much make sure the kids Aren’t acting stupid with them kids sometimes aren’t nice to animals .

  25. Can someone settle a good natured “argument”? Do we need a rooster for our chickens to lay?
    We’re just got our first batch of silkies today and we already love them! They are ridiculously adorable and have already proven to be friendly, mellow chicks. More to come as our run new journey continues!

  26. Hello , I also have a pair of silkie among the breeds of chicken in my small farm. But i am worried about them as the female is still not laying eggs although they are already a year old and the female is not showing quite usual behavior which is making me a lot worried . so, can i get some suggestions , please ?

  27. Hello. How can we really tell if our silkie has laid a fertilized egg? She will occasionally sit on the egg for an hour or 2 each day but that is it. Don’t they need to sit on the eggs a little longer than that in order for them to be viable?

  28. Hello, i got my two silkies april of this year. They are both about 18 weeks old now. One is definitely a rooster..he started to crow about a week ago. Little pathetic crows that i look forward to every morning! And since the other hasnt crowed and the comb isnt anything near the roosters comb, im pretty sure shes a..she. Now im just wondering should she start laying soon? And also…theres a pretty good chance they are siblings. Is this an issue to have them together? I don’t have other chickens just these two.

  29. We have been raising Silkies for quite a few yesrs.we have several color variaties.The silkie is a joy to have around.They are little fuzz balls We wouldn’t take nothing for oour silkies.Try them out.

  30. I had gotten two silkies. I have a mixed flock of larger chicken and two polish. I was hoping if I had two silkies they would hang out together. Sadly, one was a roo and I can’t keep roos where I live, so gave him away. The silkie bonded with a salmon favorelle I got around the same time. I haven’t introduced them to the rest of the flock yet. They are about 10 weeks old. Still too young. Am worried the silkie, being so small by herself might be at too much risk. She loves to sit in my lap and have long talks?. Do you recommend that I keep the salmon favorelle and the silkie seperate altogether or when they’re bigger try introducing them. Should I get a couple more silkies so she isn’t the only small bird?

  31. The thing about not getting wet is greatly overblown. I’ve had silkies for 9 years and currently have a dozen. We live in a wet climate and it’s as likely to rain as to snow in January. The girls have a warm dry coop and a partially covered yard but range outdoors as much as they like . They are frequently soaked but it has never been an issue. I’ve only lost 2 silkies in 9 years and neither had to do with the weather. They are lovely pets and good egg layers if not broody. Mine lay much of the winter. However they are broody half the summer.

    1. Where do you live? And how much shelter do they have? I’m in west of Ireland it rains a lot and currently only have 2 small sheltered spots like 1mx1m… do the cockerels crow loudly? And can you get rid of broodiness with sin bin or water baths? Or do they come out of the broodiness themselves?

  32. Hi,
    I have a question, although, I suspect I already know the answer.
    Among my young White Silkies, (five months old, now) i have one rooster that is Silkie in every aspect, except one. I believe he may be a hybrid. He has the conformation of a Silkie, i.e. black skin, turquoise earlobes, five toes, beautiful silky feathers, and, is of the bearded variety. However; here comes the part that makes me question his purity; his comb, although black, is single. Kind of like that of a Cochin bantam.
    He is a beautiful bird and one of the sweetest tempered of my “White tribe”. I, also, have a “Buff tribe” and Black and Blue Australorps. He is one of two that need a time out with me every day, flying onto my lap to be petted and take a nap. I would like to keep my Silkies within the correct conformation standards, and, I would guess that I should keep him off a breeding program.
    Can someone confirm my suspicions? Any help will be greatly appreciated. I don’t want to outsource him just because of this.

    1. Silkies can have one comb however not as favored in breeding so if you want to reduce the chances of creating another I would keep it from the breeding program.

  33. I have a black silkie rooster. He was supposed to be a hen and then one day started crowing. He is not calm or docile, he is on the aggressive side and my kids are afraid of him as he has gone after them and myself. Can anything be done?

  34. I have white silkies.
    Years ago my first silkie was an adoption. He was a bright white, bright rooster. Already mature, he quickly became buddies with Rufus my very large standard boy.
    I noticed they got along very well every day.
    One evening arriving home in my truck, I noticed a goshawk standing in the middle of our long drive near the coop. It looked strange just standing there. To my horror I noticed white feathers floating around his feet. I only had one white chicken and quickly got the hawk shooed away and ran to the chicken yard & coop. There he was. Motionless laying just outside the safety of the run. Oh my, how the feathers flew in the breeze! I gently picked him up while looking for his injuries. Not a speck of blood was present! He actually came back to an obviously live state. We returned to the coop with me in amazement!
    No one saw the attack. This is my best guess as ti how it went down…
    The hawk cased the joint, alerted the roosters in some way, and began his killer dive for the most visible chicken.
    My little fluff ball got picked up by his feathers falling from the hawk’s clutches and landed stunned where I found him.
    The hawk was equally stunned, possibly hitting the chicken house as he juggled about trying to get a talon on something besides feathers!
    After this, I began paying more attention to the chicken yard.
    Whenever an alarm was raised, the big rooster went out to herd the girls into their coop. Silkie would stand guard at the door flap encouraging them loudly to get under cover. I saw this several times and was amazed how the two roosters worked in tandem like tagging wrestlers. Sometimes Silkie would do the round up, but whatever the situation, they worked together.
    Never saw another goshawk on my 50 acres again!

    1. Wow what an amazing story. Chickens are very smart and I’m glad to hear the roosters are taking charge.

    2. I love how your roosters work as a team! I had a possible bird of prey near the coop once, but all the girls hid and only one was missing, but she was ok, just outside the coop camouflaged against a white sack. Hasn’t happened again since. I’m hopefully getting a rooster soon.

  35. You helped me decide on silkie,this past weekend I went lawn sales this women is shredder she was selling some dollies I wanted them but I wanted more information about them,I have muscovy and call ducks there my babies they sound they will get along so I’m happy I read up on them heard about them on this site thank you I will check in with you when I get them

  36. I have had chickens fro about 10 years now and have always wanted some silkies to add to the flock. I ordered some over this past winter. I ordered 2 white, 1 black and 1 buff alone with 2 frizzles. I was so excited when we received them in July. The babies were just too cute. They ate well and got bigger. when they were 2 months old I introduced them to my other chickens. I kept them in a different cage so the bigger birds that I already had can see them and get used to them with out hurting the 2 month olds. After a week of doing that I let them all be together. (This is how I have done it in the past many times and all were smoothly transitioned) They all seemed fine for a few weeks. All were fine one day then the next our buff was dead. There was no signs of any one picking on her so I was confused. Then a few days later my son said our black one would not stand up, but later was ok. The next day I went to make sure the black one was ok and she was, but one of the white ones was laying out in our run out area of our coop. I thought she was dead, but she was moving. I scooped her up and made a bin with shaving in it for her to be separate in. I took the other black silkie, white silkie and 2 frizzles out and put them in another area separated from the others. They all looked fine and were running all over. Then the one white silkie when in the corner and laid down. The others huddled around her. I left for a few hours and came back to the white one not moving much. What is going on with the silkies?? I had some electrolytes and picked up the white one that was ok a few hours ago and was not moving much. I tried to give her the electrolytes but she died in my hands. The other white on that I found in the coop on the ground was still alive and i tried the same, but later that day she died. My daughter went to a sleepover at a friends house and told me not to bury her silkie if it dies. That she wanted to bury her. Since the silkies body was cold the next day my daughter noticed black bugs all over her white feathers. I looked this up online and saw that they were mites. I purchased a bag of diatomaceous earth and dusted all the flock with it. I sprayed a mixture of oil, water soap in the coop and on the roosts. I cleaned out the old bedding. I change it on a weekly basis anyways. It this what could have caused the 3 chicks to die? Could it have been anemia or something from the mites that caused their deaths? I called the business that I purchased the chicks from to see if they had other issues like mine and she was asking me what food that I feed them as they were underweight. I was feeding them the same as my older bird which is an egg layer crumble. In the past with other younger birds when they were 2 months old being introduced into the coop I switched their feed from the chic start to what the other chickens were eating and all always was fine. The rep said that the egg layer has too much calcium and can cause kidney failure. She said to keep both types of feed in the coop.I got some regular chicken feed with out being an egg layer product. Is egg layer feed a poison to 2- 3 month old silkies? Are silkies more susceptible to any developmental growth or illness problems? What did I do wrong? I feel so bad. I have 1 black silkie that is very quite this am and the 2 frizzles look great. I feel that I’m going to loose my last silkie.

    1. I hope you still have your silkies. Silkies are very susceptible to mites. They need to be dusted regularly. That is very likely what killed them. I breed silkies and mites are a constant battle.

  37. Silkies are so cool as I’m doing a project right now on them just learning about them, I’m suppose to create a facebook page pretending I’m the chicken so will see how it goes.

  38. I have a small group of 8 Silkies hatched in April by a good friend, she is currently undergoing chemotherapy and I am now their caregiver. Thank you for your tips and info!!!

  39. I have a Silkie cross. She lays blue eggs on occasion. My daughters love her and can easily carry her around. She sits on their lap on the backyard swing or by their side in the sandpit. As her other Silkie friends have died a while back she was quite lonely and depressed. We recently got a female Khaki Campbell Duck and they are the best of friends. Rarely will they leave each other’s side. Very adorable.

  40. Hello, I have 3 white silkies that I introduce to my small flock of mixed breeds and so far they are doing great. A little segregated at times when I free range them, but doing well. Each day they blend more and more together. My question is out of the 3 white I believe I have 2 hens and a rooster, because of their wattles, only one has a large one coming off the sides of the face chin area. But he is often found in the nesting boxes? Could it be a hen? Or is he just sitting in theboxegs for warmth or sitting on an egg. I do find eggs in the box, but not sure who is laying them. My hens lay every day. The only reason I think he is a roster is because the other two do not have these wattles and he tends to or tries to crow around 9 am but its a funny sound.

  41. Greetings! My granddaughter and I have owned backyard chickens for five years. Last fall we ordered Silkie eggs from a Hatchery in Alabama, (we live in Mich.) We incubated them and successfully hatched 6 ADORABLE baby chicks on Nov. 20 & 21st. We have a beautiful array of colors, each one a unique color and personality! Our Silkies have been raised indoors, playing barbies and American Girl Dolls with my six yr. old granddaughter. We love them so much that we have decided to keep them all as indoor pets, keeping them in diapers, bathing them and blow drying them twice weekly. (They really enjoy their baths!) We have four Roos and two hens! Because we live in an area that does not permit Roosters, we let them outside to play for a couple hours, then back indoors they come. Mornings are CRAZY with four roosters Crowing, simultaneously, and taking turns for a couple hours! Fortunately, I live alone with my granddaughter, our love for them has heightened our tolerance for A LOT of morning Ruckus! (Most friends think we’re Crazy, until they spend time with our eccentric, lovable, “fur babies.” ….I have one Gorgeous, Blue, alpha male, who at just 5 months old is quite virile! Since Silkies are not fully mature until at least 10 months old, should I be keeping the hens from the roos? We have one, very timid, sweet, caramel girl who gets pounced on numerous times a day, (they’re only 5 months old). The other Stunning white female has a stronger personality. She and the Alpha male hang close together, but he doesn’t try to mate with her ~ at least not while I’m looking! The other three males, wite/gray, reddish brown, and black are all very vocal, but aren’t mating the females. …Should we be keeping them separated from the females until the girls are older?

  42. I had silkies for 4 yrs. Before I was told to get rid of them by the manager of the trailer park. The temp dropped below 15degrees f. Never had a problem. If you pick them up in the late fall you should find masses of short feathers that totally obscure the skin and keep them very warm. Wetness is a danger but mine did great in winter.

    1. Thank you for this info. I live in Idaho, so it is always a FREEZING and LONG winter. Just adopted an almost full grown silkie roo, and was concerned with my winters

  43. Are silkie chicks loud at night? If so how to stop them and be quiet
    Also , do they wreck your garden?
    What are some suitable cages?
    Last one, how cold can they reach? ☺️

  44. We have a 1.5 yr. old Silkie hen. We bought 2 EE chicks planning on using a heat lamp and caring for them until big enough to place with the older hens. We introduced the chicks to our Silkie one night when they were peeping and wanting to be cuddled to sleep. We placed her in a cage with them overnight and then back out into her pen with the others by day. After the 2nd night together she adopted them full on – without first having been broody. A testament to how much they love mothering. She’s an amazing sweet teddy bear and mother – one of the greatest joys of chicken owning is watching them raise chicks!!

  45. A funny story, we have two hens, 1 yr and 3 yr with a chick 3 months. When evening id falling, the older hen will go up the ramp and plop herself in the doorway and be fast asleep. It is funny to see the other two try to figure out how to get in the house. The younger hen jumps over but the chick has to squeeze (him -her?)self between the frame and the hen to get in. The hen in the door never wakes, and of course we can’t close the door either. Haven’t figured this out.

  46. I just got an almost full grown silkie rooster! His name is Rocky! I love him dearly. He is a little skiddish but when I have my hands on him, he loves cuddles and loves to be adored. I can lay in bed and watch a show, and he will lay on top of me and take a nap! Wonderful breed of chicken that is perfect for if you have young kids

  47. I have been asked if I would like to have 2 silkies both are 4 months old one male and one female, I would love to have these two but my concern is that I have a very big and handsome Brahma rooster and a black copper Marans hen, I worry that they won’t receive the newcomers well, does anyone have advice on introducing new chickens? I worry about the size difference between the Brahma and the silkies.

  48. We have 3 Silkies and one of them is a Showgirl! I was surprised not to see anything about these but think maybe they’re a new/variant breed of Silkie. Ours are very skittish and standoffish and the Showgirl is one of the meanest ones of my little rainbow flock of various other hens. One of them is most definitely broody but the Showgirl never is. They are adorable.

  49. Hi I live in Florida I’m thinking about getting a silky do you think they would do good in Florida weather they are a neat breed and I think the polish chicken are good breed also I love reading your blog on the different chicken breed thanks for the email you sent me

  50. This article is spot-on!

    My 3 Silkies get regular “spa days”! I bathe them, blow dry them (they love this & generally fall asleep during it!), see if they have any ragged nails that need to be trimmed, & give them sliced grapes afterwards for being so good! They know their names as well as a dog does, & will come running from the backyard when I call for them.

    My son’s favorite one (the baby of the other 2) will sometimes go on a bike ride with him or just lay on his chest in bed for some snuggle time. Her name is “Nugget”, & she is ‘disabled’ (wry neck), as is he (with Autism). That has taught him to be more okay with himself, & to see himself as others see him — with love & compassion — just like we do for Nugget!

  51. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I really
    appreciate your efforts and I will be waiting for your
    further write ups thank you once again.

  52. Some strains of the Silkie are more prone to Marek s disease than others. Although you can get your birds vaccinated at source, if you are buying from a private breeder it is worth your time asking about this disease.

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  54. Interesting article! I do have to say, I love my Silkies! I have 3 hens (Mochi, Pebbles, Nutmeg) and a rooster (Eclipse) (along with a menagerie of other breeds!) However, that being said, I find that Silkies are the best of my laying hens! They lay at least 5 a week for me, each. The reason why they are characterized as a low laying breed, is that they go broody often. Most of mine don’t go broody (that being said, I have a broody silkie hatching eggs right now) but because of that, they are eggceptional layers.

    Also, the last silkie in the picture section, the splash one, looks like either a mix or a poor quality silkie – it doesn’t have the black pigmenation.

    Hopefully this reply doesn’t sound rude, that was not my intent!

  55. Wow, this guide is amazing! I’ve always been fascinated by the Silkie chicken breed and the unique ways they can be used on a homestead. I can’t wait to try out some of these ideas and see how they work for my flock. Thanks so much for sharing! 🐔📚

  56. Wow, this ultimate guide to the Silkie Chicken is incredibly comprehensive! I had no idea they were such unique and fascinating birds. I’m definitely considering getting one as a pet after reading this post. Thank you for sharing!

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