Silkie Chicken: Know All About This Breed
The breed which is stand out in the world of chickens. They are fluffy-balls, quirky and unique kinds of chickens.
If you are looking for someone to make your backyard entertaining, then silkie chickens are the best for you. They have a gorgeous appearance that will boost your day and with sweet humor. Although, this breed is a very less common breed of chickens.
It is that kind of breed of chickens that you can consider for your backyard flock.
My guide describes this lovable breed and all the things that you should know about them before you think to invest in them and planning to live with them in harmony.
Background of Silkie Chicken
It said that this unique breed of chickens has come from Asia. It is the oldest breed, an origin of ancient China.
It was the popular item of the Silk Route, that’s why the geography of silkie chicken leads to its name itself. It said that silkie chicken has traces also in India or Java.
It was first mentioned by Marco Polo (around 1290-1300) on his journey across Europe. He had not seen her for the first time but heard from his fellow traveler, and he reported this in his book called “a furry chicken.”
Silkies eventually traveled west on the Silk Road and reached North American soil shortly after via the maritime trade and, it got officially recognized in North America in 1874.
Because of its unique appearance, it has some folklore as well. Silkie’s are very popular in circus and carnival shows. At one time, it believed that these silkies have real mammalian fur.
Today, silkie chickens are the most ever-present breeds of the chickens.
Silkie chickens are also good mothers and used to hatch eggs of other chickens and other poultry breeds. Silkie Chickens are kept as pet chickens.
Appearance of Silkie Chicken
Bantam Silkie chicken are mostly available for the purchase or hatching in North America. Silkie Bantam means that they are the miniature versions of standard-sized chickens.
Usually, Bantam Silkies weighs half the standard weight of the typical chickens. And, the egg size of bantam silkies are third smaller than the standard egg.
Silkies usually grow about eight to fourteen inches in height, and weight is about four pounds maximum. Silkies are charming compact, short and squat legs and rounded body in appearance.
One of the most different features of these chickens are their muff of ear feathers and beard that each of the silkie chicken posses. You can purchase bearded or non-bearded silkie chickens. But, the bearded chickens have more muff of feathers under their beak area.
Silkies have purplish combs and wattles. They also have unique feathers that don’t have barbicels. Barbicels are the small hooks that laches the individual hair of feathers jointly. Because of the lack of barbicels, they look so fluffy. The hair of silkie chickens grows slowly that looks like a dense clump instead of feathers.
These chickens also have a tuft of feathers on the top of their heads. This gives them different looks because usually these hair grows quite long and gets curl around their faces.
Another distinguishing feature of these breeds is that they grow features down their legs, and they have turquoise earlobes too. These birds have the polydactyly gene, which means each one has an extra toe on each foot.
Silkies are available in different colors recognized by the American Poultry Association. Some of them are:
Silkies got purchased for their melanin flight feather quality, and nowadays, many breeds have been intermix with silkies to provide offspring that will have the same feathers quality.
What Is It Like to Own a Silkie Chicken?
If you want to purchase a silkie chicken then you should know about their nature, temperament, and how they behave.
Silkies gets recognized for their calm personality. They are remarkably friendly. They loved to be pet and enjoy lots of attention.
If you have children in your house, then silkies chicken will quickly get along with the children of any dispositions.
Silkies have exclusively raised by their characteristic of broodiness that helps in maximum egg production. Silkie chickens will go broody several times in one season, often spending several months of the year sitting on a nest of eggs.
If your Silkie chicken goes broody, the easiest way to deal with this is to simply allow her to do so.
These pets are docile and friendly and are more than happy to live in confinement. And, because of their warm character, usually, they got bullied by other breeds. It is better to keep them away from varieties.
Also, silkies have poor eyesight. Because their feathery crests and facial feathers can grow to obscure their eyes, you may need to take some extra care to help your chickens see better. You need to be careful if you are keeping your flock in a wet or cold area. Make sure you keep their living area clean at all times and also provide a dry roost for sleeping.
Their feathers are not waterproof, so you need to provide them with ample shelter during rainy periods. The same rule applies to snow – although they can withstand the cold, wet precipitation of any kind is a major problem.
Silkie chicken Eggs
This is the main reason why most people keep silkie chickens.
Silkie chicken eggs are light cream, and with each hen laying around 100 to 150 eggs per year. The exact amount of eggs you will receive depends on the individual bird and their living conditions as well. Some Silkies will lay an egg each day of the year, while others might only lay once a week.
Therefore, it’s not wise to raise Silkies solely for egg production, as you will likely be disappointed.
Now, there must be a question in your heads that can you eat silkie chickens egg? The answer to this question is Yes, you can eat their eggs and the eggs are very nice in eating. The yolk of bantam eggs is larger in comparison with the yolk of large fowl chickens.
The size of the silkie chicken eggs is relatively small to medium.
Silkie chicken Meat
The meat of silkie chicken is juicy, gamier flavor than the meat of other chicken breeds, and it is also a little bit darker and used in many traditional dishes of Asia. Silkie meat is exceptional for you as it strengthens the muscles and bolster the immune system also.
Baby silkies should be kept in a new box for about 6 months. You need to wait to make sure that they have enough feathers to bear cold temperatures. Usually, silkies reach full size in about three or four months. You may find that they leave a lot of dust behind as they put on new growth. During their growth period, they will put on multiple series of feathers and shedding the old ones as they do so.
It is impossible to identify the differences between male and female Silkies until they reach about six or seven months of age.
Silkie chicken price
The cost of bantam silkie chicken is usually around 350rs. Per bird and can easily be purchased from any poultry farm nearby your place. Although, the white silkie chickens are quite expensive than any other silkie chicken.
Is it Right for you?
If you are thinking to have a silkie chicken for your small garden then you should know that you don’t need to do many things to keep them happy and healthy.
Just provide them with fresh water, nutritious, and clean food. Give them a safe place to have a sunbath, and can escape from their predators.
This breed of chickens is very friendly, fluffy, tolerable, loves to sit on a lap and even they enjoy cuddling also.
Believe us, raising one of these quirky silkie chickens is worth it!
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