The Silkie (also known as the Silky or Chinese silk chicken) is a breed of chicken named for its atypically fluffy plumage, which is said to feel like silk and satin. The breed has several other unusual qualities, such as black skin and bones, blue earlobes, and five toes on each foot, whereas most chickens only have four. They are often exhibited in poultry shows, and appear in various colors. In addition to their distinctive physical characteristics, Silkies are well known for their calm, friendly temperament. It is among the most docile of poultry. Hens are also exceptionally broody, and care for young well. Though 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.
It is believed that Silkies originated somewhere in ancient Asia with an early documented account from Marco Polo during his travels in Asia in the 13th century. In his writings, he described chickens with black fur:
“… I have been told, but did not myself see the animal, that there are found at this place a species of domestic fowls which have no feathers, their skins being clothed with black hair, resembling the fur of cats. Such a sight must be extraordinary. They lay eggs like other fowls, and they are good to eat.” – Marco Polo, The Travels of Marco Polo the Venetian
7 INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT SILKIE CHICKENS
Here are 7 features that make Silkies different from other chicken breeds.
1. SILKIE CHICKENS ARE FLUFFY
The feathers on these birds are furry and fluffy because they don’t have barbs to hold them down. Instead each individual Silkie feather flutters and flies around her like a walking feather duster. This can cause Silkies to get extra cold in the winter. So plz raise them in warm areas!
2. SILKIE CHICKENS HAVE BLACK SKIN AND BONES
Besides the silly fur-like feathers that make a Silkie look like a Muppet, these birds have several other weirdo traits that make them stand out. Silkie’s skin is black or dark blue instead of white. They also have black bones. These are two very strange traits that they share with a few other chicken breeds, the Ayam Cemani among them.
3. SILKIES HAVE EXTRA TOES
Silkies have five toes on their feet instead of the usual four. The fifth toe is very small and pokes out between two others, like it just mistakenly sprouted there one day and decided to hang around. While even with the extra toe (or perhaps because of it) our Silkie, it may still be a clumsy lady.
4. SILKIE CHICKENS’ EARS ARE TURQUOISE
The earlobes of these birds are what truly make them stand out. We thought something was wrong with our Silkie rooster when we noticed his ears were turning blue. In fact, they were bright turquoise!
5. SILKIES MAKE GOOD PETS
Because of the docile nature of these birds and the fact that they don’t make much noise and can barely fly, many people keep them as pets. They are very sweet and love to be held and pet. I’ve seen Silkies that crave the attention of their owners and will sit on their lap all day long. Because of these qualities, they are also the most recommended chicken breed for children.
6. SILKIE CHICKENS ARE A DELICACY
Many people consider Silkie chicken meat to be a delicacy, and restaurants like to charge a pretty penny because of it. Many cultures also believe Silkie meat to have healing properties and contain more nutrients than traditional chicken meat. In China, where Silkies were first bred, women eat these birds after giving birth to get their strength back. So how's your choice? Eat or raise? Or both...
7. SILKIES ARE THE BEST MOTHERS IN THE CHICKEN WORLD
It’s no secret that Silkies make wonderful mothers. Their tendency to go broody (have the urge to sit on eggs) is much higher than any other breed. They will patiently incubate those eggs and lovingly care for whatever comes out of them. They will proudly raise the babies of uninterested flock mates. Even baby ducks and turkeys!
Hope you have enjoyed reading about our adventures with these delightful creatures, and I hope you learned a little something too! Also plz check our farm collection here: https://thesunnyzone.com/collections/metal-sign/farm