Day Old Silkie Bantams
Hatching January to November.
Silkies are cute! They have the “awwwww” factor, so if you are looking for a pet chicken, get yourself a Silkie. These bantam chickens are gentle, docile and like people. They don’t fly well, and they don’t mind being confined. Their feathers are described as “soft,” “downy,” and “fur-like”. These birds do not have barbicels, which allows their feathers spread out rather than hold together which looks like fur.
Any blue variety ordered from Purely Poultry may include chicks with black, blue or splash plumage patterns.
Silkie Bantam Production
Silkies are one of the most popular breeds for exhibition and are quite common. Silkie bantam chickens are not considered good layers as they tend to be broody, wanting to set on eggs instead. Their skin, bones and meat are bluish black and they are seen as a gourmet food for some.
While many Silkies are kept as pets, some breeders also keep them because they are exceptionally broody and good mothers. A Silkie will hatch just about any other kind of egg and will mother the chicks. Because they are so docile and good natured, they sometimes suffer bullying by more aggressive breeds when kept in mixed flocks.
History of the Silkie Bantam Chicken
No one is exactly sure where Silkies originated, but Marco Polo did mention black-skinned, furry chickens in his travels through Asia during the 13th century. There is speculation that the breed was brought west through the silk trade, but no one knows for sure.
There have been many myths about Silkies. They have been billed as being covered in mammal fur, being a hybrid of a chicken and a rabbit, and as having miracle healing properties. Of course none of the myths are true, and though they are unusual chickens, Silkies are, indeed, just chickens.
The American Silkie Bantam Club was established in 1923 and continues as a strong organization today. They host poultry shows, publish a quarterly newsletter, an annual breeders directory, as well as host online forums and provide information about Silkies regularly to members.
Colors: Black, Blue, Buff, White and many more
American Livestock Breeds Conservancy Conservation Status: of no concern.
Body Type: Silkies are considered bantams, as they are quite small. These chickens are crested and either bearded or non-bearded. Another unusual attribute of Silkies is that they have five toes rather than the usual four. The combination of their unusual feathers, blue-black skin and “extra” toe make Silkies quite odd. Their oddity is one of the reasons for their popularity. Silkies are often “starter” chickens.
Standard Weights: Rooster 36 oz, Hen 32 oz, Cockerel 32 oz, Pullet 28 oz
Classification: American Poultry Association Class: Feather Legged Bantam