A Guide to Chicken Breeds: Silkie

A rather unusual yet popular (especially here in the Solway Feeders office) breed of chicken is the Silkie. The breed originates from China but exactly how they came to be is still a mystery. The earliest known written account of Silkies comes from the Venetian merchant and traveller Marco Polo during the 13th century. Their name most likely comes from their fluffy silk-like plumage which is rarely seen among most breeds.

The Silkie’s novelty factor is what has made the breed initially popular but, over time, many have come to see what makes the Silkie truly different from other breeds. Silkies are a small breed of chicken which can be found in colourings ranging from white to grey and blue to black. With regards to egg production; a Silkie hen will produce roughly 3 fairly small creamy coloured eggs. Silkies can be eaten however their meat is a greyish-black and as such is unfavoured by westerners due to this.

Where the Silkie breed shines is in their nature and personality. Silkies are an inquisitive, adventurous and highly entertaining bunch. They also brood well and are very good mothers; they’re also well known for mothering the young of other species they cross paths with. Silkies are very docile and they get on well with people and pets alike. Winter doesn’t faze the Silkie; this is not surprising when you see their fluffy exterior.

It’s easy to see why the Silkie has gained such popularity in recent years and it won’t be surprising to see the breed continue to go from strength to strength.