After a brief discussion we at the typesofchicken.com team decided that every Monday we will give you an article about the pros and cons of a different chicken breed. Last time we gave you the pros and cons of keeping the Rhode Island Red chickens and this Monday we decided to give you the pros and cons of keeping Silkie chickens because we know that almost every chicken breeder wants one of those fluffy birds.
Pros of keeping Silkie chickens:
First thing that I would like to put as a pro about this breed is their friendliness. The Silkie chickens appreciate attention and enjoy the company of their owners. If you have children get them one of these because it is amazing to watch them play together.
2. They are fluffy and furry
We all know that they are fluffy, but did you know why? – Their feathers are so furry and fluffy because they don’t have barbs to hold them down. This gives them that look when they walk, each feather is fluttering and flying. This also makes them extremely nice for petting.
3. They can be kept in an apartment
Silkie chickens are one of the rare chicken breeds I have read about being kept in an apartment. It makes sense because they are not very fond of wet and muddy places. If you want a pet for your apartment and fresh eggs most of the year this breed is the right for you.
4. Enormous cultural values
Do you know who also wrote a lot about this chicken breed? – Marco Polo. When Marco Polo was on his adventures in the East he noticed that many writings were mentioning the Silkie chicken breed. He got impressed because many people there thought that the meat this chicken breed provides has healing powers. This is why many restaurants are charging extra for their meat.
5. They are excellent mothers
Some people say that they are the best mothers among the different chicken breeds out there, we at the typesofchicken.com team agree. Because of their motherly instincts many breeders are using Silkies to incubate eggs from a different breed. I have read that Silkies are even willing to incubate tennis balls if given the opportunity although I have not seen that with my own eyes yet.
Cons of keeping Silkie chickens
1. They are not the perfect egg laying chickens
Silkie chickens have been known to lay around 100 to 120 eggs a year, which is not a big number of eggs per year considering all the other breeds. So if you want to produce more eggs yearly you might want to consider choosing a different breed.
2. Silkies have a slight weather problem
The same thing that makes them fluffy is the same thing that causes this problem – they don’t have barbs to hold their feathers down. Unless they have a quality chicken coop it is very difficult to keep them outside under wet weather conditions.
3. They can be last in the pecking order
Because they are gentle and trusting by nature, other chicken breeds in their flock can bully them. If you have a variety of chicken breeds in your flock you need to pay some extra attention to make sure that the bullying doesn’t happen.
4. They are prone to predators
This is one of the reasons it is not recommended to keep Silkies outside – they have decreased vision and because of their feathers they can`t jump as high as some other birds. Silkies are very prone to predators so you need a safe housing for them.
5. Don’t keep backyard Silkies if you want to keep them for meat
Although you can find them in Asian cuisine and many restaurants charge extra for Silkie meat raising them in your backyard for meat is not a good idea. Silkies look big because of the volume their feathers have, but in reality they weigh less than most of the different breeds out there. That is why they will not give you a sufficient amount of meat.