PROS & CONS of Keeping Silkie Chickens!

pros and cons about Silkie chickens

After a brief discussion we at the 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:

1. Friendliness
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.

Silkie chickens
via Flickr

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

Silkie chicken
via Flickr

Some people say that they are the best mothers among the different chicken breeds out there, we at the 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.

Silkie Chickens
via Flickr

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

Silkie chickens
via Flickr

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.

  • Susan Milovich

    Nice article about Silkies. However not one decent picture of one! Those all look like hatchery versions! If you’re going to write an article about a breed, get pictures that correctly represent the breed!

    • b norris

      Yea, my first thought also. Faces should be black, purple, technically mulberry colored.

    • Rosetaz

      well most people are going to buy from hatcheries or small time breeders of less than show quality birds, cause they are cheaper and quicker to find.

      • Laurie Matson

        I have to disagree. It is the small Breeders that produce the Finest Show Quality Silkies!!!

    • Barbu d’Uccle

      Hello Susan

      Thanks for you feedback. We will try to do that in our next article for different type of chicken.
      Have a great day.

  • Pat

    Thank you for this article. We are just starting out and articles like these are helpful.

    • Sheryl Hunter

      Enjoyed this read. I have 2 silkier in a flock of 8 and I love them! They are the perfect choice for visiting grandchildren too. Friendly and sweet!

      • Hello Sheryl

        Thank you for your feedback.
        Have a great day.

    • Hello Pat

      Thank you for your feedback. Like children and adults, chickens also need treats. You can check this article about Treats You Can Give To Your Chickens

  • Rosetaz

    I love my silly silkies and because they are raised indoors and get handled daily, most are super friendly and enjoy being held.

  • JManning

    The white bird under #1 con isn’t a silkie, I do believe it is a Polish. All in all, great article. And the reason they do not lay well is because they go broody so often. I had a hen that never went broody and she laid as good as my large fowl egg layers.

    • Hello JManning

      Thanks for your comment. We hope you loved this article like most of the people here. We will give our best with the pictures thought.

      Have a great day.

    • Laurie

      The white one is a silkie. Blue ear lobes, tail feathers on Polish are much different. Not every Silkie has a pom on their head.

      • Laurie

        I apologize, the first one in the article, probably is a Polish. I missed that one.

      • TONY COSTA


  • Chris Sweet

    Very well written article. Beautiful photos. My friends keep theirs in the house with chicken diapers on. I am finding more and more people doing this with this breed. Now I can understand why. Thank you so much for all the information.

    • Hello Chris

      Thank you a lot for your feedback. Hope this article helped you.

      Have a great day.

  • Joanne Tipler

    We have 9 silkies, I agree with everything you say in this article. They are absolutely adorable in looks and personality, but definitely not providing a lot of eggs. We also have 6 d’uccles. I’m looking forward to seeing what you have to say about them. They are also likable in their own way, curious and chatty as can be, better egg layers but those eggs are pretty tiny. One of our silkies hatched two duck eggs and those ducks followed her around until they moved on to another home. The pictures are hilarious of them getting bigger and bigger outgrowing their mom by leaps and bounds. We have a pond but she never let them get near it – safety reasons I’m sure. They are really good moms.

    • Hello Joanne

      Thanks for stopping by and giving us a great feedback. Pretty sure our next article will be about d’uccles (that’s me). If you have cute, interesting pictures you can visit our Facebook Page and Message us with your photos.

      Have a great day
      Barbu d’Uccle

      • Cacadogg

        I love the part aboutvDilkie mum not allowing her duck babies into the pond~! <3

    • Jennifer Jacoby

      I would love to see pictures of the ducks with their chicken “Mom”!

    • Jennifer Jacoby

      Joanne, I would love to see photos of the ducks with their chicken Mom! Sounds adorable.

      • Hi Jennifer, I’d love to send pics but I don’t know how through here. I know how from my email.

  • Tammy P

    Please elaborate on the “chicken diaper”. Do you change it several times a day? Just once daily? Are they disposable? Washable?

  • Penny

    I have had Silkies for years and they are wonderful! Thanks for the informative articles…love it!

    • Hello Penny

      Thank you for stopping by and giving us a great feedback. We will continue what we do and we love.
      We are still new and plenty eggcited :).

      Have a great day.
      Barbu d’Uccle

  • Patty

    I also am curious of the “diaper”. I have had many breeds of chickens, I love the small ornamentals. I am looking to get a Silky bc I know that they make great pets,but I always wanted to know how people “house broke” them. My others have a nice coop with run outside, but can be let out and follow you to be pet and loved on. They are like pups not farm animals. Thanks for the info.

  • Gilda

    I have Silkies for hatching & brooding my peafowl eggs – they are awesome brooders & moms. Mine lay between 70 – 100 eggs a year and have their own area with enclosed housing and pen away from my Dominiques, Buffs, Marans, & EE’s. When I winter and let all out of the pens into the big fenced area, they stay in their pen with their fresh straw & hay. Their “coop” is a truck topper that has a floor and short roosts with lots of bedding with the food & water inside. I even keep straw in their run to keep the mud factor down. 6 ladies and 1 fella and a happy happy crew. When not brooding, I mark & let them hatch their own eggs – such cuties!

  • FancyRanchChicks

    I am a silkie enthusiast/breeder and nice to see them getting the attention they deserve! Wonderful pets and very calm birds. Mine are very good layers but their eggs are smaller than most.
    I would have 100 if I could! I’ve had lots of other breeds and Silkies are definitely my favorite.

    • I totally love the silkies too. Now I adore the d’uccles, happened upon them by chance when I went to pick up more silkies last spring. They are really cute, smart, curious AND they can fly.

  • Christine

    I find the article very helpful for backyard breeders. That being said, the pictures are just fine as most people looking for show quality birds will ask for show quality. We raise silkies and just adore them! We also have other various breeds but not in the same coop as the silkies. Highly recommend this breed for those looking to find something that the kids will love to take part in. Make great pets for kids of all ages! And a great learning experience! Good luck!

  • Teresa Duston

    My one Silkie loves to go into the rain and has played an egg everyday since she started about six months ago. She is very alert and has her method of staying out of harm’s way. I can handle her some. The real pet is my Sultan rooster. He is a bit goofy. The Silkie hen is smarter.

  • Teresa Duston

    My one Silkie loves to go into the rain, gets sopping wet, and doesn’t care. She doesn’t mind being blow dried afterwards. Very sweet disposition. She is all about getting food at every opportunity. She has layed an egg everyday since she started about six months ago. She is very alert and has her method of staying out of harm’s way. I can handle her some. The real pet is my Sultan rooster. He is a bit goofy. The Silkie hen is smarter.

  • Denise Kowalczyk

    I love this! Thank you! I just got 2 – 8 week old Silkies. One white, one buff. I need to have pullets and the lady could not guarantee so I bought the older chicks that she thought were female. I am anxious to take them outside. It has been too cold. I live in NW Wisconsin, waiting for real Spring to arrive.

  • Cheryl Lady

    We have Silkies, we started out with 5, lost a couple in the last few years, but not to predators, I would say natural causes. We have added a few red sex-link a couple years ago. But I can not imagine having Silies or any kind of chicken in one’s APARTMENT! Where on earth does the author think the chicken will use the bathroom? Clearly, they have never had a chicken as an indoor pet, or they have no sense of smell. Or cleanliness.

    • Jessie

      Do a search for “chicken diaper”