PROS & CONS of Keeping Silkie Chickens!

After a brief discussion, we at the typesofchicken.com team decided that every Monday we would 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

The first thing that I would like to say as a pro about this breed is their friendliness.

The Silkie chickens appreciate the 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 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 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.

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.

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42 thoughts on “PROS & CONS of Keeping Silkie Chickens!”

  1. 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!

  2. 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.

    • 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.

    • I’m very new to chicken ownership. What does it mean to go broody? Is there factors that cause it? Do I need to do something to protect my chicken so she doesn’t get broody? Sorry for the questions, Thanks!

      • Hello Lauren

        When a hen is broody, that means she wants to hatch her eggs and raise chicks.

        Temperature, air quality, humidity and light are critical factors to consider.

        Failure to provide an adequate environment during the brooding period will reduce profitability, resulting in reduced growth and development, poorer feed conversion, and increased disease, condemnation and mortality.

        For stoping her to go broody, there are few steps. My favorite is removing her from the nest.

        You may have to do this several times a day- it really is a contest of will on your behalf against hormones on hers!

        Hope this helps a lot ^^

        Great day

  3. 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.

  4. 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 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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!

  7. 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.

  8. 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!

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. LOL, everyone keeps saying how sweet and loving their silkies are, apparently I must have missed something. Don’t get me wrong my silkies love me but only me. I have to either put them away or pick them up when ever I have company, especially my rooster “booger” because that’s what he is, a Booger. He will chase, peck, and sqawk at anybody that is around me. Now when he was a chick I did not hold him a lot in fact he just wouldn’t have it, then one day he wanted me to hold him and now he is a total momma’s boy and throws a fit until he has my attention, he is sweet and loving (with me)but he is also impatient, demanding, aggressive, he can be quite the monster. He will even pick on the hen if he thinks she’s getting to much attention. I love him just the same but he can definitely be a handful. Anybody els have a devil like mine? Recently we had to evacuate our home because of wild fire, we had to stay in town for a week, my silkies were right there with me and I was really surprised how well they were being inside, they were pretty content, didn’t make messes all over, in fact Booger slept with me a few nights cuddled up in my arm and you know he slept all through the night and not once did he poop in the bed. So I can see how it could be possible living in a apartment.

  14. Bought a Silkie rooster and a hen 6 months ago.The hen was very sweet but the rooster was very aggressive especially when you picked up the hen.She never laid an egg and just recently died.I have 6 other Cochens,Wyondott and Orpington and a Brahma.Do i put him in with the other hens?


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