Over the years we have raised all kinds of Silkies. I can't seem to stay away from these fuzzy, lovable clowns. We have recently partnered with Blue Line Silkies of West Virginia to breed and show Black Silkies. We will not have any available for the near future.
The Silkie is named for its silky, hair-like feathers. They are a melanisic breed of chicken. Which means they produce extra melanin which colors their skin, organs and even their bones a dark blackish purple. In their native land of China, they are prized for mystical healing powers. They are routinely served in a soup that is prized for its healing properties.
Silkies were originally believed to have been brought to the western world by early explorers. The earliest surviving written account of Silkies comes from Marco Polo, who wrote of a "furry" chicken in the 13th century during his travels in Asia, In 1598. The Silkie was officially recognized by the APA in 1874. It is one of the earliest breeds of chicken in the SOP. They were popular then and that popularity has not waned.
The Silkie is a docile, friendly, funny bird. They make great pets and are beautiful in the showroom. They tend to be more laid back than other bantam breeds. They are also a great bird for brooding eggs. However, they do have to have more precautions taken as they cant fly. They have no protective hard feathers so they can get chilled much easier when wet or in cold weather. And, they dont see well due to those big, beautiful crests.
Silkies come in many color varieties and can have a beard or not. They are also one of the few 5 toed breeds of chickens. They also are one of the few breeds that have a walnut comb. The silkie is a bantam breed, the weights are: Cock 36 oz., Cockerel 32 oz., Hen 32 oz., Pullet 28 oz. The APA and ABA recognize the following varieties: Bearded/Non-bearded White, Bearded/Non-bearded Black, Bearded/Non-bearded Buff, Bearded/Non-bearded Blue, Bearded/Non-bearded Splash, Bearded/Non-bearded Gray, Bearded/Non-bearded Partridge, Bearded Self Blue, Bearded White Naked Neck, Bearded Paint. Silkies are shown in the Feather Leg class.