Silkies are great birds to have around the garden; a placid temperament makes them ideal for family environments.
Covered, as it is, in fluffy, hair-like feathers, there is no mistaking the Silkie. It is a breed that certainly catches the eye! Unusually for a light breed, it is a superb broody, a non-flyer, easy to handle and docile.
The Silkie is a breed of chicken named for its unique plumage. Silkie plumage is unique among chicken breeds. Silkie-like feathering may appear as a recessive mutation in individuals of other varieties, but no other true breed has it. Their feathers lack functioning barbicels. The overall result is a soft, fluffy appearance.
The breed has several other unusual qualities, such as dark blue flesh and bones, blue earlobes, and five toes on each foot (most chickens only have four). They are often exhibited in poultry shows, and come in several colours.
Disadvantages of the Silkie include a susceptibility to Marek's disease, leg and crest mite problems and the fact that it is a relatively high-maintenance breed.
Silkies are well known for their calm, friendly temperament. Among the most docile of poultry, Silkies are considered an ideal pet. Hens are also exceptionally broody, and make good mothers. They are commonly used to hatch eggs from other breeds and bird species.