Classification: Light Breed
Unlike all other normal chickens this unusual bird has dark purple skin, five toes, fur-like feathering, a top knot and cannot fly. This purple skin is due to the melanotic gene which results in not only their skin but also their bones being black (purple). Their fur-like feathering is not good at retaining heat or providing waterproofing in the same way as ordinary feathers so the silkie tries to avoid getting wet. Silkies are therefore best housed where they have access dry, draught free accommodation. The silkie is thought to have originated in China many centuries ago. It makes the perfect backyard pet, gentle and calm, and is considered more ornamental than kept for its laying abilities. These hens make the best ever broodies and are often kept just to hatch out chicks and mother them. They do not mix well with other birds and prefers their own breed as company. However, if raised alongside pekin bantams, will happily live alongside them. The silkie although small in build is actually a light breed and not a bantam.
Please note we no longer keep this breed.