Bantam Silkies aren’t like regular chickens. They’re sort of like a cross between a fuzzy kitten and a tiny chicken.
They’re very different from other chickens, starting with their feathers. Silkies look more like they have fur than feathers because their feathers are missing the tough barbs that all other chickens have at the center of their feathers. Because of this, Silkies can’t fly, and they aren’t as well protected from bad weather than other chickens.
Silkies also have bright blue, almost turquoise earlobes, as well as heavily feathered legs which make them look more like they’re waddling than walking. Also, while the great majority of chickens have four toes, Silkies have five.
Silkies are pretty good egg layers, producing an egg every two to three days. Their eggs are small but just as healthy and tasty as eggs produced by any other home-raised chicken.
Maybe the oddest thing about Silkies is that no matter what color their feathers are, they have black skin, muscles and bones, as well as dark beaks, combs, and wattles. Dark Silkie carcasses are considered a delicacy in many parts of Asia, and in some regions of the world, Silkie flesh is thought to aid female fertility.
But here in the U.S., Silkies are generally enjoyed just as great little pets. And they are lovely, sweet, wee, fuzzy creatures. We’ve had a Silkie or two in our flock as long as we’ve had chickens. They’re very small and gentle and wonderful with children, and they’re hilarious to watch waddling around.
When our little flock was eaten by hawks two years ago, two of the hens we lost were much-loved SIlkies. We were all extra sad about our Silkies. We were really, really fond of them.
So when we got our new coop recently and began reassembling our flock, I knew we would want at least one Silkie, and today we brought her home. She’s a 4 month old, bearded Silkie pullet named Daisy. She’s a little skittish at this point but I have no doubt that she will settle down. As you can see, C already likes her an awful lot.