At Olsen Farm we believe all chickens are special, but there is something especially magical about the silkie breed. Over a year ago we were gifted a few silkie eggs to incubate and once those tiny fluff balls hatched we fell instantly in love.
So, what is it that makes these mini fluffy muppets so special? Here are some unique traits of these sweet little birds:
Silkie hens lay three to four eggs a week. Their eggs are about half the size of a standard chicken egg- but equally as delicious!
Silkies are fibro melanistic, which means they have black skin, black meat and black bones. They were originally bred in Asia and some believe eating their black meat will cure what ails you. While silkies are bred to be both show birds and meat birds, we have yet to eat a silkie because they are just so damned cute!
Three day old silkie chicks- seriously the cutest thing you will ever see.
Silkies have feathered feet, and their feet have five toes- rather than the usual three of standard chickens.
Their feathers remain light and fluffy into adulthood, because of this trait they can become sick or die if they get wet during cold weather. Be sure to keep your silkies dry and warm- they LOVE baths and getting their feathers blow dried! These little fluffs do amazingly well at staying warm during cold weather if their feathers remain dry, they are a winter-hearty breed.
Silkie feathers come in many color variations including black, white, buff (brown/tan), splash (light grey/ black and white mix), blue (dark grey) and partridge (brown mix)
Teen ‘blue’ silkies- this is the awkward phase where their adult plumage is growing in.
Silkie roosters, like most roosters, have larger combs and wattles than hens. They develop these later than standard breeds, and it can be difficult to distinguish a hen from a rooster by looks until they are over six months old and start either laying or crowing. Meet Twister, our ‘splash’ silkie roo
Silkies have a wonderfully gentle temperament and are great for first time chicken keepers. They are calm, tame and very fun to observe. Silkies are also great mothers and will hatch and raise ducks, turkeys, standard chickens- you name it!Even silkie roosters are gentle and calm- they still stand their ground with other roos, but don’t mind being carried around!
We have been bringing Maple (below) our sweetest silkie hen, to the local farmer’s market for a few months. Our original thought was that children would love to pet a cute chicken, and it would be a great educational experience for them. What we did not expect was the intense joy and peace meeting a silkie had on the adults at the market. Many residents came to visit Maple each week, bringing her treats, taking photos and snuggling her. Maple became a therapy chicken simply by being her adorable fluffy magicical self. We are so glad to have been able to share our sweet birds with people who needed a little nature medicine.
Silkies are magical birds. They make wonderful pets, are great mama hens and are cute as hell. Plus, they can cure what ails you.
If you are ever having a down day, pet a silkie- they really are the best medicine.