Breed Profile: Silkie

Photo of Kassandra Smith

Kassandra Smith

Senior Editor • Backyard Chicken Coops

Last Updated: 21 July 2020

The Silkie of all the ornamental breeds is notably the most beloved and popular. Entertaining to watch, soft to hold and easy to handle the Silkie is often referred to the lap kitty or the chicken world. It has been said before that the Silkie chicken is simply a ‘flock’ of kittens as they playfully adorn your backyard. The Silkie breed has also be renowned for its motherly behaviour often adopting goslings if in need.



  • Origin: China
  • Size: 0.57-0.65kg
  • Rarity: Common
  • Purpose: Ornamental
  • Recognized Variations: Black, White, Partridge, Buff, Gray, Blue


  • Small, cream or tinted
  • 150-200 Eggs Average Annually


Silkies are often referred to as a bantam, although this is not their breed but a genetic trait able to be bred into many breed. The plumage of a Silkie is uniquely different among all chicken breeds, though many breeders attempt to standardize this trait into other chickens it is largely unsuccessful and the Silkie has remained easily differentiated. The feathers of the bird are compared to silk and fur, their feather lack functioning barbicels and are thus similar to down on other birds. This trait also leaves Silkies unable to fly but does give them their unique fluffy soft appearance.


  • Hardy in Winter: Yes
  • Especially Docile: Yes
  • Personality: Sweet, tame and egg-ceptional mothers.
  • Family Friendly Rating: 5/5
  • Other chicken breeds with a high "Family Friendly Rating": Orpington, New Hampshire, ISA Brown, Rhode Island Red & Polish

Want to know more? Have a look at our 5 reasons to love Silkies here.

Wondering if the soft Silkies are the perfect match for you? Choosing the right breed for your family is an eggstremely difficult task. Before making that important decision, take a moment to consider all the other awesome breeds you could choose! From looks to traits to egg-laying talents - where should you begin?

Cluckily, our friends over at Chickenpedia have created an amazing Chicken Breeds Course. This extensive online course shares valuable guidance on choosing the top chickens for you as well as size & frequency of eggs laid. You will even learn about their distinct personalities, and be able to use their family-friendly compatibility scale through this well-structured program. It really is a great way to discover your perfect backyard buddies which is why I highly recommend them to all of my readers!  The courses are beginner-friendly and filled with crucial information to help you raise a happy, healthy flock.

We all want to do an eggcellent job when caring for our feathered friends. Many keepers struggle to handle chicken health or behaviour issues, especially in the first few years of having a flock. Chickenpedia have a broad range of comprehensive online courses that cover everything you didn’t know you need to know and then some more! From healthcare to raising baby chicks to feeding and behavior, get the knowledge and confidence to successfully look after your flock. 

As a member, you will get access to ALL their fantastic courses. So, no need to wing it, become a confident chicken keeper. Check out Chickenpedia today!

Sources and further reading