Chicken, Silkie Bantam
Gallus gallus domesticus bantam silkie
Silkie chickens are a domestic breed named for their feathers, which are almost silk-like in appearance. The feathers come in a variety of colors, including black, white, blue, buff, brown and gray. They may be bearded or non-bearded, but all have a crest of feathers on top of their head, feathers on their legs and feathers continue along the middle toe on each foot. They have short, stout legs ending in 5 toes, with three out front straight and the hind toe is double.
The Silkie Bantam is the only breed of bantam with black skin.
Class: Bird (Aves)
Conservation Education Program AnimalMore Info
Range: Probably originated in eastern Asia (China). Now kept domestically worldwide.
Habitat: A warm, dry place with low perches and nesting boxes.
Lifespan: Up to 12 years
Zoo Diet: Game bird chow, small amount of greens (produce), occasional mealworm
Silkies are known for their gentle, docile nature, and they are dependable egg layers. Some breeders keep silkies to help hatch extra eggs, since they will adopt almost any kind of poultry or game fowl.
Silkies lay medium-sized eggs, ranging in color from white to light brown. Males help raise the chicks.
Gestation: 22 days
Litter: 8-12 eggs
- Most birds have tiny hooks called barbicels that keep their feathers laying flat, but Silkie chickens feathers do not so their feathers are fluffy.
- Silkies are mostly show birds.