Silkies are an ancient breed originating in the Far East, most likely China. They were first documented by Marco Polo himself around the year 1300. He encountered a travel with “a furry chicken.”
Silkies are arguably the most popular and beloved of all ornamental breeds. They are the pocket pet of the chicken world, with sweet and friendly temperaments and feathers that feel more like hair. Because they are so tame, they are easily bullied by other birds.
They are very broody and devoted mothers to anything that hatches from an egg – they’ll even adopt other chicks!
According to the American Poultry Association (APA), Silkies are only accepted in six colors: white, black, blue, buff, partridge, and splash.
All color variants have black skin, the characteristic extra toe, and fluffy plumage down their legs all the way to their toes. The standard also requires a walnut-shaped comb, dark wattles, and turquoise-blue earlobes.
Their fuzzy feathers come in a variety of colors, but because of the feather structure, silkies cannot fly and are not waterproof. If they get wet, they need to be dried off with a towel before they catch a chill.