The origin of the Silkie is uncertain. It is believed that they originated in India, China or Japan. They made their appearance in Europe around 200 years ago; and then they were sold as a cross between a rabbit and a chicken! That means they might have been called rabkens or chickbits, much the same as the "turken" who was thought to be a cross between a turkey and a chicken.
The American Bantam Association defines 6 standard colors: black, blue, buff, white, partridge, splash, and gray. Other colors that are also popular although not accepted as standard are: red, lavender, porcelain, and cuckoo.
As you browse through these pictures, please click on any picture to view a larger image of the Silkie that you would like to see more clearly.
Most chickens only have four toes. The fifth toe that Silkies possess can easily be seen on this white Silkie chick.
Doesn't this guy look like a walking, clucking feather duster?
The Silkies' feathers are furry, or fluffy, because their feathers do not have barbs. Their feathers also do not have the hard shaft that runs down most feathers. These two traits cause their feathers to be the beautiful, fluffy feathers that you see here.
As can be seen in the picture to the right, Silkies have feathers on their feet. And, long toe-nails that often require trimming and filing.
Although this little guy appears bi-colored, he will become a beautiful black Silkie.
This guy can come dust my furniture anytime!
One of the features of a Silkie, having blue earlobes, is often hidden by a beard of feathers as shown in this picture.
The buff coloration is one of the colors recognized by the American Bantam Association.
A beautiful example of a buff rooster.
Owners sometimes have to trim the feathers over their eyes as these tend to hang down and block their vision.
This photo shows a bearded (on the right) and a non-bearded (on the left).
The wattle and the bright blue earlobes are easily seen on the non-bearded Silkie.
Silkie chicks are really cute when they're little (to the right), and then they turn into teenagers (below).
But the teen-agers can bring a smile to your face too.
Silkie feathers do not have a firm center shaft; therefore, air flows through their feathers rather than around them. Because of this, Silkies cannot fly.
An example of beautifully colored chicks.
A typical Partridge is pictured to the right.
It's easy to see why these are called partridge Silkies.
Even under all that fluff, you can see traces of the blue earlobe that Silkies possess.
Another beautiful batch of chicks.
Even Blue and Pink Ones!
Show Me Silkie
Silkies have blue/black skin, meat and bones. This characteristic is highly visible on this Silkie. This Silkie reminds me of a Turken.
In fact the breeder (Show-Me Silkies) has shared that 15 generations ago a turken was indeed used in the creation of this Silkie - 15 generations and lots of selective breeding!
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Other Silkie Chicken Articles:
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- SHOW-ME Silkies & Stuff
Site showcasing my Silkies, Pheasants, Guinea,other fowl & pets. We have quality hatching eggs and more available.
Close-up of Silkie Foot, by AlishaV, in Flickr Commons
Comments: "Silkie Chicken Colors in Pictures"
Bobbi Porto of www.IndigoEgg.US on June 29, 2019:
The partridge rooster is my Eastern National Champion "Rascal". You can view my website for representation of correct colors.
madelyn on January 19, 2019:
I have silkies and I love the paridge and I want one too
Urbina on September 28, 2015:
Love my silkies. Soft and gentle as a kitten. . They are my babies.
Cindy Murdoch (author) from Texas on July 02, 2014:
I agree with you nancy! They are a pretty awesome chicken.
nancy on June 21, 2014:
i luv em gotta get some diffentnely
Cindy Murdoch (author) from Texas on February 20, 2014:
Thanks for the link, angelsunawares. As long as it is safe for the chick, I think it is okay to dye them, although I prefer them natural.
angelsunawares on February 18, 2014:
Just wanted to add a link that would clarify that the bright colors are indeed dyed. http://www.ehow.com/how_8527469_bathe-silkie-chick...
IF one decides to do so [I understand that this can be controversial and mixed feelings exist], please DO take care to use an unsweetened product as per the instructions. Anything with sugar will attract insects and has the potential to be hazardous for your animal. Koolaid dyeing will produce bright, long lasting colors and is used in doll making--my personal experience with it.
Cindy Murdoch (author) from Texas on October 20, 2013:
They are really pretty, but they are small. They do make great brood hens though.
P.Harless on October 19, 2013:
I would love to raise silkies! I love the Polish too!
Cindy Murdoch (author) from Texas on April 19, 2013:
OklaOutlaw - Thanks so much for stopping by and clarifying some issues. Glad you enjoyed the article.
OklaOutlaw on April 18, 2013:
Sorry, I forgot to add that Japanese chickens are a breed of their own and are completely different in looks than a Silky.
OklaOutlaw on April 18, 2013:
Hello homesteadbound, I just wanted to clarify some things for you...
The blue and pink silkies from the video above (that look kind of like cotton candy) are dyed. Sorry guys, they do not presently have the genetics to create such colors.
The Show Girls are just that, they are a separate breed that was created by crossing a Turken and a Silky. These birds demand a very high price if they are of good quality. It does take many, many generations to stabilize a type when creating a new breed.
Hope this helps and good article!
Cindy Murdoch (author) from Texas on March 14, 2013:
They are a little smaller than regular chickens and because of their feathers, espcially on their feet, they do not tolerate being in water - might tend to get more sick because of this. Just keep them warm and dry.
Lovely Lady on March 09, 2013:
I really want a silkie and my husband and I are considering getting one. We have had chickens before and was wondering if they are raised/taken care of the same way?
iguidenetwork from Austin, TX on March 06, 2013:
I would love to make them as pets!
Voted up and awesome, interesting. :)
Cindy Murdoch (author) from Texas on November 21, 2012:
Tee - I am not sure. They may very well be the same.
Tee on November 01, 2012:
Can anyone tell me the difference between a Japanese silky roaster and a Japanese chicken that have just got all there feathers now
jodiejay71 on October 22, 2012:
Too cute..good article, Cindy! Keep up the good work.
Cindy Murdoch (author) from Texas on October 18, 2012:
Cindy Murdoch (author) from Texas on September 29, 2012:
Eddy, So glad you enjoyed it. Hope you have a great one as well.
Eiddwen from Wales on September 29, 2012:
Thank you so much Cindy for sharing this gem and enjoy your weekend.
Cindy Murdoch (author) from Texas on July 19, 2012:
Hi, Sparkydog! I love Silkies also. They are very beautiful. I did a search on Silkie chickens for sale in Australia and found that they were for sale. Just do a search and you will be able to fine them. Good luck. I hope you are able to get them and that you enjoy them.
sparkydog on July 19, 2012:
i love silkies and i love the colour buff .
do any of you know if there is any one in South Austrailia who sells silkie chicks.
i want silkies so much and would realy like some one to reply to this question.
oh and one more thing they have to be hens.
council reasons =(
Cindy Murdoch (author) from Texas on February 18, 2012:
Ardie - I'm with you! These chickens truly are adorable. That is why I keep telling my husband I want one.
Haunty - I agree, if someone had told me there were pink chickens, I would not have believed them. But the video certainly shows it to be true!
Oh, Sunny! That is too funny. I hope you get your silkies. They are very broody and the eggs are small since they are small. But they do make good brood hens for hatching the larger chicken's eggs.
A special thanks to all of you for stopping by and making this birthday (bird-day) one I will remember!
Sunnie Day on February 16, 2012:
How cute are those chickens!!! They remind me of an 80's version of some guys I used to know..haha
I dont have silkies but sure would love too...hummm maybe next batch of chicks..Thanks Cindy for sharing a great informationa hub..
Haunty from Hungary on February 16, 2012:
I have never seen so many insane chicken in one place. Pink chicken is one of those things I would never believe if I don't see it. Thanks for the great hub! :)
Sondra from Neverland on February 16, 2012:
I just love this Hub - these pictures are adorable!!!
Cindy Murdoch (author) from Texas on December 10, 2011:
vocalcoach - I wish I could answer that question. When I was looking on youtube for videos, most of these oddly colored chicks were not being filmed in the US. I myself questioned the authenticity, but I could find no where that told me they were not really that color.
Did you read my previous comment about colored carnations? That's what I think about when I think about these brightly colored chickens.
Thanks for stopping by!
Audrey Hunt from Pahrump NV on December 10, 2011:
Awwwe! These silkies are so adorable. I could take them all and make them my family. How in the world are the pink and lavender silkies born with their colors? Oh, I enjoyed this hub so very much. Thank you Homestead. Voted UP!
Cindy Murdoch (author) from Texas on September 18, 2011:
Claire - I'm so glad you enjoyed the pictures. They are really adorable looking birds and so soft too. I bet you 12 day old chick is adorable, and heading into that ugly stage, to head back to cute. Enjoy your Silkies! Thanks for posting.
claire on September 18, 2011:
i just love silkies - i have a trio and one 12 day old chick ( not sure why he/she only has 4 toes ) they are the most delightfullest of birds. Mine are all black and adorable. I love your pics
Cindy Murdoch (author) from Texas on September 15, 2011:
thumbi7 - It was my pleasure to be able to share with you. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!
JR Krishna from India on September 15, 2011:
Very beautiful and rare pictures. Thanks for sharing
Cindy Murdoch (author) from Texas on September 06, 2011:
funmontreatgirl - They really are cool looking. I don't think the colored ones are dyed.
When I think about them being dyed, a very interesting picture comes to mind. Carnations are dyed by cutting the stems and then allowing the flowers to soak up colored water which then tints a white carnation. Would they then have to stand the chicks in colored water to get a chick that looks like this? :>)
Can you imagine one of these guys if they were having a bad hair day?
Thanks for stopping by!
funmontrealgirl from Montreal on September 05, 2011:
Wow. Those are some cool birds. I love the hair. And the colored chickens are awesome. I am guessing that is of course a dye? :D
Cindy Murdoch (author) from Texas on August 27, 2011:
I agree with you, jodiejay71. Unfortunately, your son does not! I'm glad you enjoyed the article.
jodiejay71 on August 27, 2011:
They are all adorable! Enjoyed the article!
Cindy Murdoch (author) from Texas on August 23, 2011:
Movie Master, thanks for stopping by. I agree with you - they certainly are cute!
Movie Master from United Kingdom on August 23, 2011:
WOW, I love these cuties, especially the white silkie, thank you for sharing.
Cloverleaf from Calgary, AB, Canada on August 22, 2011:
Cindy Murdoch (author) from Texas on August 22, 2011:
Cathd, I'm glad you enjoyed the pictures. They are really gorgeous chickens!
cathd from ireland on August 22, 2011:
Cindy Murdoch (author) from Texas on August 21, 2011:
I kept seeing really cute pictures of these guys and wanted to share them. I'm glad you enjoyed them too, Jeannieinabottle.
Jeannie Marie from Baltimore, MD on August 21, 2011:
They are so adorable! I especially like the White Silkie. What a cute hub!