Silkie Bantams are some of the most adorable little chickens you will ever lay your eyes upon. They are thought to be the oldest breed of ornamental chickens, first discovered by Marco Polo during his travels to China in the 13th century. Marco Polo described them as “fur covered fowl with black skin”. They are unique for a number of reasons. In addition to their black skin, their feathers grow such that they retain the soft fuzzy feeling of a baby chick. They also have feathered feet and five toes instead of the traditional four.
Silkie Bantams are also much smaller than the standard sized breeds. They will grow to about half of the standard size. Their eggs too are miniature, equalling about half the size of a standard’s egg. Silkie Bantams are reliable egg layers when they are not in a broody stage. That being said, Silkie Bantams are a chicken that tend and like to be broody. They will even go broody without the presence of eggs. They make excellent mothers and will easily adopt baby chicks of a different breed.
Silkie Bantams also make fantastic pets and adapt easily and quickly to being handled due to their sweet and docile nature. They are the perfect chicken for children. Silkie Bantams come many shades including black, lavender/splash, buff, partridge and white.
Currently, Dolly, Feathers, Autumn and Fifi are our Silkies. They all have won a special place in my heart due to their kindhearted nature. Dolly is an incredibly dedicated mother and has raised her own brood as well as adopted a Silver Laced Wyandotte chick as her own. She is an incredible nurturer and makes a fantastic mother. They all do not mind being handled. They also seem to influence one another to go broody. Often they will pair off together, and sit in the boxes waiting for eggs to arrive.
Photo Credits: Tilly’s Nest