Today the breed is the most popular and ubiquitous ornamental chicken breed.
Silkie chicken is a very unique looking and beautiful bird. They are a lightweight chicken breed with broad, stout looking body which is covered in fine fluffy feathers.
Their plumage looks like fur or down instead of feathers. Because, their plumage lacks barbicels. Barbicels are the hooked projections normally extending from and interlocking the secondary branches of chicken’s feathers. Because of their such plumage, they are unable to fly.
As the breed is small in size, so they are mistakenly called a bantam breed in some countries. But it is a standard breed of large fowl class. And the bantam Silkie chicken is actually a separate variety.
Silkie chicken is very calm, trusting and friendly. They are unable to fly and can be kept easily with low fencing. They usually do little or no damage to the garden if given them to access freely.
Silkie hens are not good layers. They lay a few cream or tinted colored eggs. But they are great mothers, and go broody frequently. They are even supremely happy to hatch the eggs of other birds. So they are frequently used as foster mothers for other birds.
The Silkie chicken should be kept in dry conditions, because their feathers are not waterproof. The breed is extremely suitable as pets, especially suitable for children. They are very cold hardy and also do well in confinement.
Some poultry fanciers consider Silkie hens as the ideal organic incubator. Silkie hens cheerfully brood and raise their unorthodox offspring too, if given the chance. The hens stop laying eggs during the summer months.