Jump to content

What size are silkies?

Recommended Posts

Right....here is todays question time for you!!


I was just wondering what sort of size silkies are? Are they the size of a normal hybrid or are they a lot smaller?


I understand they can be prone to some health problems due to their large amount of 'fluff'. Are they a friendly breed or a bit skittish?


Would silkies live in harmony with other breeds or would they be best in a group of silkies only?


Thanks :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have 3 Silkies and 2 light suzzex bantoms and they all seem to get on fine! they are only 10 weeks so are still a bit skitish but are getting better each day now and dont run itno their house and the sight of us, a cat or a piece of grass!! My understanding is that Silkies are good for children as they are very firendly! if not i have been mis informed!! :oops:


I love them though! they are different to any other type of chicken! people always see mine in the garden then come and ask about them as they have never seen anything like it!! all the neighbours have loved watching them grow as well!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In the UK they are technically a full size, not a bantam breed - in the US they are graded as bantams. Size wise they are large bantam size - certainly smaller than your current girl. They are just soo qute and fluffy, but do not get them for their eggs as they are not known for their production, however they are known for going broody and being excellent mothers.


I think you need a day trip to Wernlas, you would really love it - I have never seen so many breeds all at the same time. They have lots of different colours, I love the white ones and the black ones.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a silkie, supposedly full size, but compared to the birds I saw at Wernlas she is small, I'm not sure how old she is , so she may grow a bit yet.

I've just been out with a ruler to measure her ( see the lengths I go to for this site ? :lol: ) and she is just under 12 inches from ground to top of her head when her head is held high ( to inspect the horrible instrument of torture I was brandishing at her :roll: )

She is friendly, but not my friendliest chook, very easy to catch and pick up - probably cos she can't see me coming :lol: and holds her own against the rest of the girls in the 2nd group, infact she is 2nd in the pecking order after the Australorp- Nora the orpington gets out of her way when told to :lol:

She did have lice when I first got her - just in her top knot, obviously an ideal place for them to hide, I treated her with Johnsons lice/mite spray and haven't had any problems since.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My Silkie is a lot smaller than my hybrids. She's only been here four weeks, I bought her and her day old Brahma chicks so she's been in a coop & run on her own with them but still in view of all my lot. If when I get around to introducing her to them she does struggle because of her size then I'll keep a seperate flock of 'little ones' like her and my Silkie & Poland chicks elsewhere in the garden.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

my Silkie is in with all the other girls - ranging from a fairly small Suffolk blacktail to a Branvelder and an Orp. She has no problems at all and in fact is less pecked than the others and was the first to be accepted by the older girls on this round of intros, with the least amount of jip (if any). She is always around me and crouches if I walk past. She is happy to be stroked as she crouches but gets flappy when picked up. She is broody easily but cute with it. Her eggs are approx 40g each and bantam sized. You can get 'full sized' silkies, which is what she is, and bantam sized ones too.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

my neighbour keeps silkies as her favourite and they are smaller than a hybrid and soft and fluffy...& they are def good broodys as she often hatches ie duck eggs etc under them, she does get eggs but not sure how many?

good luck indie

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for all your replies :D


My nan used to keep silkies when she was young and i fancied adding some to my flock but didn't know much about them - there is only so much a book will tell you.


Woild i be ok with 1 silkie and maybe 2 other hens abd my existing girl? Or would i be better off getting 2 silkies and 1 other hen?


Are they hard to get hold of? I have seen a few places near me have them on their breed list but how often they have them i suppose is a different matter!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have two hybrids, one silkie and one (tiny) sablepoot bantam. They all get on wonderfully and are a very happy flock.


Our white silkie is apparently typical for the breed, and her quirky personality provides us with lots of entertainment.



Meet Pootle!


For example, when she is broody, she will occasionally go completely manic, dashing off to dustbathe, then leaping out to flap her wings, eat food, complain to the other chickens and then return to the nest, all within the space of a few minutes!


Most of the time she is very docile, and she was the first of my flock to integrate and protect our newest addition. You can read that epic story here: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=31574


She is also completely dopey, not helped by her hair which makes her rather u"Ooops, word censored!"servant. It's hard work giving her mealworms or grapes, as she is blithely unaware of them even if thrown just past her head - she only realises she's missed out when a hybrid whips past her like a starving raptor. So, if you are soft, you need to go to a bit more effort distributing treats in an equitable fashion ;).


Note that silkies have slightly different physiology to other chickens. Many of their feathers are not technically feathers, they are hair. This means they are less water resistant and harder for them to clean themselves.



White silkies will get dirty, so you may have to bath them!



Their skin is jet black underneath their hair/ feathers, which means they need mineral supplements (magnesium I think) in their water once per month (we use Battles poultry tonic, which is good for all our other chickens too)



Not really relevant, this photo just makes me smile!


In terms of weight and "poo" production (sorry, but that is a valid concern!) I class my two hybrids as "normal", our silkie as "half" a chicken and our sablepoot bantam as a "quarter" size.

For example, our sablepoot is just over a pound in weight, and our fat speckledly hen is about five pounds. We've never weighed our silkie but she feels about two pounds.

These ratios are also true of the eggs that are laid - but sadly is *not* the same for the noise they can make. Our silkie squawks with the best of them when it comes to announcing she has laid...


Some photos that show size comparisons:



Bear in mind silkies are just bundles of fluff, so they are actually smaller than they look.



Two silkies here, the lavender one turned out to be a rooster so we had to rehome him :(.


The main breed characteristic is that they go broody at the drop of a hat. Expect 2-3 weeks of broodiness every few months. We used to dunk her in cold water to snap her out of it but this didn't seem to have any notable effects and I've heard a few people debunking that theory as a myth. So, nowadays, we just let her get on with it, as she does seem to love zoning out on the nest bless her.



Here you can see a smaller bantam can be completely covered by a broody silkie! :D


Hope that is helpful information, it should be pretty obvious that we are very fond of our silkie!



Link to comment
Share on other sites



I could not stop laughing at the photos of her wet....bless her!!! I laughed so much it set my ducks off quacking outside!!


That has been very helpful!! I am very keen to get some but was worried about the size issue, etc. and this has helped put my mind at rest. You have beautiful girls....speckledy is also on my wish list :mrgreen:


I have no experience of broody hens :? but i'm sure with the help of the omleteers we could get through it!!


Going to wait a few more months for things to settle here but very much loved your photos :shameonu: so thanks for that!! :D:D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Glad you liked the pics. I'm supposed to be working but got distracted by the Omlet forums :oops:.


If you are thinking of getting a speckledy, please see this thread I started about ours: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=44880


I only mention it as it seems to be a rare problem, but particular to this breed.


I should add that our speckledy is our most curious chicken, and follows us all round the garden. So even though she doesn't lay, she's still a much loved pet!



Link to comment
Share on other sites

She is a very lovely girlie :D


Eggs are lovely....but to me just having them is the best part!! It is useful to know though when considering what hens to buy.

Out of interest what colour eggs did she lay when she way laying - did she have dark brown eggs or just a light brown?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have a golden silkie and then 2 hybrids in the eglu and they are fine.

She is very friendly easy to pick up and the children adore her as she is so soft and will sit on their laps and be cuddled while they are walking around the garden!


She lays approx 4-5 eggs per week and they are small and white. So it would probably be better to get two hybrids to keep your egg numbers up !eggwhite!

As others have said her eyesight due to the fluff is not great and she often misses the treats so needs occasional spoiling !!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...