Silkie chickens have a big personality to go along with their big hair-dos. These chickens catch everyone’s eye everywhere they go. And if you add one to your flock, they might soon become your favorite. Do silkie chickens make good pets? Looking at the pros and cons will help you find out.
Pros Of Keeping Silkie Chickens As Pets
Below we have all the best reasons to keep a silkie. These are just a few highlights, though. If you get your own, you will be adding so much more to this list.
The Silkie temperament is calm and friendly. These chickens will follow you around the yard, looking at whatever interests you. Silkies don’t know a stranger. Your hens will come up to anyone willing to greet them. They also don’t start fights and try to keep out of hen house squabbles. You will love how predictable and even-tempered these chickens are.
Do Silkie chickens make good pets? If you have kids, these birds are perfect. Some breeds are known for their aggressiveness and shouldn’t be with kids. But Silkies are so even-tempered and calm that your kids won’t fear these hens. Your kids will love feeding and caring for these sweet chickens.
If you are looking for a chicken who loves people, the Silkie is for you. These chickens will jump into your lap for attention. They don’t even mind you picking them up and handling them regularly. Getting some Silkie cuddles is the best part of owning these chickens.
#4 Can’t Fly
Silkie chicken is known for its fluffy appearance. And while the plumage is fabulous for looks, it’s not very functional. The Silkie can’t get more than a couple of inches off the ground. This means that they might need a few adjustments in the coop. But it also means they can’t fly.
Since the Silkie chicken can’t fly, it means that they can’t get away. It makes it easy to catch them. And it also keeps them from flying into a neighbors yard or into places they shouldn’t.
#5 Long Lifespan
Another thing that makes the Silkie chicken such an awesome pet is their lifespan. The average Silkie chicken lifespan is anywhere between 7-9 years old. That’s almost as long as the family dog! And that means you will have plenty of time to spend with your favorite chicken.
The Silkie Bantam is a small chicken that makes them perfect pets. These little birds only get 8-14 inches tall and 3-4 pounds. They don’t take up much room and don’t cost a lot to feed. Not to mention they are just so darn cute.
#7 Broody Hen
The Silkie chicken isn’t known for its superior egg-laying. But these birds make excellent mothers. A few broody hens in your flock is a blessing in disguise for most breeders. Production chickens might lay tons of eggs throughout the year. But they usually never go broody. So if you have a Silkie, you can give her the eggs to sit on and raise. Thus securing your next flock’s generation.
This broodiness is also great if you want to breed Silkie chicken. Since they go broody, it makes it easy to reproduce them without an incubator. Your Silkie will care for her chicks, and you could make a small profit from them.
Chickens who lay a lot of eggs are prone to reproductive health problems. But most Silkies never have this issue. They rarely have a prolapse or go egg bound. As long as they get all of the nutrition they need, these birds are some of the healthiest breeds.
Japanese Silkies chickens come in a variety of beautiful colors. The most popular is the color White. But did you know that there are several other colors? Some different Silkie chicken colors include black, blue, buff, lavender, and splash. You can have a rainbow of pet Silkie chickens.
#10 Toilet Training
If you are keeping Silkie chickens as pets, you might be wondering if you can let them in the house. While doing so, there are a few risks of accidents. Some owners have toilet or litter trained their Silkies successfully to only go in designated areas.
The process is long and slow, but it is possible. What makes the Silkie a great candidate for toilet training is their trust in humans. They feel comfortable and tame well from a young age. Once you gain their trust, you can start watching for signs that your chicken is about to go. Then using a cue noise, usher your Silkie to a litter box or outside.
#11 Meat Purpose
While most of us don’t think about eating our pets, it is something to consider. Silkie chicken meat is a delicacy in most Asian countries. The Silkie has naturally black skin, which might put off most Western countries. But the taste is rich compared to regular chicken that can be bland.
Cons Of Owning Pet Silkie Chickens
Now we are going to talk about the downside to these birds. There aren’t many cons to owning Silkies, but they are worth considering. Most of these cons have easy remedies. But there might be an aspect of these chickens that you don’t like.
#1 Not Good Layers
Do Silkie chickens lay eggs? Yes, they do. But not as many as what you are used to. The average Silkie only lays 100 eggs per year. Your Silkie is also late to mature and only just start laying eggs between 7-9 months old. But they lay eggs slightly longer than other breeds and stop entirely at four years old. So if you get a Silkie, it is merely because you love their personality. Not because they will benefit you much.
#2 Mites And Lice
We love the Silkie bantam plumage. Unfortunately, that means external parasites do too. Your Silkie is slightly more prone to getting mites, lice, and fleas compared to other birds. So you will need to take extra precautions to treat the coop and flock regularly.
#3 Mareks Disease
While Silkies are generally very healthy birds, they are more prone to Mareks disease. Mareks disease is a viral infection in poultry caused by the herpes virus. When chickens have Mareks, they have vision loss, paralysis, and raised feather follicles. The good news is that this disease is entirely preventable with a vaccine, so you will never have to worry about it.
#4 Low Roosts And Nesting Boxes
When caring for Silkie chickens, it is essential to remember that they can’t fly. Your Silkies will need lower roosts and nesting boxes to accommodate this. Both the roost and nesting box should be no higher than 2 feet off the ground. Also, don’t put a second roost right above your Silkie roost to prevent others from pooping on them.
What do Silkie chickens eat? For the most part, your Silkies can eat everything other chickens can. But they do prefer a crumble layer feed over pellets. Some pellets are too large for their small beaks and pose a choking hazard. Other than that, they love foraging and eating all the same treats as the rest of the flock.
#6 Hard To Sex
Finding out the gender of your Silkie can sometimes be challenging. Some breeders go by the crest plumage to tell the gender difference. Others sex their chicks by the shape of their beaks. But both of these methods aren’t accurate in juvenile birds.
Some owners have found themselves a year after buying their Silkie and hear one of them crow. Do female chickens crow? While it is possible, it’s not likely to happen. If you hear your hens crowing, it is probably a rooster.
#7 Susceptible To Predators
Silkies aren’t the fastest or able to fly, which makes them prone to predators. If you have Silkie chicken, you will need to predator-proof the coop and run well. It’s also not advised to let your Silkies roam without supervision.
Do Silkie chickens make good pets? Yes, their sweet natures make them the best pets in the world. Unfortunately, though, some other chicken breeds pick on them. If you have very dominant chicken breeds, they don’t do well with Silkies. Not only will your Silkies give in too quickly, but their fluffy heads make the perfect target for other hens.
How much do Silkie chickens cost? The average Silkie chick can cost anywhere from $10-$15. That is slightly higher than other chicks, but we consider the cost well worth it. These birds are somewhat more expensive because of their superior breeding. And some color variations can cost as much as $30, depending on how rare they are.
Do Silkie Chickens Make Good Pets?
We think the Silkie is a perfect pet for people who love chickens. They don’t require a lot of work. And they love to be around people. You never have to worry about an aggressive Silkie. Not to mention, they are absolutely adorable to look at and watch. What do you think? Is your next pet a Silkie chicken?
Below is a Pinterest friendly photo…. so you can pin it to your Backyard Chicken Board!!