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While most often thought of as barnyard birds, chickens are found in urban, suburban, and rural environments across the country - and for good reasons! Chickens produce fresh eggs for their owners to enjoy themselves or sell, provide a natural form of pest control, and make fun, inexpensive, and easy to care for pets. There are many varieties of chickens, and one of the most unique, beautiful, and friendly is the silkie chicken. It is because of these qualities that silkie chickens are an excellent pet choice for novice and seasoned chicken owners alike.
The silkie (sometimes spelled Silky) chicken is an old breed of poultry that originated in Southeast Asia sometime before the 1200s; the breed is aptly named for its fluffy plumage that is said to feel like silk. Silkies are also unique because of their dark blue flesh and bones, blue earlobes, five (as opposed to four) toes on each foot, and their inability to fly. It is quite difficult to tell the difference between male and female silkie chicks because they take longer to mature than most other chicken breeds; however, once they are mature, males (roosters) and females (hens) do have some distinct differences including roosters tend to be larger than hens, the comb will be larger on a male than on a female, and males will crow while females will lay eggs.

Silkies were officially accepted into the North American Standard of Perfection in 1874. Today, silkie chickens come in bearded and non-beaded varieties and can be seen in poultry shows across the United States. The American Bantam Association accepts six standard colors of Silkies for showing: black, blue, buff, white, partridge, splash and gray. However, there are also some non-standard, yet, popular colors. These popular non-standard colors are red, lavender, porcelain and cuckoo. A common question associated with silkies, and chickens in general, is do they make good pets? The answer is absolutely yes:
 

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Yes ma'am! My son is all about our birds now! We have bad ties and larger Wyandotte's, and he adores them all. Currently he is getting to baby one of the big girls, as she has been bullied excessively by her litter mate recently. Boredom mostly- I think- I let them all roam free as much as I'm able, but the weather has made it more challenging this season for sure. We have been discussing fencing the entire yard. Won't be cheap but so worth it!


My boy on a typical afternoon, just hauling some roosters around. (They love it too! Stinkers.)
 
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