Excellence Remembered Trust Inspired Since 1982

Silkie chickens make great additions to every home 

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 for the following reasons: Silkie chickens are inexpensive to keep  Silkie chickens are extremely affordable pets to own, especially when considering the benefits of keeping them such as access to fresh eggs, pest control, and companionship. Silkies need a chicken coop, which should be a onetime expense, fresh food and water, and the occasional dust bath to keep mites at bay. A small fence should also be put up around the area silkies will be allowed to roam. Fortunately, all of these expenses – including the coop and fence – can be kept to a minimum by purchasing pre-made, simple products or constructing them at home. Chicken feed is quite cheap when purchased, and silkies can also eat scraps from your home and insects they find themselves (hence the natural form of pest control). Silkie chickens are easy to care for The coop, food, and water provided to silkies should be kept as clean as possible to ensure the birds stay content and healthy. Silkies should also be looked over weekly for mites, lice, and changes in health; should lice or mites be found, the entire flock should be treated, which is relatively easy and inexpensive. Silkies are hardy and resilient, and they are able to thrive in both cold and warm climates. These chickens are long-lived, often having life spans up to around nine years old, and continue to stay beautiful even when older. The fact that silkie chickens are unable to fly due to their fluffy plumage makes them the easiest of all chickens to keep as pets because they are that much easier to contain. Silkies are also known for their calm, friendly temperament, which makes them exceptionally great pets for homes that have children. In fact, silkies can be quite affectionate if owners take the time to handle them often. Silkie chickens provide many benefits to their owners Besides entertainment and companionship, silkies can provide their owners with tangible benefits, which makes keeping silkies as pets all the more rewarding. Silkies can be entered into poultry shows, which can become a fun pastime to get involved in, and they also provide a natural form of pest control as they gobble up any insects they find. And probably the largest benefit, silkies provide their owners with fresh eggs to eat themselves or sell.  Silkies are excellent layers of relatively large-sized bantam eggs, and unlike most other breeds, silkies will continue laying eggs throughout the winter because their fluffy feathers keep them warm and content. In addition to being great egg layers, silkies are known for being the broodiest of all chicken breeds and are often used to incubate and raise the offspring of other poultry. Only purchase silkie chickens from reputable breeders Even though silkie chickens are easy, fun, and inexpensive to keep as pets, it is possible to obtain sickly chickens, which makes it much more difficult and expensive to keep a flock healthy. This means that when purchasing silkie chickens, potential owners should only work with reputable breeders. One indication that you are working with a reputable breeder is if the breeder’s flock is NPIP certified. The National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP) provides certification that poultry and poultry products destined for interstate and international shipments are disease free.  In order to be a NPIP flock, requirements include Annual P-T Testing, AI Testing, Annual premises Inspection, and Annual Records Audit.  Amber Waves, an industry leader for over 26 years, provides its clients with high quality silkie chickens from its NPIP certified flock and support over the entire lifetime of the chickens. Contact Amber Waves (http://showsilkies.com/) to purchase silkie chickens and get all of your silkie chicken questions answered.  
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