silkie shicken breeds

Now I know what you’re thinking…. silkie chickens breeds for a working homestead, ha!

Believe me, I’ve heard the negatives about silkies too for a working homestead.
They are supposed to be poor layers, bad foragers, not enough meat to eat on them, not hardy!
Doesn’t sound like the right homestead chicken for a practical-minded subsistence farmer such as myself!

Basically, they are thought of as a novelty, good for nothing but a pet or show chicken.

silkie chickens are a great homestead chicken!

A case for Silkie Chicken Breeds for a Homestead

There are 2 kinds of silkie chickens. The standard size silkie chicken and the bantam size. I have both. The standard size is great if you want a chicken that lays a bit larger egg and maybe has a little more meat on the roosters.

The bantam size silkie has a little smaller egg and not as much meat BUT it makes up for those short comings by not eating much at all!

Most of all it all depends on your lines! Just like with most animals or livestock.
Show animals are typically bred for looks first, everything else later. Including health! Pet breeders are breeding mostly for color, beards, etc. Don’t get me wrong I breed colors too. Its just not my priority.
Everything can’t be a priority in a breeding program. I prefer utility first, looks later! So I looked for someone breeding for utility first to purchase my silkie chickens.

I offer silkie hatching eggs too by the way for those interested in adding some of these amazing birds to their flock!

silkie chickens blue

The silkie chicken is the easiest chicken I ever raised honestly. I’ve had around 20 different breeds from tiny bantams to big serious homestead chickens like Buckeyes.

silkie chickens are a great homestead chicken!

Turns out my silkie chickens have not been delicate at all! They have lived in my barn with Muscovy ducks….in case you didn’t know ducks are messy! As you can see below it has not a reflected badly on the health or beauty of my silkies.

They have been very low input and easy to raise! Even when our temperatures got down to 0 this winter,,, they were fine.

They are extremely economical to feed! Try the least expensive I’ve ever raised chickens!
They are SOOOO quite!!!

silkie chickens breeds

Silkie Chicken Meat

Honestly, this was the most delicious chicken I’ve ever eaten in my life!
Yes, the skin is black and yes it was good too! That one little rooster fed me and my husband to our fill for dinner, then made a wonderful rich bone broth the next day.

The smaller bantam size silkies are my favorite roosters for meat. They are a breeze to process, super easy to pluck. So we didn’t need to use a plucker. The meat to bone ratio was very good.

Best part? Well, next to the fact it was the best chicken I ever ate, this meat cost me pennies to raise.
The hardest thing was the slaughter because they are such nice birds, but the roos weren’t being nice to each other and someone was going to end up dead.
So it had to be done… and it was a blessing the meat was so amazing!
There is a high demand for silkie meat in Asian communities. It might be a great niche market if you have a large Asian population near your farm. Here’s a company that sells the meat (about 1.5 pounds) for $19! 
Whew, that’s not your average chicken price! Its a niche business a small farmer in the right area could actually profit from.

Some say it is healthier than regular chicken. That’s important because we homestead for optimal nutritious foods but wow… that flavor!

silkie chicken meat

Silkie Chickens are Foragers

So what about silkie chicken breeds being bad foragers?
They forage plenty, all day!
Here’s something though, they just can’t forage destructively and scratch everything up because of their overly feathered feet! So they are perfect for areas you may prefer not end up being bare ground!

This makes them great in chicken tractors for another one of our special gardening systems. They fertilize the ground, scratch the surface and it works perfect!

If you choose to free range (I used too but now prefer tractors), they don’t wander far away like a lot of chickens. They are very easily contained and can’t fly over my fences!
Which means they are safer because they have to stay with my flock guardians and means I don’t have to chase them down and clip their wings!
This saves me so much time!
An animal that is hard to manage can suck the day away from you!
As a busy farmer that has had her fair share of dealing with high input and hard to manage livestock,
I truly appreciate how easy these guys are to deal with.

Silkie Chickens for Eggs

If you have a large family or an egg business, Silkie chickens breeds may not be a good fit. They lay 90 to 120 eggs a year depending on your lines. Which is plenty for me and my husband! We always have extras!
The wonderful thing is my silkie chicken hens will lay on sprouted grains, garden waste and pasture grass/weeds, needing no fancy layer feed.

Yes, like I said, the egg from the bantam silkies is small but not as small as quail eggs! It just cost so little to feed them! So I will take it!

They are excellent mothers if you want them to go broody. The bantams love to raise babies but I’ve found my standard sized silkies don’t go broody or they loose interest fast. Which is fine with me. They all can’t be broody or I won’t have any eggs to eat or sell!

silkie chickens breeds are a great homestead chicken!

Extra Things to Know

Silkie chickens like ALL chickens are highly vulnerable to predator attacks! Neighborhood dogs, (with irresponsible owners!) possums, raccoons, owls, snakes, rats!!! You name it, just about everything out there wants to kill chickens! Which is one of the biggest heartbreaks for me with poultry. They can be so hard to protect. That’s why it’s important to me they stay in the fences I put them if they free range. My livestock guards can’t protect them outside their fencing.
We use NiteGuards . They help with nighttime predators and we’ve used them for years! They work great!!

So Silkie Chickens Breeds can be a good homestead chicken for the right homestead.

  • They Cause me no drama
  • Take little of my money
  • Wonderful low input chicken… I didn’t think there was such a thing 😉

I tried them on a whim,, so glad I did! They have been a joy and a blessing.

Another article you might enjoy: Can you make money farming?
Wanna see something cute? My Silver and blue silkie chickens short! Don’t forget to subscribe to our youtube channel while you’re there!