Now I know what you’re thinking…. silkie chickens breeds for a working homestead, ha!
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.
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!
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.
I offer silkie hatching eggs too by the way for those interested in adding some of these amazing birds to their flock!
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.
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 SOOOO quite!!!
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.
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 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!
As a busy farmer that has had her fair share of dealing with high input and hard to manage livestock,
Silkie Chickens for Eggs
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!
Extra Things to Know
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.