Silkie Chicken Care Guide – Diet, Lifespan & More

Silkie chickens are some of the most adorable looking birds on the planet with their soft and fluffy feathers.

It should therefore come as no surprise that they have become quite a popular pet. If you are a bird person, these chickens can provide you with years of great companionship.

Appearance

The silkie chicken has a total of five toes on each of their feet, which is one more than most other chickens. They have black skin under all of the white fluff of their feathers. Their sharp, slightly curved beak is ideal for pecking. Many people describe this bird’s feathers as feeling like silk, and who wouldn’t enjoy petting that?

Silkie Chicken Lifespan

Silkie chickens typically live anywhere from 7 to 9 years, though it is possible for them to live a bit longer. The better you take care of your silkie, the longer it is likely to live.

Silkie Chicken Personality

While they don’t always look like it, these chickens are known for being very mellow and affectionate. They prefer to take life at a slow pace rather than run around everywhere. This makes them a good choice for those who don’t want a pet that is constantly giving them the runaround.

It is okay to have one of these chickens if you have children. They have a reputation for being quite gentle and even protective of their family members. Unlike some other birds, these ones don’t typically single out a certain person in the household as their favorite.

fluffy silkie chicken with bunch of chicks

Silkie Chicken Care Guide

1. Diet

Silkie chickens need a highly nutritious and balanced diet to remain healthy. These birds can eat regular chicken feed or layer pellets on a daily basis. If you are going to give your chicken pellets, you will need to make sure they are formulated for these birds. This will ensure that they get all of the required nutrients each day.

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You should also make a point of giving your chicken some grit, as it makes it a lot easier for them to digest their food. 

While it can be tempting to give your chickens a lot of treats, this is just not good for them. Some of the best foods you can give your bird as treats include fruits, vegetables, seeds, and various insects. 

Most of these birds are quite fond of cooked eggs, fish, potatoes, melon, bread, broccoli, pasta, rice, and cucumber. All of these foods can benefit your chicken’s health to some degree, but only if they are given to them in moderation.

Make sure that your chicken has access to fresh water throughout each day as well. You’ll want to thoroughly clean the container you put the water in. This will reduce the chances of your bird contracting a bacterial infection, which can be very serious.

2. Environment

It is also very important for you to have adequate housing for your silkie chickens. Due to their relatively small size, these animals don’t require a ton of living space. You will, however, want to provide your chicken with a good amount of room for roaming. The more space they have, the happier they are going to be.

Many people end up building their own chicken coop, as it is fairly easy to do so. A quick trip to your local hardware store should yield all of the necessary materials. You also have the option of buying a coop, which shouldn’t cost much. Make sure that the coop you put your chickens in is designed to keep out predators, as this is a very real concern.

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You certainly don’t need to have a very big house, especially if you will be keeping your chickens outside in the daytime.

It is highly recommended that you allow your silkie chickens to run around outside during the day, as they are very happy doing this. The more relaxed and at ease they are, the longer they are likely to live.

You also need to provide your chicken with the necessary bedding. This can be nothing more than wood shavings, which are very cheap. Some other materials that make for excellent chicken bedding include hay, sawdust, straw, and even torn up newspaper. While you can use sand for your chicken’s bedding, it can be quite problematic for a number of reasons.

a pair of silkie chicken on a field

3. Common Health Problems

Silkie chickens are particularly vulnerable to a condition that is known as Marek’s disease, which can be quite serious. You always have the option of getting your chicken vaccinated so that it is protected against this disease.

These chickens can also get mites and lice due to their fluffy nature. You can reduce the chances of this happening by keeping the feathers near their eyes trimmed up. Good hygiene can really go a long way towards preventing these issues.

Some of the more common signs of illness with these birds include sneezing, sudden lack of appetite, lethargy, and strange looking stool.

Silkie Chicken Price

You can expect to pay anywhere from $20 to $120 for a silkie chicken. These birds aren’t very expensive, but it is important that you get them from a breeder. This will ensure a healthy bird with a good life expectancy.

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Conclusion

  • Silkie chickens have five toes and a fluffy body with black skin underneath.
  • The average lifespan of these chickens is around 5 to 9 years, though they can live longer when properly cared for.
  • These chickens are known for being very docile and calm overall, making them great pets for families.
  • You can give your silkie chicken either layer pellets or regular old chicken feed each day.
  • Some of the best treats to give these chickens once in a while include cooked eggs, rice, pasta, fish, melon and cucumber.
  • It is absolutely crucial that you have a coop for your chicken that is predator-proof and large enough to where it has a decent amount of space.
  • You should consider letting your chicken outside during the day, as this will definitely make it happy.
  • These birds tend to have problems with lice and mites, so you’ll need to look out for signs of this.
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