Over a course of time Chinese Silkies have slowly crept into the position of favourite chicken breed for me. These fluffy feathered creatures really are unique as far as chickens go. No other chicken has the same kind of 'feather' as them, nor their blue skin, dark meat and black bones. They've also got feathered feet and feature five toes. And aside from appearances no other chicken breed has their lovely, docile personality.
This little chookies really do make the best Mums and great pets. They're not renowned for their laying ability, especially if you compare them to a Leghorn. They love going broody, some will only lay a dozen eggs before going clucky! We've had hens like that, and we've had over-bred show-puffs that don't really lay at all but just liked to look pretty all day. Whilst this kind of Silkies are visually stunning, they've never really appealed to me. I don't see the point in having a chicken that is only capable of collecting show ribbons. And if it that was my thing, what good is a champion show winner that you can't breed from? No, in my books a good Silkies keeps to the appearance and nature of the breed, but is also functional. Aside from that, my experience with those birds has shown me that breeding purely for looks with regard for nothing else results in poor health.
We've bred every single one of our Silkies, aside from our foundation rooster and two hens of course. And they all love to spend their days foraging like regular chickens, scratching away for bugs and eating greens. They also lay quite well, and of course go clucky and love to raise their babies. Which is just what a couple of our girls will (hopefully!) be doing next time they go clucky. They're in their first year of laying and have been clucky once or twice by now, so they've proven they're willing to sit properly and can be trusted with a clutch of eggs.
Hopefully in a few months I'll have pictures of fluffy little chicks to share with you!
Here's to the weekend (and a new month)!
PS If you're as interested in Silkies as me, remember you can always read more about our Chinese Silkies over on our Farm Blog. They have their own about page and several blog posts too :-)