Silkies are not the most expensive chicken breed, but they cost a bit more than the average chicken.
Expect to pay anywhere from $20 to $50 for an adult Silkie hen or rooster and $15 to $20 for chicks.
Silkie eggs for hatching are the least expensive at $3 to $10, but you will also need to purchase an incubator for about $100.
The most expensive Silkies are those raised as show birds, ranging in price from $100 to $200 or more.
So, why are Silkie chickens so expensive?
Silkies are more expensive because of their rising popularity among backyard chicken keepers. These docile birds are in high demand because they are a friendly breed often kept as pets. It is sometimes difficult to find Silkies for sale due to limited availability, which also increases their price.
Along with their friendly temperament, Silkies have several unique traits, which makes them highly sought after by chicken aficionados.
This beautiful chicken breed’s most notable physical characteristics include fluffy feathers on the body and crest, blue earlobes, and five toes.
Silkies are also bantam chickens, so they are perfect for a small backyard farm.
Read on for more information on what to know before buying a Silkie chicken and where to find one.
Is It Expensive To Breed Silkies?
There are several costs involved when it comes to breeding Silkies, which become more expensive as the breeding operation grows.
First, there is the initial expense of purchasing quality Silkies for breeding.
Silkies cost more than regular chickens, especially if they are show-quality.
It is best to purchase Silkies certified by the National Poultry Improvement Plan.
This certification ensures your Silkies are in prime condition and meet the breed standard without defects.
While you may begin with eggs, chicks, or adult chickens, choosing a young hen or cockerel is recommended.
With a young hen or cockerel, you will be able to assess the bird’s health and breed conformation.
Checking a hatchling or chick for these important traits is nearly impossible.
Sexing Silkie chicks is also very challenging, and it is often difficult to know whether you are buying hens or cockerels.
You will also incur the expenses of providing proper care for your Silkie breeder stock and their chicks.
Some of these expenses include:
- Quality feed
- Cleaning materials
- Veterinary care
You must also account for the time spent attending to the birds.
Overall, breeding Silkies may cost several thousand dollars per year.
What To Know Before Buying a Silkie
Understanding the physical characteristics of Silkies is essential, so you know what to look for when purchasing these sweet birds.
You want to ensure you buy a true Silkie, not a hybrid chicken.
The main features to look for include:
- Five toes on each foot
- Tight wings
- Compact body
- Black skin
- Fluffy rounded crest
- Feathered legs
- Fluffy tail feathers
Silkies also have dark eyes and a small comb and wattle.
There are bearded and non-bearded varieties of Silkies as well.
Bearded Silkies will have tufts of fluffy feathers on the neck and below the beak, with a small wattle.
Non-bearded Silkies have visible facial skin, and their wattle is slightly larger.
Silkies range in height from 8-14″ inches tall.
Further Reading: Are Silkie chickens smelly?
Understanding the care requirements of Silkies before you buy one is also important.
Silkies are relatively low-maintenance chickens, but there are a couple of special care requirements.
The fluffy feathers of Silkies do not repel water, so you need to keep the chickens as dry as possible to prevent upper respiratory illnesses.
These furry chickens are also more prone to hypothermia if wet and exposed to cold temperatures.
Further Reading: What happens when Silkie chickens get wet?
Silkies are known to be average layers, so if you want chickens for steady egg production, you may want to find another breed.
You may be able to increase egg production in your Silkie hens by adding extra calcium to their diet, but they will never be excellent egg layers.
Contrary to what you might expect, Silkie eggs are not blue either.
The small eggs from Silkies are a light brown or creamy color.
Because of their leg feathers, you must keep a Silkie’s coop clean and regularly groom your flock.
If a Silkie’s legs feathers become caked with mud, the feathers may freeze to its feet in the winter.
You also need to inspect Silkie’s toenails and keep them trimmed to prevent foot issues like bumblefoot.
Silkies do not fly, making them susceptible to attacks from predators.
Ensure the chicken coop is secure at night, and provide plenty of low perches for your Silkies to roost so they feel safer.
Where To Buy Silkies
Hatcheries and breeders are your best options for buying Silkies.
It is less expensive to buy a Silkie from a hatchery, and there will be a large selection of birds to choose from.
If you are looking for a show-quality Silkie, it is better to purchase from a breeder.
Silkies from backyard poultry breeders are typically much more expensive than birds from an incubator, but it may be easier to find rarer varieties like the splash or blue colors.
If there are no local Silkie breeders in your area, look for a reputable breeder online.
Always ask about an online breeder’s shipping and return policies before you make a purchase.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long can Silkies live?
A Silkie chicken will live for up to 9 or 10 years with proper care.
Silkies are relatively hardy birds with few inherent health issues and adapt well to hot and cold climates.
Are Silkies OK in cold weather?
Silkies do well in cold weather as long as they are kept dry.
The fluffy feathers on Silkies do not repel water, and the bird can get soaked to the skin if left out in the rain.
Keep your Silkies away from rain and snow during the winter months, and provide them with a secure, dry chicken coop to help them stay warm at night.
Never put your Silkies in the coop for the night without ensuring they are dry.
If your Silkie is exceptionally wet, wrap them in a towel or use a blow dryer with a diffuser the dry its feathers.
Can you mix Silkies with other chickens?
Silkies get along well with other chicken breeds because of their docile temperament.
It is crucial to choose a breed of chicken with the same temperament to mix with your Silkie flock.
The Buff Brahma and Polish chicken are docile birds and will get along well with your Silkies.
Aggressive chicken breeds will bully Silkies and cause injury or death to the smaller birds.
Read next: Are silkie chickens aggressive?